15 days in New Zealand Itinerary

15 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand vacation planner
Make it your trip
Fly to Queenstown, Bus to Te Anau
1
Te Anau
— 3 nights
Bus
2
Queenstown
— 1 night
Fly
3
Wellington
— 1 night
Fly
4
Tongariro National Park
— 3 nights
Drive
5
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
Drive
6
Rotorua
— 3 nights
Fly
7
Auckland
— 1 night
Fly
8
Paihia
— 1 night
Fly

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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.
Explore Te Anau's surroundings by going to Milford Sound (Bowen Falls, Kayaking & Canoeing, &more). Spend the 4th (Sun) exploring at Doubtful Sound. There's much more to do: contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound, trek along Mirror Lakes Walk, explore the fascinating underground world of Te Anau Glowworm Caves, and stroll through Lake Marian Track.

For where to stay, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Te Anau trip planner.

Brisbane, Australia to Te Anau is an approximately 9-hour combination of flight and bus. You'll lose 2 hours traveling from Brisbane to Te Anau due to the time zone difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sun) to allow time to take a bus to Queenstown.
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Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 1 — 4:
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Queenstown — 1 night

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 5th (Mon), stop by The Barn, then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and then get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Queenstown trip itinerary planning website.

You can take a bus from Te Anau to Queenstown in 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Mon) to allow time to fly to Wellington.
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Tours · Outdoors · Spas · Shopping
Find places to stay Dec 4 — 5:
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Wellington — 1 night

Harbour Capital

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.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Tue): see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, take in nature's colorful creations at Wellington Botanic Garden, then take a memorable ride with Wellington Cable Car, and finally see the world from above with a helicopter tour.

To see maps, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Wellington visit site.

Fly from Queenstown to Wellington in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. In December, plan for daily highs up to 22°C, and evening lows to 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Tue) to allow enough time to fly to Tongariro National Park.
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Parks · Museums · Tours · Transportation
Side Trip
Find places to stay Dec 5 — 6:
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Tongariro National Park — 3 nights

Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tongariro National Park: Turangi (Tongariro National Trout Centre & River Rafting & Tubing). On the 7th (Wed), hike the day away at Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Next up on the itinerary: trek along Taranaki Falls, contemplate the geological forces at Mount Ruapehu, take in the dramatic scenery at Tawhai Falls, and stroll through Whakapapa Nature Walk.

Make your Tongariro National Park itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.

You can fly from Wellington to Tongariro National Park in 2.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of train and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Waitomo Caves.
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Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature
Side Trip
Find places to stay Dec 6 — 9:
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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.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Sat): explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, then get a dose of the wild on Spellbound, then admire the sheer force of Marakopa Falls, and finally snap pictures at Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk.

To find reviews, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Waitomo Caves trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by car from Tongariro National Park to Waitomo Caves takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and taxi. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Rotorua.
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Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks
Side Trip
Find places to stay Dec 9 — 10:
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Rotorua — 3 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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Rotorua: Taupo (Souvenir Outlet, Huka Falls Walkway, &more), Hobbiton Movie Set (in Hinuera) and Minden Lookout (in Tauranga). There's much more to do: get interesting insight from Tours, take a peaceful walk through Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest, explore the striking landscape of Waiotapu Boardwalk/ Mud Pool, and relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour.

To see traveler tips, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Rotorua trip builder app.

You can drive from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In December, daytime highs in Rotorua are 25°C, while nighttime lows are 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Tue) to allow enough time to fly to Auckland.
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Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Nature
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 13:
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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.
Kick off your visit on the 14th (Wed): take in panoramic vistas at SkyTower, brush up on your military savvy at Auckland Museum, and then stop by Pauanesia.

To find reviews, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Auckland road trip planning tool.

Traveling by flight from Rotorua to Auckland takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Rotorua in December, you will find days in Auckland are slightly colder (20°C), and nights are about the same (20°C). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Wed) so you can catch the flight to Paihia.
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Find places to stay Dec 13 — 14:
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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.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Thu): look for gifts at Paihia Bookshop, then steep yourself in history at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, and then identify plant and animal life at Paihia Harbour.

To find where to stay, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Paihia trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Auckland to Paihia takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Thu) early enough to fly back home.
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Parks · Historic Sites · Wildlife · Shopping
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 15:
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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.
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