13 days in New Zealand Itinerary

13 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

13 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Canberra
Fly + bus:  11​h
1
Te Anau
— 2 nights
bus:  3​h 15​min
2
Queenstown
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h 15​min
3
Wellington
— 1 night
Fly:  3​h
4
Rotorua
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
5
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
6
Auckland
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
7
Paihia
— 2 nights
Fly:  10​h
End: Canberra

2
nights
Te Anau

Te Anau ©
Set among the picturesque peaks and glacially carved fiords of Fiordland National Park, Te Anau offers those wishing to explore the park a great place to stay and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of a small town in an enviable location.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Tue): hike along The Chasm Walk, then contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Lake Gunn. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 18th (Wed): get great views at Te Anau Lion Lookout Point, explore the activities along Ivan Wilson Park, and then explore the activities along Doubtful Sound.

To see reviews, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Te Anau day trip planning app .

Canberra, Australia to Te Anau is an approximately 11-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also do a combination of bus and flight. You'll lose 2 hours traveling from Canberra to Te Anau due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Wed) so you can take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

Lake Gunn
Find places to stay Sep 16 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound
The Chasm Walk ©
The Chasm Walk

2
nights
Queenstown

Queenstown ©
Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
On the 19th (Thu), take a memorable tour with Tours, then look for gifts at Amisfield Cellar Door, and then have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown. On your second day here, steep yourself in history at Fallen Soldiers Memorial, then get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, and then fly down the slopes at Coronet Peak.

To find reviews, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, read our Queenstown driving holiday planning site .

Traveling by bus from Te Anau to Queenstown takes 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Nature Winter Sports
Find places to stay Sep 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Speed Boats Tours
Coronet Peak ©
Coronet Peak

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.
On the 21st (Sat), get engrossed in the history at The Great War Exhibition, take in nature's colorful creations at Wellington Botanic Garden, then take a memorable ride with Wellington Cable Car, and finally see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

To find photos, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Wellington trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Queenstown to Wellington takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of car and ferry. September in Wellington sees daily highs of 16°C and lows of 10°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) so you can travel to Rotorua.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums Parks Transportation

Side Trip

Wellington Botanic Garden
Find places to stay Sep 20 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
The Great War Exhibition ©
The Great War Exhibition
Wellington Cable Car ©
Wellington Cable Car

3
nights
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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Taupo (Huka Falls Walkway & Adrenaline & Extreme Tours) and Hobbiton Movie Set (in Hinuera). There's lots more to do: take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, don't miss a visit to Te Puia, take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, and get interesting insight from Tours.

To see photos, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Rotorua online day trip planner .

Getting from Wellington to Rotorua by flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. In September, plan for daily highs up to 19°C, and evening lows to 10°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) early enough to drive to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Rotorua

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Taupo, Hobbiton Movie Set
Find places to stay Sep 21 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway

1
night
Waitomo Caves

Head deep beneath the surface of the earth at Waitomo Caves, a village and cave system that draws both extreme sports enthusiasts and those wanting something a little more relaxed.
Start off your visit on the 25th (Wed): Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves, then trek along Ruakuri Walk, then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and finally get outside with Waitomo Clay Birds.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, use the Waitomo Caves trip itinerary builder site .

Traveling by car from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Auckland.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors Adventure Tours
Find places to stay Sep 24 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Waitomo Clay Birds ©
Waitomo Clay Birds

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.
On the 26th (Thu), contemplate the waterfront views at Devonport, then brush up on your military savvy at Auckland War Memorial Museum, and then take in panoramic vistas at Sky Tower.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Auckland sightseeing planning app .

Traveling by car from Waitomo Caves to Auckland takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In September in Auckland, expect temperatures between 15°C during the day and 15°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Paihia.

Things to do in Auckland

Museums Nature Parks
Find places to stay Sep 25 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Sky Tower ©
Sky Tower
Auckland War Memorial Museum ©
Auckland War Memorial Museum
Devonport ©
Devonport

2
nights
Paihia

Paihia ©
The main tourist town in the Bay of Islands area, Paihia gives visitors a good range of accommodations, a convenient town center, long sandy beaches, and interesting architecture.
On the 27th (Fri), admire all the interesting features of Waitangi Treaty Grounds, tee off at Waitangi Golf Club, and then make a trip to KeriKeri New Zealand. Keep things going the next day: indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, then stop by Paihia Bookshop, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Paihia Harbour.

For more things to do, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Paihia travel route builder .

Getting from Auckland to Paihia by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks Golf Outdoors

Side Trip

KeriKeri New Zealand
Find places to stay Sep 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Waitangi Golf Club ©
Waitangi Golf Club
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour

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