15 days in New Zealand Itinerary

15 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand trip planner

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

S M T W T F S
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31
1
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12

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 (Sat): look for gifts at Paihia Bookshop and then discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 30th (Sun): stroll through Paihia Harbour, steep yourself in history at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, then get in on the family fun at Action World, and finally contemplate the long history of KeriKeri New Zealand.

For photos, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Paihia road trip planner.

Melbourne, Australia to Paihia is an approximately 9-hour flight. Traveling from Melbourne to Paihia, you'll lose 2 hours due to the time zone difference. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Sun) early enough to catch the flight to Rotorua.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks · Wildlife · Historic Sites · Outdoors

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 29 — 30:
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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.
On the 31st (Mon), witness a stunning natural landmark at Te Puia, then take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, then head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, and finally get outside with Outdoor Activities. On the 1st (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take a peaceful walk through Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest, then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and then get outside with Outdoor Activities.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Rotorua journey builder website.

Fly from Paihia to Rotorua in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In January, daily temperatures in Rotorua can reach 27°C, while at night they dip to 19°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Tue) so you can go by car to Taupo.

Things to do in Rotorua

Outdoors · Tours · Nature · Parks
Find places to stay Jan 30 — Feb 1:
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Taupo

— 3 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.
Taupo is known for nature, adventure, and theme parks. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, examine the collection at Taupo Museum, explore the striking landscape at Craters of the Moon, and have fun at Huka Prawn Park.

To see where to stay, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Taupo attractions site.

You can drive from Rotorua to Taupo in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Fri) so you can take a shuttle to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Taupo

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Nature
Find places to stay Feb 1 — 4:
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Tongariro National Park

— 2 nights
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Sat): tour the pleasant surroundings at Taranaki Falls, hike along Whakapapa Nature Walk, trek along Silica Rapids Track, then trek along Ridge Track, and finally go for a walk through Mead's Wall. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: trek along Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, use the Tongariro National Park road trip planning site.

Traveling by shuttle from Taupo to Tongariro National Park takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Sun) early enough to fly to Queenstown.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Nature
Find places to stay Feb 4 — 6:
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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.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Mon): have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and then admire the natural beauty at Queenstown Gardens. Here are some ideas for day two: tour the pleasant surroundings at Kiwi Birdlife Park, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, then get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, and finally whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

For reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Queenstown trip itinerary planner.

Getting from Tongariro National Park to Queenstown by flight takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of taxi, train, ferry, and bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Tue) so you can catch the bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

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

— 4 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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Te Anau: Bowen Falls (in Milford Sound) and Milford Foreshore Walk (in Milford). Spend the 9th (Wed) exploring at Doubtful Sound. On the 12th (Sat), hike the day away at Kepler Track. The adventure continues: contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound, Head underground at Te Anau Glowworm Caves, trek along The Chasm Walk, and take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Te Anau road trip tool.

Getting from Queenstown to Te Anau by bus takes about 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Side Trips

Find places to stay Feb 8 — 12:
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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.