๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ NEW ZEALAND SOUTH


Kepler Track, New Zealand - New Zealand South itineraryNew Zealand’s South Island is one of the most naturally spectacular places on Earth. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget.

Here’s my New Zealand South blog post, here is highlights video, and here below is your New Zealand South itinerary:

Luxury Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand
1 โœˆTo Christchurch (Book >) Dep: Evening ๐Ÿจ In flight!
2-3 Arr: Morning ๐ŸจThe George (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a relaxing day in Christchurch recovering from your long journey. Stroll in the Botanic Gardens, see the Victoria Clock Tower, admire the ingenuity of the Cardboard Cathedral and see the Antarctic artefacts in the Canterbury Museum. If you’re from a visa waiver country you don’t need to apply until you arrive in New Zealand
4 ๐Ÿš—Christchurch to Kaikoura drive (Hire car >)
๐Ÿš—Kaikoura to Nelson drive
Dep: 09:30

Dep: 15:30

Arr: 12:00

Arr: 18:45

๐ŸจParautane Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Arrive in Kaikoura in time to get the 12:45 whale watching boat tour. Sperm whales are resident year-round and so you’re all but guaranteed to get a sighting. Take motion sickness tablets if needed – you’ll be on the sea
5 ๐Ÿš—Nelson to Kaiteriteri drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 10:00 ๐ŸจSplit Apple Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
A short drive to Kaiteriteri from where you can take a water taxi onto the perfect beaches of Abel Tasman. Spend the day hiking, or maybe hire a kayak for a few hours. There aren’t any shops in the national park so bring food and water.
6 ๐Ÿš—Kaiteriteri to Hokitika drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 17:00 ๐ŸจRimu Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Just over 5 hours of driving, broken up with a visit to Punakaiki where you can admire the pancake rocks and blowholes. Give yourself plenty of time to get between destinations – you’ll want to stop frequently for beautiful views all the way through this New Zealand South itinerary.
7 ๐Ÿš—Hokitika to Franz Josef drive Dep: 12:00 Arr: 14:00 ๐ŸจFranz Josef Oasis (Book >) All hotels >
Start your day with a 30 min drive to Hokitika Gorge where you can walk 15 mins to a spectacular swing bridge. In Franz Josef you’ll arrive in time for the 14:15 glacier valley hike (or maybe splash out on a heli hike). Wear plenty of sunscreen – not only is there less ozone above NZ, the snow makes the sun extra strong.
8 ๐Ÿš—Franz Josef to Wanaka drive Dep: 14:00 Arr: 19:00 ๐ŸจLime Tree Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Spend the first part of your day hiking up to the Fox Glacier. Then, on the drive to Wanaka, stop off at the many photogenic spots along the road. The Department of Conversation provides a wealth of info on hiking.
9 A day off from driving to enjoy the glorious hiking around Lake Wanaka. Keep an eye on the weather.
10 ๐Ÿš—Wanaka to Te Anau drive Dep: 07:00 Arr: 10:15 ๐ŸจVarious trail huts (Book >)
Wake early to get to the start of the Milford or Kepler tracks. Book your place in the trek huts as far in advance as possible.
11-12 Congratulations, you’re on some of the most incredible hikes in the world! You’ll see immense snowy mountains, peaceful lakes and beautiful forests. Read more info here for the Milford Track and here for the Kepler. You can’t buy food on the treks, so think carefully about what to bring (this site gives a good idea).
13 ๐Ÿš—Te Anau to Manipouri drive Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon ๐ŸจAcheron Cottages (Book >) All hotels >
See the immense Milford Sound on a fjord cruise (just under 2 hours from Te Anau, last departure is 3pm), then drive to nearby Manipori – just 20 mins from Te Anau. This is another opportunity to add a day to your trip if you want to take it easy post-trek.
14 ๐Ÿš—Manipouri to Invercargill drive Dep: 15:30 Arr: 17:30 ๐ŸจThe Lodges (Book >) All hotels >
Today you’ll go on an 8-hour (starting at 07:15) exploration of remote Doubtful Sound. Your tour will take you by boat over Lake Manipouri, over Wilmott Pass and then kayak along the sound itself. Invest in a dry bag in which to keep your camera (they’re inexpensive).
15 โ›ด๏ธInvercargill to Stewart Island ferry (Book >) Dep: 08:45 Arr: 10:45 ๐ŸจStewart Island Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
From Oban on Stewart Island you have a choice of tours, including to Ulva Island. Be sure to get a ticket that includes the bus to Bluff.
16 โ›ด๏ธStewart Island  to Invercargill ferry (Book >)
๐Ÿš—Invercargill to Queenstown drive
Dep: 08:00
Dep: 10:30
Arr: 10:00
Arr: 13:00
๐ŸจQueenstown Park Boutique (Book >) All hotels >
 Queenstown is the adventure sports capital of New Zealand. There is a veritable smorgasbord of activities here. Before embarking on this New Zealand South itinerary ensure that your insurance covers you for the various adventures sports on offer here.
17 A full day to indulge in any more of the activities here, including some amazing hikes. At night take your car out of town for some breathtaking star-gazing.
18 ๐Ÿš—Queenstown to Twizel drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 11:30 ๐ŸจMatuka Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve checked in head to Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park and walk beneath New Zealand’s highest mountain. Go to the National Park visitor’s centre for a great view from the picture window.
19-20 ๐Ÿš—Twizel to Chirstchurch drive
โœˆChristchurch to home (Book >)
Dep: 10:00
Dep: Evening
Arr: 13:45
Arr: Morning (next day)
Connect this New Zealand South itinerary with the New Zealand North, Australia or Fiji & Samoa itinerary
Give yourself plenty of time to return the car to Christchurch.
Mid-range Milford Sound, New Zealand
1 โœˆTo Christchurch (Book >) Dep: Evening ๐Ÿจ In flight!
2-3 Arr: Morning ๐ŸจColombo In The City (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a relaxing day in Christchurch recovering from your long journey. Stroll in the Botanic Gardens, see the Victoria Clock Tower, admire the ingenuity of the Cardboard Cathedral and see the Antarctic artefacts in the Canterbury Museum. If you’re from a visa waiver country you don’t need to apply until you arrive in New Zealand
4 ๐Ÿš—Christchurch to Kaikoura drive (Hire car >)
๐Ÿš—Kaikoura to Nelson drive
Dep: 09:30

Dep: 15:30

Arr: 12:00

Arr: 18:45

๐ŸจThe Sails Nelson (Book >) All hotels >
Arrive in Kaikoura in time to get the 12:45 whale watching boat tour. Sperm whales are resident year-round and so you’re all but guaranteed to get a sighting. Take motion sickness tablets if needed – you’ll be on the sea
5 ๐Ÿš—Nelson to Kaiteriteri drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 10:00 ๐ŸจKimi Ora Eco Resort(Book >) All hotels >
A short drive to Kaiteriteri from where you can take a water taxi onto the perfect beaches of Abel Tasman. Spend the day hiking, or maybe hire a kayak for a few hours. There aren’t any shops in the national park so bring food and water.
6 ๐Ÿš—Kaiteriteri to Hokitika drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 17:00 ๐ŸจStopforths Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Just over 5 hours of driving, broken up with a visit to Punakaiki where you can admire the pancake rocks and blowholes. Give yourself plenty of time to get between destinations – you’ll want to stop frequently for beautiful views.
7 ๐Ÿš—Hokitika to Franz Josef drive Dep: 12:00 Arr: 14:00 ๐ŸจFranz Josef Oasis (Book >) All hotels >
Start your day with a 30 min drive to Hokitika Gorge where you can walk 15 mins to a spectacular swing bridge. In Franz Josef you’ll arrive in time for the 14:15 glacier valley hike (or maybe splash out on a heli hike). Wear plenty of sunscreen – not only is there less ozone above NZ, the snow makes the sun extra strong.
8 ๐Ÿš—Franz Josef to Wanaka drive Dep: 14:00 Arr: 19:00 ๐ŸจWest Meadows Motel (Book >) All hotels >
Spend the first part of your day hiking up to the Fox Glacier. Then, on the drive to Wanaka, stop off at the many photogenic spots along the road. The Department of Conversation provides a wealth of info on hiking.
9 A day off from driving to enjoy the glorious hiking around Lake Wanaka. Keep an eye on the weather.
10 ๐Ÿš—Wanaka to Te Anau drive Dep: 07:00 Arr: 10:15 ๐ŸจVarious trail huts (Book >)
Wake early to get to the start of the Milford or Kepler tracks. Book your place in the trek huts as far in advance as possible.
11-12 Congratulations, you’re on some of the most incredible hikes in the world! You’ll see immense snowy mountains, peaceful lakes and beautiful forests. Read more info here for the Milford Track and here for the Kepler. You can’t buy food on the treks, so think carefully about what to bring (this site gives a good idea).
13 ๐Ÿš—Te Anau to Manipouri drive Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon ๐ŸจAcheron Cottages (Book >) All hotels >
See the immense Milford Sound on a fjord cruise (just under 2 hours from Te Anau, last departure is 3pm), then drive to nearby Manipori – just 20 mins from Te Anau. This is another opportunity to add a day to your trip if you want to take it easy post-trek.
14 ๐Ÿš—Manipouri to Invercargill drive Dep: 15:30 Arr: 17:30 ๐ŸจTower Lodge Motel (Book >) All hotels >
Today you’ll go on an 8-hour (starting at 07:15) exploration of remote Doubtful Sound. Your tour will take you by boat over Lake Manipouri, over Wilmott Pass and then kayak along the sound itself. Invest in a dry bag in which to keep your camera (they’re inexpensive).
15 โ›ด๏ธInvercargill to Stewart Island ferry (Book >) Dep: 08:45 Arr: 10:45 ๐ŸจBay Motel (Book >) All hotels >
From Oban on Stewart Island you have a choice of tours, including to Ulva Island. Be sure to get a ticket that includes the bus to Bluff.
16 โ›ด๏ธStewart Island to Invercargill ferry (Book >)
๐Ÿš—Invercargill to Queenstown drive
Dep: 08:00
Dep: 10:30
Arr: 10:00
Arr: 13:00
๐ŸจQueenstown Park Boutique (Book >) All hotels >
Queenstown is the adventure sports capital of New Zealand. There is a veritable smorgasbord of activities here. Before embarking on this New Zealand South itinerary ensure that your insurance covers you for the various adventures sports on offer here.
17 A full day to indulge in any more of the activities here, including some amazing hikes. At night take your car out of town for some breathtaking star-gazing.
18 ๐Ÿš—Queenstown to Aoraki/Mt Cook drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 12:15 ๐ŸจAoraki Court (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve checked in head out into Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park and walk beneath New Zealand’s highest mountain. Go to the National Park visitor’s centre for a great view from the picture window.
19-20 ๐Ÿš—Aoraki/Mt Cook to Chirstchurch drive
โœˆChristchurch to home (Book >)
Dep: 09:15
Dep: Evening
Arr: 13:45
Arr: Morning (next day)
Connect this New Zealand South itinerary with the New Zealand North, Australia or Fiji & Samoa itinerary
Give yourself plenty of time to return the car to Christchurch.
Budget Mount Cook, New Zealand
1 โœˆTo Christchurch (Book >) Dep: Evening ๐Ÿจ In flight!
2-3 Arr: Morning ๐ŸจChester Street Backpackers (Book >) All hostels >
Enjoy a relaxing day in Christchurch recovering from your long journey. Stroll in the Botanic Gardens, see the Victoria Clock Tower, admire the ingenuity of the Cardboard Cathedral and see the Antarctic artefacts in the Canterbury Museum. If you’re from a visa waiver country you don’t need to apply until you arrive in New Zealand
4 ๐ŸšŒChristchurch to Kaikoura bus (Book >) Dep: 07:00 Arr: 09:50 ๐ŸจAlbatross Backpackers Inn (Book >) All hostels >
Arrive in Kaikoura in time to get the 10:00 or 12:45 whale watching boat tour. Sperm whales are resident year-round and so you’re all but guaranteed to get a sighting. Later in the afternoon hire a kayak or walk along the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway. Take motion sickness tablets if needed – you’ll be on the sea
5 ๐ŸšŒKaikoura Blenheim bus (Book >)
๐ŸšŒBlenheim to Nelson bus (Book >)
Dep: 10:30
Dep: 13:30
Arr: 12:25
Arr: 15:15
๐ŸจBridge Backpackers (Book >) All hostels >
Enjoy the quaint city of Nelson or walk to dramatic Harwoods Hole. This blog post has good advice on Nelson cheap eats.
6 Take the 07:30 bus to Marahau and enjoy several hours of hiking or kayaking in Abel Tasman National Park. The bus returns at 16:10. There aren’t any shops in the national park so bring food and water.
7 ๐ŸšŒNelson to Franz Josef bus (Book >) Dep: 07:15 Arr: 17:04 ๐ŸจYHA Franz Josef (Book >) All hostels >
Relax on the coach and watch the wild West Coast scenery fly by. Remember to pack some lunch and snacks – the coach may stop at expensive rest stops.
8 You have a full day in which to enjoy the hikes around Franz Josef Glacier. Wear plenty of sunscreen – not only is there less ozone above NZ, the snow makes the sun extra strong.
9 ๐ŸšŒFranz Josef to Wanaka bus (Book >) Dep: 08:00 Arr: 14:46 ๐ŸจWanaka Bakpaka (Book >) All hostels >
Enjoy a spectacular journey then take yourself out on one of the many hikes around Lake Wanaka. The Department of Conversation provides a wealth of info on hiking.
10 ๐ŸšŒWanaka to Queenstown bus (Book >) Dep: 10:00 Arr: 11:50 ๐ŸจAdventure Q2 Queenstown (Book >) All hostels >
Work your way through the large list of adventure sports around Queenstown, including some amazing hikes. Make sure that your insurance covers you for the various adventures sports on offer here.
11 ๐ŸšŒQueenstown to Te Anau bus (Book >) Dep: 06:45 Arr: 09:10 ๐ŸจVarious trail huts (Book >)
Wake early to get to the start of the Milford or Kepler tracks. There are also coaches at 07:05 and 07:20. Book your place in the trek huts as far in advance as possible.
12-13 Congratulations, you’re on some of the most incredible hikes in the world! You’ll see immense snowy mountains, peaceful lakes and beautiful forests. Read more info here for the Milford Track and here for the Kepler. You can’t buy food on the treks, so think carefully about what to bring (this site gives a good idea).
14 ๐Ÿšถ/๐ŸšŒTo Milford Sound hike/bus (Book >)
๐ŸšŒMilford Sound to Te Anau bus (Book >)
Dep: 10:00

Dep: 15:25

Arr: 13:10

Arr: 17:00

๐ŸจYHA Te Anau (Book >) All hostels >
If you’re on the Milford Track you’ll walk in to Milford Sound, if you’re on the Kepler then you’ll need to take the coach from Te Anau. See the immense Milford Sound on a fjord cruise. This is another opportunity to add a day to your trip if you want to take it easy post-trek.
15 ๐ŸšŒTe Anau to Queenstown bus (Book >) Dep: 17:20 Arr: 19:35 ๐ŸจAdventure Q2 Queenstown (Book >) All hostels >
Today you’ll go on an 8-hour (starting at 07:15) exploration of remote Doubtful Sound. Your tour will take you by boat over Lake Manipouri, over Wilmott Pass and then kayak along the sound itself. Invest in a dry bag in which to keep your camera (they’re inexpensive).
16 A full day to indulge in more of the activities in Queenstown. The weather can effect which activities are running.
17 ๐ŸšŒQueenstown to Mt Cook bus (Book >) Dep: 07:30 Arr: 12:15 ๐ŸจYHA Mt Cook (Book >) All hostels >
Once you’ve checked in head out into Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park and walk beneath New Zealand’s highest mountain. Go to the National Park visitor’s centre for a great view from the picture window.
18 ๐ŸšŒMt Cook to Christchurch bus (Book >) Dep: 14:45 Arr: 19:20 ๐ŸจJucy Snooze (Book >) All hostels >
Get in your last hike of this New Zealand South itinerary before journeying back to Christchurch. Make sure that your insurance covers you for the various adventures sports on offer here.
19-20 โœˆChristchurch to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this New Zealand South itinerary with the New Zealand North, Australia or Fiji & Samoa itinerary
The bus to the airport takes 30 minutes.

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