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17 Days in South Island, New Zealand — Itinerary

I’ve received some requests to share my itinerary for my 17 days trip to the South Island of NZ, and without further ado, here it is! I’m almost done with the full post with pictures, and it should be up by this month! So stay tuned for it 🙂

Day 1:  Morning arrival in Christchurch on Singapore Airlines.

Day 2: Onboard direct bus to Te Anau

Day 3-6: Begin 4 days 3 nights Kepler Track hike, which starts and ends in Te Anau

Day 7-8: I stayed 2 nights in Te Anau. Went for day cruise out to Lake Manapouri, and glowworm cave tour at night. The more popular options are Milford sound/ Doubtful sound cruise.

Day 9: Depart for Queenstown. I took a morning hike up to Queenstown Hill, with beautiful views guaranteed! Booked a scenic helicopter ride which landed on The Remarkables. It was one of the best experiences I’ve had in my life. Skydiving is also a must-do in Queenstown. NZone is an experienced operator and many people book through them. Also, I booked the Skyline Gondola up to Bob’s Peak. From there, one could also hike up to Ben Lomond for even more spectacular views of Queenstown. Remember to also stuff yourself with Fergburger(try the pork belly version!)

Day 10: Take a day trip to Arrowtown, quaint little town that’s kind of ‘stuck in time’. Really worth the visit!

Day 11: Depart for Wanaka. I rented a bike and sent almost the entir afternoon cycling around Lake Wanaka. I also took a scenic helicopter ride up to the gorgeous Coromandel Peak.

Day 12: Hike up to Roy’s Peak(5-6 hrs return) for really beautiful views of Lake Wanaka and the surrounding hills.

Day 13: Depart for Mt Cook. I stayed 1 night in Mt Cook and wished it was longer! It’s really beautiful over there and I was blessed with great sunny weather. Day hikes to take are the Kea Point Track and Hooker Valley Track (must do!).

Day 14: Explore the surrounding scenic area. I took a morning hike to Kea Point and went back to do Hooker Valley again as it was really beautiful. In the late noon, I departed for Tekapo via Cook Connection. Lunch as Kohan (try their salmon sashimi!). I booked the Mt John Night observatory tour which was really amazing. You cannot miss it.

Day 15: I hiked up to Mt John on foot, up to the Astro-Cafe, and had breakfast and lunch there. I practically spent the entire day there and randomly hiked around the area. Of course, I finally got to visit the Church of the Good Shepherd on this trip. Do note it’s opening hours during winter/summer seasons.

Day 16: Depart for Christchurch. Spent a night there.

Day 17: Flew back to Singapore!

I don’t have a driver’s license, so I got around by buses, which were really manageable! The buses were mostly full of tourists like myself, which debunks the misconception that one needs to drive in order to explore NZ. The main bus operators are InterCity, Nakedbus, Atomic Shuttles. And to and fro Mt Cook, you can try The Cook Connection.

Hope this helps in your planning!

Categories: blog, travel

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