7-Day Honeymoon and Couples Itinerary for the South Island
You might only have one week on the South Island (hint: it’s not enough time!) but at least you have the rest of your lives together. Nevertheless, we’ll help you make the most of a 7 days’ honeymoon or romantic getaway to the South Island of New Zealand with this eventful itinerary incorporating gorgeous scenery, unforgettable activities and romantic accommodations. Start planning your getaway with this South Island honeymoon and romance itinerary for one week.
Before we get started, be sure to bookmark The Honeymoon Guide & Romantic Getaway to New Zealand for even more honeymoon tips.
7-Day South Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Overview
- Day 1 – Queenstown Airport to Queenstown
- Day 2 – Explore Queenstown (or fly to Milford Sound)
- Day 3 – Queenstown to Haast
- Day 4 – Haast to Franz Josef
- Day 5 – Explore Franz Josef
- Day 6 – Franz Josef to Greymouth
- Day 7 – Greymouth to Christchurch Airport
How to Get Around the South Island in One Week
Following the exact route in this one-week honeymoon and romance itinerary for New Zealand requires you to drive yourselves. We give tips on hiring a vehicle below, as well as additional (and alternative) transport methods for travelling 7 days around the South Island.
- Rental car or campervan – Other than your other half, your most important road trip companion is your rental vehicle. As this itinerary starts and ends in Christchurch, you have the easy task of returning your vehicle where you started. Get started with your research with The Guide to Renting a Car or Campervan in New Zealand and The Best Car Rental Companies in Christchurch.
- Train – If you get a one-way car rental from Christchurch to Greymouth, instead of returning your vehicle to Christchurch, you have the option to take the TranzAlpine train journey through Arthur’s Pass instead of driving. Find out more in the Train Network in New Zealand.
- Escorted tours – If you would rather not self-drive around the South Island, escorted bus tours provide an effortless alternative. Note, however, that escorted tours follow their own set itineraries rather than the one listed below. Check out a range of tours in The Best 7-Day Tours of the South Island.
Day 1 – Queenstown Airport to Queenstown
Travel time: 10 minutes
Welcome to the South Island and the start of your glorious one-week honeymoon. You have a couple of days in Queenstown to either scare the jet lag away with some adrenaline activities, sip it away with a wine tour (on Viator and Tripadvisor), or walk it off to some breathtaking scenery.
Pick your first honeymoon dinner from the recommendations in The Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to Queenstown then kick back at one of the gorgeous accommodations we’ve picked out for you.
Romantic Accommodation in Queenstown
Find out more details about each accommodation in the 10 Best Romantic Accommodations in Queenstown.
Day 2 – Explore Queenstown (or Fly to Milford Sound)
Today is your chance to tick off more items from your Queenstown bucket list, which might include some of the following honeymoon and romantic getaway-related experiences.
Romantic Activities in Queenstown
- Fly to a remote picnic destination (more info on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook)
- Sample Otago wines on a wine tour (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Cruise around Queenstown’s gorgeous lake (on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook)
- Smell the flowers at the Queenstown Gardens
- Go horse trekking at a high country farm (on Viator, Tripadvisor, Klook and KKday).
Find out more about each activity in our list of 10 Romantic Activities in Queenstown for Couples.
Day Trip to Milford Sound
Alternatively, this could be the day that you experience the “Eighth Wonder of the World”, Milford Sound. With such limited time on the South Island and the fact that it’s your honeymoon, we recommend treating yourselves to a scenic flight to Milford Sound for a fiord cruise before returning to Queenstown. Learn more about such tours in the 5 Best Scenic Flights to Milford Sound from Queenstown. These are much faster than the otherwise 12-hour experience of driving or bus touring to Milford Sound for a cruise entails.
Day 3 – Queenstown to Haast
Travel time: 2h50mins
It’s finally time to hit the road and, today, it’s all about the journey. Set off early with a quick detour to Arrowtown for its cute gold-mining town buildings, as well as the attractions listed in the 10 Amazing Things to Do in Arrowtown.
Then, it’s over the Crown Range to the Cardrona Valley with glorious views all the way to Wanaka. Stop off in Wanaka to stretch your legs on the lakefront, have lunch or do any of the items we list in the 10 Romantic Activities in Wanaka for Couples.
After driving along the shores of Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka, you’ll venture over the Haast Pass and the pristine Mt Aspiring National Park. Some of the most stunning stops along the Haast Pass include the Blue Pools of Haast, Thundercreek Falls and Fantail Falls.
Finally, you’ll feel the stark difference of the West Coast of the South Island as you reach Haast, a tiny town with a ruggedly beautiful beach scattered with driftwood and a backdrop of mountains. The place feels like a world of its own.
Romantic Accommodation in Haast
For more information on these stays, take a look at the 5 Best Romantic Accommodations in Haast.
Day 4 – Haast to Franz Josef
Travel time: 1h55mins
This morning, you might like to experience one of Haast’s charming walks or remote jet boat tours taking you from the sea to the mountains, as listed below.
Romantic Activities in Haast
- Experience the Mt Aspiring National Park scenery via jet boat (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Sample one of Haast’s romantic walks
- Land by alpine lakes via helicopter
- Take a scenic fixed-wing flight over the World Heritage Area
- Enjoy a stroll on Haast Beach.
Check out the 6 Romantic Activities in Haast for Couples for more details on each activity.
When you’re ready to leave Haast, make your way north where you might like to stop at Monro Beach or Ship Creek to admire more of the wild coastal landscapes.
Franz Josef is your final destination. You might want to try your chances at doing a helicopter flight or heli-hike on the glacier if the weather is good (because the weather can change in an instant, causing your tour to be cancelled). Otherwise, we’ll get into more experiences Franz Josef has to offer tomorrow.
Romantic Accommodation in Franz Josef
See the 5 Best Romantic Accommodations in Franz Josef for more details on each activity.
Day 5 – Explore Franz Josef
Franz Josef might be a tiny town, but you are spoiled for choice when it comes to unforgettable honeymoon experiences. For instance, see the famous West Coast glaciers from above on an intimate helicopter flight (more info on Viator, Tripadvisor and KKday), team up in a double kayak for a lake tour (on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook), tackle glacier-formed terrain on ATVs (on Viator or Tripadvisor) and much more!
Romantic Activities in Franz Josef
- Fly over both the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers and land on the snow in a helicopter (more info on Viator, Tripadvisor and KKday)
- Paddle in a kayak on the mirror-like waters of Lake Mapourika (on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook)
- Do one of Franz Josef beautiful walks
- Tackle the rugged terrain left by the glacier on an ATV together (on Viator or Tripadvisor)
- Soak in private rainforest hot pools (on Viator or Tripadvisor).
Take a look at the 8 Romantic Activities in Franz Josef for Couples for more details on each experience.
Day 6 – Franz Josef to Greymouth
Travel time: 2h15mins
Your final destination today is Greymouth, but not without stopping by the cool little coastal town of Hokitika. Here, you can carve each other a souvenir greenstone pendant or take a detour to the brilliant blue pools of Hokitika Gorge. Find out more in the 10 Awesome Things to Do in Hokitika.
There’s more to do in Greymouth once you arrive, such as sampling New Zealand beer at the Monteith’s Brewery (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor) and watching that famous West Coast sunset from Rapahoe Beach.
Romantic Activities in Greymouth
- Watch the sunset from Rapahoe Beach
- Cycle the West Coast Wilderness Trail together
- Buddy up on a self-drive 4WD tour (more info on Viator or Tripadvisor)
- Sample New Zealand beer on the Monteith’s Brewery tour (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Learn how to find greenstone on a Maori greenstone tour (on Viator and Tripadvisor).
For more details on each experience, see the 10 Romantic Activities in Greymouth for Couples.
Romantic Accommodation in Greymouth
Check out the 6 Best Romantic Accommodations in Greymouth for more about each accommodation.
Day 7 – Greymouth to Christchurch Airport
Travel time: 3h10mins
Enjoy your final morning on the West Coast because it’s time to leave this wild side of the South Island for one last breathtaking alpine road trip. (Or, train trip if you have chosen a car rental company that does one-way rentals from Christchurch to Greymouth. That way, you have the option to take the TranzAlpine train back to Christchurch. Find out more about the train on our guide to the Train Network in New Zealand.)
Revel in the gorgeous views of the Arthur’s Pass National Park, stopping in Arthur’s Pass village for walks like the Devils Punchbowl and Arthur’s Pass Walking Track for waterfalls and likely encounters with the world’s only alpine parrot species, keas.
Once you reach the other side of Arthur’s Pass, check out the Kura Tawhiti Conservation Area (Castle Hill) for its bizarre limestone outcrops accessed on a 20-minute walk.
Have a Kiwi savoury pie in Sheffield before the last leg of the journey following the Waimakariri River to Christchurch Airport.
It’s goodbye to the South Island but hello to the rest of your lives together!
More About a South Island Honeymoon and Romance Itinerary for One Week / 7 Days
That’s it for our South Island honeymoon and romance itinerary for 7 days. If that wasn’t the itinerary you were looking for, check out these alternative 7-day itineraries:
- North Island Honeymoon Itinerary: One Week / 7 Days
- South Island in One Week: New Zealand Road Trip Itinerary
- South Island Budget & Backpacking Itinerary: One Week / 7 Days
- South Island Luxury Itinerary: One Week / 7 Days
- South Island Foodie Itinerary: One Week / 7 Days
- How to Create the Perfect New Zealand Road Trip Itinerary
Finally, get more advice on planning more of your couples’ trip to New Zealand with The Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to New Zealand.