Self Driving South Island: Things Not to Miss

Self Driving South Island: Things Not to Miss 1024 683 Sheetal Khatri

Self Driving South Island: Things Not to Miss

Home to the Southern Alps, New Zealand’s South Island is capable of more than stealing your hearts with its divine panoramas. The South Island encapsulates such diversity of intact nature that is best explored leisurely, ideally in a few months. Don’t worry if you don’t have that much time, you can still discover the best of this wonderland sightseeing the below extra ordinary places.

South Island

South Island

Allow yourself at least 10-15 days if you wish to explore best segments of South Island. We recommend the below road trip route and itinerary starting from Christchurch to northernmost edges of South Island then descending via West Coast to finally discover the Heartland wilderness. It took us 13 days to finish the loop without any hikes or camping due to cold weather. Also, accessing some spots in winter is challenging, yet we managed getting around countless incredible vistas, with no multitude factor as cherry on top.

Here’s a list of top things to see and do in South Island along with extras and our top picks from the trip.

South Island Itinerary inspiration for Two Weeks

Day 1: Christchurch and Akaora

Day 1: Christchurch and Akaora 1024 833 Sheetal Khatri

Things to see and do in Christchurch CBD and Akaora region. Day drive itinerary, recommended dining and stay.

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Kaikoura coast

Day 2: The Hidden Gems of Kaikoura Coast & Blenheim

Day 2: The Hidden Gems of Kaikoura Coast & Blenheim 1024 648 Sheetal Khatri

Hidden Gems on Kaikoura Coast on a day drive from Chrishchurch to Blenheim. Watch fur seals and native birds in their natural habitat. Things to do in Blenheim.

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Marlborough Sounds

Day 3: Road-Tripping Marlborough Sounds-Havelock-Nelson

Day 3: Road-Tripping Marlborough Sounds-Havelock-Nelson 1024 683 Sheetal Khatri

Beautiful places to visit in Marlborough Sounds, Queen Charlotte Drive and amazing spots between Havelock to Nelson.

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Wharariki Beach

Day 4&5: Golden Bay & Abel Tasman Retreats

Day 4&5: Golden Bay & Abel Tasman Retreats 1024 683 Sheetal Khatri

Wonderful places to see in Golden Bay and Abel Tasman, a two day (self drive) plan to explore some amazing spots. Travel, guide, tips and unique things to do.

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Day 6: Explore Murchison, Punakaiki Coast & Hokitika

Day 6: Explore Murchison, Punakaiki Coast & Hokitika 1024 683 Sheetal Khatri

Amazing places to see around Murchison, Buller Gorge, Punakaiki Coast and Hokitika. Full Day drive itinerary, ideas and tips.

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Fox Glacier

Day 7: West Coast & Haast Pass Gems-Hokitika to Wanaka Self Drive

Day 7: West Coast & Haast Pass Gems-Hokitika to Wanaka Self Drive 1024 802 Sheetal Khatri

Day drive route to discover the West Coast charms of NZ, from Hokitika to Wanaka via Haast Pass. Things to do, tips and itinerary.

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New Zealand

Day 8: The Soothing Highlights of Wanaka

Day 8: The Soothing Highlights of Wanaka 1024 683 Sheetal Khatri

Places to see in Wanaka. Its exquisite lakesides to mystic nature walks and snowy ski-fields, the city and its mouth watering cuisine makes Wanaka a winter paradise.

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Glenorchy

Day 9: Incredible Places to Visit Around Wanaka and Queenstown

Day 9: Incredible Places to Visit Around Wanaka and Queenstown 1024 683 Sheetal Khatri

A day drive route to discover hidden gems of Crown Range, Arrowtown, Lake Wakatipu, Glenorchy and Queenstown. Recommended food and stay.

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Unusual Vistas at Larnach Castle

Day 10: Otago Peninsula & Dunedin City

Day 10: Otago Peninsula & Dunedin City 1024 683 Sheetal Khatri

Scenic drive from Queenstown to Dunedin discovering Otago Peninsula and the only castle of New Zealand.

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Day 11: Dunedin to Lake Pukaki & Tekapo

Day 11: Dunedin to Lake Pukaki & Tekapo 1024 683 Sheetal Khatri

Day drive from Dunedin to Lake Tekapo, some ‘must see’ lookouts on the way, surreal surrounds of Lake Pukaki and Tekapo, Things to do, where to dine & stay.

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Day 12: Travel Guide for Mount Cook National Park

Day 12: Travel Guide for Mount Cook National Park 1024 683 Sheetal Khatri

Full Travel Guide for activities and things to do in Mount Cook National Park. The Most beautiful tracks, hikes, food and stay options of the region.

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Edoras

Day 13: The Magical Land of Edoras

Day 13: The Magical Land of Edoras 1024 683 Sheetal Khatri

The Magical Land of Edoras is full of scenic surprises, self drive tips, useful info, things to see & do in Hakatere park. Mount Sunday & Potts River tracks.

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Gorgeous Day Drive Spots from Kaohsiung to Kenting

Gorgeous Day Drive Spots from Kaohsiung to Kenting 860 573 Sheetal Khatri
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The Best of Taipei in One Day

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Day 9: Incredible Places to Visit Around Wanaka and Queenstown

Day 9: Incredible Places to Visit Around Wanaka and Queenstown 1024 683 Sheetal Khatri

Day 7-Stirling Ranges to Esperance

Day 7-Stirling Ranges to Esperance 369 246 Sheetal Khatri
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Self Driving South Island: Things Not to Miss
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Self Driving South Island: Things Not to Miss
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The South Island encapsulates such diversity of intact nature that is best explored leisurely, ideally in a few months. Don’t worry if you don’t have that much time, you can still discover the best of this wonderland sightseeing the below extra ordinary places.
Sheetal Khatri
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