13 days in New Zealand Itinerary

13 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand holiday builder

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Route & dates

13 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: San Francisco
Fly:  18​h
1
Christchurch
— 1 night
2
Kaikoura
— Few hours
Drive:  3​h 45​min
3
Abel Tasman National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
4
Wellington
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h 45​min
5
Rotorua
— 3 nights
6
Auckland
— 1 night
Fly:  15​h 30​min
End: San Francisco

1
night
Christchurch

Christchurch ©
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Sat): take an in-depth tour of Canterbury Museum, make a trip to Diminish and Ascend, examine the collection at International Antarctic Centre, then have some family-friendly fun at Velocity Karts, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Christchurch Cathedral, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Cardboard Cathedral.

To see traveler tips, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Christchurch online travel route planner .

San Francisco, USA to Christchurch is an approximately 18-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. You'll lose 20 hours traveling from San Francisco to Christchurch due to the time zone difference. Traveling from San Francisco in September, things will get little chillier in Christchurch: highs are around 57°F and lows about 40°F. On the 8th (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can take a bus to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Christchurch

Historic Sites Museums Outdoors
Find places to stay Sep 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Velocity Karts ©
Velocity Karts
Canterbury Museum ©
Canterbury Museum
International Antarctic Centre ©
International Antarctic Centre

few
hours
Kaikoura

Kaikoura ©
Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
To find maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Kaikoura tour itinerary maker site .

You can take a bus from Christchurch to Kaikoura in 3 hours. Other options are to take a train; or drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sun) so you can travel to Abel Tasman National Park.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Outdoors Wildlife Tours
Find places to stay Sep 8 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Ohau Stream Walk ©
Ohau Stream Walk
Dolphin & Whale Watching

3
nights
Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park ©
Pristine blue water, immaculate white sand, and a thick, temperate rainforest make Abel Tasman National Park a natural jewel on the northern coast of Tasmania's South Island.
Escape the urban bustle at Abel Tasman Coast Track and Kaiteriteri Beach. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Riwaka River Estate and Lollokiki Sculpture 705. On the 10th (Tue), spend an adventurous day with a kayaking and canoeing tour. The adventure continues: trek along Wainui Falls Track, explore the activities along Stilwell Bay, stroll through Riwaka Resurgence, and grab your bike and head to Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park.

For photos, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Abel Tasman National Park itinerary maker .

Explore your travel options from Kaikoura to Abel Tasman National Park with the Route module. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Abel Tasman National Park

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Kaiteriteri, Harwoods Hole Track, Riwaka Resurgence, Riwaka River Estate, The Grove Scenic Reserve
Find places to stay Sep 8 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Abel Tasman Coast Track ©
Abel Tasman Coast Track
Kayaking & Canoeing
Wainui Falls Track ©
Wainui Falls Track

1
night
Wellington

Wellington
Wellington, the world's southernmost capital city and New Zealand's second most populous urban area, combines the nation's rugged history and nature with its modern and cosmopolitan present.
For where to stay, photos, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Wellington trip itinerary planner.

Explore your travel options from Abel Tasman National Park to Wellington with the Route module. In September in Wellington, expect temperatures between 57°F during the day and 48°F at night. You will leave for Rotorua on the 13th (Fri).

Things to do in Wellington

Outdoors Parks Tours
Find places to stay Sep 12 — 13:

3
nights
Rotorua

Rotorua ©
Surrounded by lakes and featuring impressive areas of geothermal landscape, the city of Rotorua offers an otherwordly landscape and a welcoming, peaceful environment, with the culture of the native Maori people very much in the foreground.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Opepe Scenic and Historic Reserve and Whakarewarewa - The Living Maori Village. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Buried Village of Te Wairoa and Government Gardens. Explore Rotorua's surroundings by going to Taupo (Taupo Museum, Huka Falls Walkway, & more) and Tukairangi Gallery (in Acacia Bay). The adventure continues: take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, pause for some serene contemplation at St. Faith's Anglican Church, steep yourself in history at Ohinemutu, and do a tasting at Volcanic Hills Winery.

To see reviews, photos, maps, and other tourist information, use the Rotorua trip planner .

You can fly from Wellington to Rotorua in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. In September, daily temperatures in Rotorua can reach 61°F, while at night they dip to 48°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Mon) early enough to drive to Auckland.

Things to do in Rotorua

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trip

Taupo
Find places to stay Sep 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours

1
night
Auckland

Auckland ©
The largest and most populous city in New Zealand, Auckland combines a rich history and thriving contemporary culture in an abundance of museums, art galleries, and performance venues.
To find other places to visit, photos, ratings, and tourist information, use the Auckland trip maker app .

Traveling by car from Rotorua to Auckland takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. When traveling from Rotorua in September, plan for slightly colder days in Auckland, with highs around 55°F, while nights are a bit warmer with lows around 55°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Tue) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trip

Stockade Hill
Find places to stay Sep 16 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Mount Eden ©
Mount Eden
Howick Historical Village ©
Howick Historical Village
Stockade Hill ©
Stockade Hill

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