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New Zealand | SOuth ISland

Illustrated Map | Road trip itinerary 

This is our illustrated journey through the stunning landscapes of South Island, New Zealand! In 2023, my husband and I did a memorable road trip for our Christmas holidays, immersing ourselves in the splendour of this captivating region. Winding roads cutting through majestic mountains, serene lakes reflecting the sky, and valleys adorned with lush foliage. This map captures the essence of our adventures, from the breathtaking experiences the hidden gems of nature that left us awe-inspired. As we recall the wonders of South Island and the tiny treasures that made our journey truly unforgettable, I've put together our two-week road trip itinerary along with the illustrated map to share with you. 
 

New Zealand map
Day 1-3: Queenstown to Te Anau
  • Arrive in Queenstown and hire a car at the airport.

  • Lunch at Fergburger, a local favorite.

  • Drive to Te Anau and check into a beautiful Airbnb.

  • Day 2: Explore Doubtful Sound / Milford Sound with a cruise for stunning fjord views.

  • Day 3: Visit the Te Anau Glowworm Caves, Mirror Lakes, and Fiordland National Park.

Day 4: Wanaka
  • Drive to Wanaka, stopping at fruit orchards for  the natural ice cream on the way.

  • Visit Lake Wanaka and the famous Wanaka Tree.

  • Enjoy the serene surroundings and take a leisurely walk along the lake.

  • Hike or drive to Roys Peak for panoramic views of Lake Wanaka and the Southern Alps.

Day 5-6: Franz Josef
  • Enjoy the scenic drive to Franz Josef

  • Day 5: Experience skydiving for an adrenaline rush.

  • Day 6: Take a helicopter ride to explore the breathtaking Franz Josef Glacier. Visit Lake Matheson for its reflective views of Aoraki/Mount Cook and Mount Tasman.

Transit Day 7: Hokitika and Arthur's Pass
  • Stop in Hokitika to visit William Steyn Stone Painter and explore the local art scene.

  • Spend a day in Arthur's Pass for scenic hikes like Devils Punchbowl Track for a waterfall adventure.and breathtaking landscapes. 

Day 9-10: Christchurch
  • Drive to Christchurch, exploring the city's botanical gardens and punting on the Avon River. Try the Christchurch tram to explore the city.

  • Visit the Canterbury Museum, and enjoy the the Christchurch Gallery. 

  • Try Arbour Wood fired Pizza in Lyttelton. ( I loved it! )

  • Visit Akaroa and the Banks Peninsula.

Day 11-12: Lake Tekapo
  • Drive to Lake Tekapo and take in the stunning views of the turquoise lake with the lupins around.

  • Visit the Church of the Good Shepherd and the Lake Tekapo Observatory for stargazing in one of the world's darkest skies. ( The dark sky project )

Day 13: Return to Queenstown
  • Drive back to Queenstown, taking a different route to explore more of the South Island.

  • Explore the Remarkables Range, Arrowtown and Lake Wakatipu, and try bungee jumping at the Kawarau Bridge.

  • Spend the night in Queenstown and enjoy a farewell dinner.

Day 14: Departure
  • Explore Queenstown in the morning, perhaps taking a gondola ride for panoramic views.

  • Depart from Queenstown for your flight back home.

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TE ANAU
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2

WANAKA
FRANZ JOSEf
Christchurch
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5

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ARTHUR'S PASS

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3

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6

Tekapo

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QUeenstown
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