Posted in New Zealand, Travel

Itinerary South Island – New Zealand

New Zealand is an amazing country and has been on my ‘wanna go to list’ for a very long time. We finally went and got a taste of this country and it tastes like more!

If you are still planing to go or are still dreaming of going one day, this post might be a good start. Or for good memories if you have been already. Anyway, here is what we did.It has been a while since we were here, but there is so much left to share. We spent 10 days on the South Island, since we also wanted to go to the North Island. If I can give any advise, that is waaaaaaay not long enough!

We traveled with 2 adults and 2 children in a non self contained camper van and stayed and paid, free and low cost campsites. I puzzled out the following route and it turned out to be a very busy schedule:


There is a lot of information on this map. I hope you can read it.

Blue lines: the route we traveled
Bold black
places: our overnights
Travel time and distance in the red squares (the one with the car, is the total distance)
Red bold names: some of the highlights of places visited

Important to notice is that the distances and travel times are the pure travel time and distance without any stopping or D-tours in between. In reality everything took us much longer.

Our route in short:
Day 1: airport hotel in Christchurch
Day 2: Akaroa, 1 night paid campsite (too short)
Day 3: National parks campsite –Mount Cook, 2 nights intended (snowed away)
Day 4: free campsite near Cromwell
Day 5: adrenaline and hiking in Queenstown, overnight on paid campsite Kingston
Day 6: parked car in Te Anau and overnight cruise to Doubtfull sound!!!
Day 7: National Parks campsite between Makaroa and Paringa
Day 8: Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier, overnight paid campsite Punakaiki
Day 9: Overnight Nelson, free campsite on parking in the middle of town
Day 10: lunch in Havelock, wine tasting in Blenheim, overnight free campsite near Picton
Day 11: ferry to North Island

We have seen a lot of the South Island, but I am sure we have missed even more. I guess it is all about choices. The distances that we traveled were well manageable, we just wished we would have had more time to stay longer at almost all the places we visited.

You can read more about our experience with a non-self contained camper van and what we learned about camping in New Zealand. There is more to follow of our New Zealand trip.




Mother, wife, explorer and loving the outdoors. We recently moved to Australia, so lots to explore here. We are keeping a blog about our experiences of moving and living on a different continent as a family.

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