The south island of New Zealand is quite different from the north. Some locals would say that the south is really the iconic New Zealand that travelers come to see. It’s much bigger than the north island, far less populated…and the landscapes truly are breathtaking! After spending weeks driving around the south island of New Zealand in an RV, we have a good idea about the best road trip route to take and what the most popular spots are. So check out our recommended 20 day trip around the south island of New Zealand. If you have less time, you can always eliminate some stops and move faster. You can also make some modifications and combine it with our North Island New Zealand itinerary.
Download the Itinerary Here
South Island of New Zealand Travel Itinerary – 20 Day Trip
PoP Travel Tip:
New Zealand is home to a great camping culture – “freestyle camping” as it is often called, means that you are legally able to camp on land in New Zealand as long as it isn’t private owned, or if there are not signs prohibiting it. As a result, locals and visitors alike enjoy the freedom of RVs or converted minivans to explore without restrictions or constraints of a hotel. The only place camping can be an issue is if you are in a city or larger town, because there is a lack of open / non-private land that is convenient to town. However, holiday / camping parks are also throughout New Zealand – and they offer a good location, lots of amenities, and are an affordable option to many hotels.
Accommodations We Recommend for Your Trip to New Zealand – North Island
Through careful research and our own experience, we’ve put together some quick links to some recommended hotels based on their location, amenities, value-value added services (such as breakfast), and ratings / reviews from other travelers.
|Christchurch||Orari Bed & Breakfast|
|CentrePoint on Colombo Motel|
|Kaikoura||Fyffe Country Lodge|
|Kaikoura Boutique Hotel|
|Dolphin Lodge Backpackers Hostel|
|Blenheim||Anglesea House & Garden|
|Two Tree Lodge|
|Picton||Harbour View Motel|
|Punakaiki||Te Nikau Retreat|
|The Westport Hotel|
|Franz Josef / Glacier Area||Franz Josef Montrose Lodge|
|Queenstown||Larch Hill Bed & Breakfast / Homestay|
|Oaks Club Resort|
|Blue Peaks Lodge|
|Sir Cedrics Tahuna Pod Hostel|
|Te Anau / Milford area||Fiordland National Park Lodge|
|Te Anau Lakefront Backpackers|
|Mt. Cook area||Omahau Downs House|
|** Rent a Campervan!||Campervans are popular in New Zealand – and open (free) camping is available nearly everywhere, while also having plenty of nice campgounds with amenities too. Many companies offer rentals online.|
Activities & Tickets During Your trip to New Zealand – North Island
One of the great aspects of visiting New Zealand is all the beautiful outdoor activities. From hiking, biking, rafting, skiing – and even extreme activities like bungee. For the south island of New Zealand, it’s really all about the natural landscapes and outdoor activities. But on the top of the north island, there’s also a magnificent wine tradition – with lots of fabulous wineries to visit. To assist you with your trip planning, we’ve picked out some of the top things to do in the most popular areas of the North Island of New Zealand and included them below.
Download This 14 Day North Island New Zealand Travel Itinerary:
Use this pre-made itinerary for your own trip, or use it as a base to get started and make your own customizations!