8 days in South Island Itinerary

8 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island tour planner

Make it your trip
Fly to Christchurch, Bus to Hanmer Springs
Hanmer Springs
— 1 night
— 2 nights
Train to Rangiora, Fly to Franz Josef
Franz Josef
— 1 day
Bus to Hokitika, Fly to Cairo


Hanmer Springs

— 1 night


Action and relaxation are the reasons that most people head to Hanmer Springs, where natural thermal pools bubble among dramatic alpine surroundings.
Start off your visit on the 17th (Wed): delve into the lush surroundings at Hanmer Forest, then take in the awesome beauty at Conical Hill, and then relax and rejuvenate at Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 18th (Thu): explore and take pictures at Hanmer Springs Animal Park, then get outside with Hanmer Springs Adventure Centre, and then stop by The Decadent Fudge Company.

For photos, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Hanmer Springs holiday website.

Cairo, Egypt to Hanmer Springs is an approximately 28-hour combination of flight and bus. Traveling from Cairo to Hanmer Springs, you'll lose 10 hours due to the time zone difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Hanmer Springs

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Spas
Find places to stay Jul 17 — 18:


— 2 nights
Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
On the 19th (Fri), Head underground at Maori Leap Cave, tour the pleasant surroundings at Peninsula Seal Colony, then get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, and finally stop by Kaikoura Cheese. Here are some ideas for day two: get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

To find ratings, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Kaikoura trip itinerary site.

Drive from Hanmer Springs to Kaikoura in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle; or do a combination of bus and train. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Sat) early enough to travel to Franz Josef.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Wildlife · Tours · Outdoors · Parks
Find places to stay Jul 18 — 20:

Franz Josef

— 1 day
Located in the World Heritage Site that is home to its eponymous glacier, the town of Franz Josef provides a comfortable and welcoming rest spot for adventurers after a long day out on the ice.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Sun): go for a walk through Tatare Tunnels Walk, then explore the striking landscape at Franz Josef Glacier, and then hike along Terrace Walk.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Franz Josef trip planner.

Traveling by combination of train and flight from Kaikoura to Franz Josef takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Franz Josef

Parks · Trails · Outdoors · Nature
Find places to stay Jul 20 — 21:

South Island travel guide

Bodies of Water · Entertainment Centers · Hiking Trails
Māui's Canoe
The wilder of New Zealand's two main islands, South Island offers a feast of nature in all its glory. Extensive, untouched plains connect alpine landscapes with rugged shorelines, creating a home for an abundance of animals and vegetation, on land and in the rich surrounding waters. Renowned as a window to the natural world before man (something that scores of film directors have tapped into over the years), South Island folds its cities and townships into the surrounding landscape, their populations adding something singular to the mix. On your trip to South Island, you'll witness the awe-inspiring cultural heritage of the Maori, whose art and architecture complements the developments of the colonial legacy. The result is a land of characterful buildings, rolling vineyards, and free-spirited adventure.