14 days in New Zealand Itinerary

14 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand route planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Paihia
— 1 night
Fly
2
Auckland
— 1 night
Drive
3
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
Drive
4
Rotorua
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Taupo
— 2 nights
Shuttle
6
Tongariro National Park
— 1 night
Fly
7
Queenstown
— 2 nights
Bus
8
Te Anau
— 3 nights
Bus to Queenstown, Fly to Sydney

S M T W T F S
26
27
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29
30
31
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5
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12
13
14
15

Paihia

— 1 night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Wed): look for gifts at Paihia Bookshop and then surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour. Keep things going the next day: stroll through Paihia Harbour, get outside with Outdoor Activities, then take in nature's colorful creations at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, and finally make a trip to KeriKeri New Zealand.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Paihia travel route builder.

Sydney, Australia to Paihia is an approximately 8.5-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Australian Eastern Standard Time to New Zealand Standard Time is 2 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Thu) to allow time to fly to Auckland.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife · Outdoors · Parks · Tours

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 29 — 30:
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Auckland

— 1 night

City of Sails

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.
Start off your visit on the 31st (Fri): enjoy the thrill of live dance at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium, then get engrossed in the history at Auckland Museum, then look for gifts at Pauanesia, and finally take in panoramic vistas at SkyTower.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, use the Auckland travel tool.

Fly from Paihia to Auckland in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 20°C, and evening lows to 20°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Fri) early enough to go by car to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Auckland

Museums · Zoos & Aquariums · Nightlife · Parks
Find places to stay Dec 30 — 31:
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Waitomo Caves

— 1 night
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.
On the 1st (Sat), explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, then skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

To find ratings, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Waitomo Caves route app.

You can drive from Auckland to Waitomo Caves in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sat) so you can drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Adventure
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 1:
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Rotorua

— 2 nights

Sulphur City

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.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Sun): take a peaceful walk through Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest, then witness a stunning natural landmark at Te Puia, and then whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, make a trip to Fancy Meow Cat Cafe, then witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Waiotapu Boardwalk/ Mud Pool, and finally push the limits with an extreme tour.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, use the Rotorua road trip tool.

You can drive from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In January in Rotorua, expect temperatures between 27°C during the day and 19°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Taupo.

Things to do in Rotorua

Nature · Parks · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 1 — 3:
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Taupo

— 2 nights

Great Cloak of Tia

The resort town of Taupo lies on the banks of Lake Taupo, the largest body of water in the whole of Australasia.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Tue): don't miss a visit to Aratiatia Rapids, admire the sheer force of Huka Falls Walkway, and then push the limits with an extreme tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 5th (Wed): stop by Huka Honey Hive, add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, and then make a trip to Maori Rock Carvings.

To find ratings, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Taupo road trip planning app.

You can drive from Rotorua to Taupo in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Wed) early enough to take a shuttle to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Taupo

Outdoors · Tours · Adventure · Nature
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 5:
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Tongariro National Park

— 1 night
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Thu): stroll through Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

For traveler tips, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Tongariro National Park holiday planner.

Getting from Taupo to Tongariro National Park by shuttle takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Thu) so you can fly to Queenstown.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Outdoors · Parks · Trails
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 6:
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Highlights from your trip

Queenstown

— 2 nights

Shallow Bay

Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
On the 7th (Fri), take in nature's colorful creations at Queenstown Gardens, head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, and then get outside with Outdoor Activities. Here are some ideas for day two: have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Kiwi Birdlife Park, then head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, and finally indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

For ratings, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Queenstown itinerary site.

Fly from Tongariro National Park to Queenstown in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of taxi, train, ferry, and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Sat) to allow time to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Fun & Games
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 8:
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Te Anau

— 3 nights
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.
Change things up with a short trip to Bowen Falls in Milford Sound (about 1h 5 min away). On the 9th (Sun), hike the day away at Hollyford Track. And it doesn't end there: explore the activities along Milford Sound, tour the pleasant surroundings at Te Anau Bird Sanctuary, trek along The Chasm Walk, and see what you can catch with a fishing tour.

For ratings, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, read Te Anau tour builder.

Take a bus from Queenstown to Te Anau in 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Tue) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 8 — 11:
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New Zealand travel guide

4.5
Land of the Long White Cloud
Far-flung New Zealand has become known for its astounding topography, singular biodiversity, varied climate, and for marrying native Maori and post-colonial European cultures on its two main islands and the multitude of smaller landmasses dotted around them. Free-spirited New Zealanders cultivate a love of sports, sustainability, and the outdoors. Far from other landmasses, the islands existed for millions of years before being inhabited by humans, so an abundance of species have come to thrive in the thick, wild rainforest, vast and rugged backland, and extensive surrounding marine areas. While much of New Zealand tourism centers around adventures through this spectacular scenery, take time to explore the nation's rich cultural heritage as well. The traditions and history of the Maoris, and the industry and internationalism of the descendents of the first European settlers endure in fascinating attractions, ranging from museums, to farms, to places of worship.