South Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© ChristchurchNZ
South Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days

South Island Honeymoon & Romance Itinerary: 2 Weeks / 14 Days

© ChristchurchNZ
Article Single Pages© NZPocketGuide.com
Article Single Pages© NZPocketGuide.com
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14-Day Honeymoon and Couples Itinerary for the South Island

New Zealand‘s highest mountains, magnificent glaciers, braided rivers, bright blue lakes, lush pastures, dense rainforests and fantastical fiords are all woven into this South Island honeymoon and romance itinerary for 14 days (two weeks). Plan an unforgettable journey with your loved one thanks to this South Island honeymoon itinerary. It features romantic accommodations, activities and transport tips, as well as how to plan this itinerary the EASY way with First Light Travel – more on that at the bottom of the itinerary.

Before we get started, be sure to bookmark The Honeymoon & Romance Guide to New Zealand for even more tips for couples.

South Island Honeymoon Itinerary for 2 Weeks (14 Days): Overview

  • Day 1 – Christchurch Airport to Aoraki Mt Cook National Park
  • Day 2 – Explore Aoraki Mt Cook National Park
  • Day 3 – Aoraki Mt Cook to Oamaru
  • Day 4 – Oamaru to Dunedin
  • Day 5 – Dunedin to The Catlins
  • Day 6 – The Catlins to Te Anau
  • Day 7 – Te Anau to Milford Sound
  • Day 8 – Milford Sound to Queenstown
  • Day 9 – Explore Queenstown
  • Day 10 – Queenstown to Haast
  • Day 11 – Haast to Franz Josef
  • Day 12 – Explore Franz Josef
  • Day 13 – Franz Josef to Greymouth
  • Day 14 – Greymouth to Christchurch Airport

South Island Honeymoon & Romance Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© Mark Clinton - THL

How to Get Around the South Island in 2 Weeks

Following the exact route in this two-week honeymoon and romance itinerary for the South Island requires you to self-drive. We give tips on hiring a vehicle below, as well as additional (and alternative) transport methods to use for travelling 14 days around the South Island on your honeymoon or romantic getaway.

Rental Car or Campervan

Other than your hubby, your most important road trip companion is your rental vehicle. Use a rental company that has depots in Christchurch and Auckland, of which there are many. Get started with your research with The Guide to Renting a Car or The Guide Renting a Campervan in New Zealand.

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. Find out more in the Train Network in New Zealand.

Escorted Tours

If you would rather not drive yourselves 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 10-12-Day Tours of the South Island.

South Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© NZPocketGuide.com

Day 1 – Christchurch Airport to Aoraki Mt Cook National Park

Travel time: 4 hours

It’s real; your two-week honeymoon in the South Island has begun! Pick up your rental car from the Christchurch Airport then hit the road so you can make the most of the South Island’s stunning landscapes from day one.

Watch the landscapes transform from urban to rural to alpine as you travel between Christchurch and Aoraki Mt Cook National Park. A noteworthy town along the way is Geraldine, where you can stop for adventurous white water rafting on the Rangitata River or check out its array of vintage museums. Find out more in the 10 Excellent Things to Do in Geraldine.

The next stop is Lake Tekapo where you can soak together in the soothing waters of Tekapo Springs whilst admiring the views of blue lake waters and the Southern Alps.

Finally, drive alongside the vibrantly blue Lake Pukaki to Aoraki Mt Cook Village. If you have the energy to stay up late, book a stargazing tour at The Hermitage Hotel to learn more about the vivid constellations seen from an International Dark Sky Reserve.

Romantic Accommodation in Mt Cook

Head to the 5 Most Romantic Accommodations in Mt Cook for more details on each recommendation.

South Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© NZPocketGuide.com

Day 2 – Explore Aoraki Mt Cook National Park

It’s taken a lot to get here, not just among New Zealand’s highest mountains but New Zealand itself, so have a lie-in and embrace the epic mountain scenery from your hotel’s restaurant at breakfast. There are various ways to explore the scenery together, from an intimate helicopter flight over Mt Cook with The Helicopter Line to hiking the free walking trails.

Romantic Experiences in Mt Cook

For more details on each experience, see the 9 Romantic Things to Do in Mt Cook.

South Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© Unsplash

Day 3 – Aoraki Mt Cook to Oamaru

Travel time: 2 hrs 40 mins

Travel from the Southern Alps to the Pacific Ocean today as you make your way from Aoraki Mt Cook to Oamaru. Stop by quaint towns like Twizel for its picturesque riverside walk.

Next is Omarama where you can treat yourselves to a soak at Hot Tubs Omarama or check out the pinnacle formations of the Clay Cliffs.

After Omarama, it’s a scenic journey down the Waitaki Valley featuring boutique wineries, unusual rock formations, fossils and historic Maori rock art. We have more details on these attractions in the 7 Bizarre Sights in the Waitaki Valley.

Finally, you’ll reach Oamaru; a town with a healthy Victorian-era, steampunk and penguin obsession. If you have time in the afternoon, treat the senses to the dairy goodness of Whitestone Cheese, which offers factory tours and cheese and wine tastings. We also recommend taking the time to explore the Victorian Precinct adorned with grand whitestone architecture and hiding all sorts of breweries, cafes and bookstores. In the late afternoon/evening, try your luck at spotting rare yellow-eyed penguins from the viewing hides of Bushy Beach.

Romantic Experiences in Oamaru

  • Have a stroll in the Oamaru Public Garden
  • Indulge in a wine and cheese factory tour and tasting at Whitestone Cheese
  • Explore the Victorian Precinct
  • Go penguin-watching at Bushy Beach
  • Treat yourselves to a couples’ hot pool session at the Old Bones Lodge.

See the 8 Romantic Things to Do in Oamaru for more information.

Romantic Accommodation in Oamaru

See the 10 Most Romantic Accommodations in Oamaru for more details on each of our top picks.

South Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© Unsplash

Day 4 – Oamaru to Dunedin

Travel time: 1 hr 30 mins

On the agenda today is travelling to Dunedin, but not without a quick stop at the perfectly spherical Moeraki Boulders for some obligatory honeymoon/holiday snaps.

You should arrive with plenty of time to experience Dunedin, whether it’s learning something new together at the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum or being dazzled by penguins, sea lions and more on the Monarch Wildlife Cruise. You could even treat your loved one to high tea at New Zealand’s only castle, Larnach Castle.

Romantic Experiences in Dunedin

  • Soften your heart with wildlife viewings on the Monarch Wildlife Cruise
  • Treat her to dinner at one of the fine dining restaurants
  • Walk to the “Lovers Leap” on the Otago Peninsula
  • Learn something new together at the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum
  • Enjoy elegant high tea at Larnach Castle.

Learn about each experience, as well as inspiration for a few more activities, in the 10 Romantic Things to Do in Dunedin.

Romantic Accommodation in Dunedin

See 10 Most Romantic Accommodations in Dunedin for more information on each accommodation.

South Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© NZPocketGuide.com

Day 5 – Dunedin to The Catlins

Travel time: 1 hr 10 mins to 2 hrs 20 mins (depending on Catlins accommodation)

Our South Island honeymoon and couples itinerary for 14 days takes you off the beaten path today with a road trip to The Catlins. Tons of free natural attractions scatter the coast, including marine wildlife viewings, lake and estuary walks, caves and lots and lots of waterfalls. See which attractions you’d prefer to visit using the 18 Amazing Attractions You Can’t Miss in The Catlins. What attractions you miss today you’ll be able to pick up tomorrow as you continue along The Catlins.

Romantic Experiences in The Catlins

  • Watch the sunset from the Tautuku Estuary
  • Walk to the picturesque Purakaunui Falls
  • Do an eco-tour with Catlins Tours
  • Admire The Catlins scenery from horseback with Te Taunga Adventures
  • Bask in amazing coastal scenery at Nugget Point.

See the 8 Romantic Things to Do in The Catlins for more details on each experience and others.

Romantic Accommodation in The Catlins

Accommodation in The Catlins is just as scattered as the sights are, so your driving time will depend on where you choose to stay.

Check out the 10 Most Romantic Accommodations in The Catlins for more details on our top recommendations.

South Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© NZPocketGuide.com

Day 6 – The Catlins to Te Anau

Travel time: 2 hrs 40 mins to 4 hours (depending on Catlins accommodation)

Take your time travelling to Te Anau today, as there’s sure to be plenty more in The Catlins left for you to discover. Then, you have the town of Te Anau to look forward to, where romantic activities include admiring the twinkling lights and underground waterfalls of the Te Anau Glowworm Caves (more info on Viator and Klook) and checking out the love birds at the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary.

Romantic Experiences in Te Anau

For more ideas, head to the 10 Incredible Things to Do in Fiordland National Park.

Romantic Accommodation in Te Anau

Learn more about each accommodation in the 10 Most Romantic Accommodations in Te Anau.

South Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© THL

Day 7 – Te Anau to Milford Sound

Travel time: 1 hr 30 mins

Often described as one of the most scenic roads in New Zealand, the Milford Road is best taken slowly (i.e. by taking many stops; not driving at 20 km/h). Indeed, there’s an almost overwhelming number of sights, short walks and long hikes on this glorious journey winding through glacier-carved valleys. Recommended walks include the Lake Marian Track, Mirror Lakes and the Key Summit Track. However, you can curate your own pitstop itinerary using the 15 Unmissable Stops on the Road to Milford Sound and the 10 Best Milford Sound Walks.

Once you arrive in Milford Sound, you have many options to make the most of the glacier-carved scenery. Tours include scenic flights, fiord cruises and short walks. Alternatively, make the night extra special by taking an overnight cruise in the fiord with RealNZ.

Romantic Experiences in Milford Sound

For more Milford Sound ideas, take a look at the 10 Romantic Things to Do in Milford Sound.

Romantic Accommodation in Milford Sound

Milford Sound’s accommodation is extremely limited so be sure to book well in advance. For more accommodation options, check out the 10 Best Accommodations in Milford Sound.

South Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© Destination Queenstown

Day 8 – Milford Sound to Queenstown

Travel time: 3 hrs 35 mins

You lucky twosome get to experience the Milford Road again today, stopping by any of the sights or short walks you might have missed on the way in.

The final destination today is Queenstown, also known as the “Adventure Capital of New Zealand”! Saying that, it also has its fair share of food, wine and relaxation activities. Some of the shorter activities you might be able to squeeze in at the end of the day include a couples’ spa treatment at Body Sanctum Day Spa, a tandem canyon swing on the Nevis or Shotover Canyon Swing or a cruise on the lake with Southern Discoveries (more info on Viator and Klook). We’ll get into the bigger tours tomorrow.

Romantic Accommodation in Queenstown

Find out more details about each accommodation in the 15 Most Romantic Accommodations in Queenstown.

South Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© Destination Queenstown

Day 9 – Explore Queenstown

Today is your chance to tick off more items from your Queenstown must-dos! Check out the 45 Things to Do in Queenstown for some of the top attractions. Alternatively, we list more couple-friendly experiences below.

Romantic Experiences in Queenstown

Find out more about each activity in our list of 10 Romantic Things to Do in Queenstown.

South Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© NZPocketGuide.com

Day 10 – Queenstown to Haast

Travel time: 2 hr 50 mins

Today is 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 Things to Do in Wanaka.

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 in landscape on 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 accommodations, take a look at the 5 Most Romantic Accommodations in Haast.

South Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© westcoast.co.nz

Day 11 – Haast to Franz Josef

Travel time: 1 hr 55 mins

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 Experiences in Haast

  • Enjoy one of Haast’s romantic walks
  • Land by alpine lakes or fly to Milford Sound via helicopter with HeliServices.NZ or Greenstone Helicopters
  • Take a scenic fixed-wing flight over a World Heritage Area with Knights Point Air
  • Enjoy a romantic stroll on Haast Beach
  • Experience the Mt Aspiring National Park scenery via jet boat with Waiatoto River Safari.

Check out the 6 Romantic Things to Do in Haast 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 10 Most Romantic Accommodations in Franz Josef for more details on each activity.

South Island Honeymoon & Romance Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© NZPocketGuide.com

Day 12 – 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 with The Helicopter Line (more info on Viator and KKday), team up in a double kayak for a lake tour with Franz Josef Wilderness Tours (on Viator and Klook), tackle glacier-formed terrain on ATVs and much more!

Romantic Experiences in Franz Josef

Take a look at the 10 Romantic Things to Do in Franz Josef for more details on each experience.

South Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© NZPocketGuide.com

Day 13 – Franz Josef to Greymouth

Travel time: 2 hrs 15 mins

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 and watching that famous West Coast sunset from Rapahoe Beach.

Romantic Experiences in Greymouth

  • Watch the West Coast sunset from Rapahoe Beach
  • Immerse in a cultural experience on a greenstone tour with Arahura Greenstone
  • Tackle the West Coast Wilderness Trail together
  • Buddy up or go solo on a self-drive 4WD tour with On Yer Bike
  • Tour the Monteith’s Brewery.

For more details on each experience, see the 10 Romantic Things to Do in Greymouth.

Romantic Accommodation in Greymouth

Check out the 7 Most Romantic Accommodations in Greymouth for more about each accommodation.

South Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© ChristchurchNZ

Day 14 – Greymouth to Christchurch Airport

Travel time: 3 hrs 10 mins

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, railway trip if you have chosen a car rental company that does one-way rentals from Christchurch to Greymouth. That way, you can take the TranzAlpine train back to Christchurch. Find out more about the train on our guide to the Train Network in New Zealand.)

Gorge the gorgeous views of the Arthur’s Pass National Park, stopping in Arthur’s Pass village for walks like the Devil’s 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 Kura Tawhiti (Castle Hill) for its bizarre limestone outcrops accessed on a 20-minute walk.

Have a Kiwi savoury pie at the Sheffield Store 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.

South Island Honeymoon & Romance Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© First Light Travel

Plan This Honeymoon Itinerary with First Light Travel

If you like this South Island honeymoon and romance itinerary for two weeks but don’t like the hassle of planning everything yourself, then there’s a way to lighten the load. First Light Travel is an online travel agent specialising in honeymoon itineraries in New Zealand. Plus, using their service is super simple:

  • First, send First Light Travel an enquiry by completing their online form
  • Then, you’ll receive your customised honeymoon itinerary
  • Review your itinerary and work with your First Light Travel agent on perfecting it
  • Finally, First Light Travel will organise the rest including the bookings.

First Light Travel has access to more than 20,000 travel products, including almost all the tours and accommodations featured on this list (and more). With that and their local expertise here in New Zealand, they will create a well-catered honeymoon itinerary to meet your needs while also suggesting some dream travel experiences that you may have never heard of. They only work with companies where their past clients have had positive experiences, so you know you’re in good hands.

What’s more, all of the bookings are arranged by First Light Travel, so instead of having to contact each individual accommodation and operator should your travel plans change, any amendments can be done through your FLT agent – easy! Did we mention the service is at no extra cost to you?!

For more information on planning your own New Zealand itinerary, see How to Create the Perfect New Zealand Road Trip Itinerary. Or better yet, jump on firstlighttravel.com and start making your own itinerary there.

More About a South Island Honeymoon and Romance Itinerary for 2 Weeks / 14 Days

That’s it for our South Island honeymoon and romance itinerary for 14 days. If that wasn’t the itinerary you were looking for, check out these alternative 14-day itineraries:

Finally, get more advice on planning more of your couples’ trip to New Zealand with The Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to New Zealand.

Sources:

The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Laura S.

This article has been reviewed and published by Laura, the editor-in-chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Laura is a first-class honours journalism graduate and a travel journalist with expertise in New Zealand and South Pacific tourism for over 10 years. She also runs travel guides for five of the top destinations in the South Pacific and is the co-host of over 250 episodes of the NZ Travel Show on YouTube.

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