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
+2
Taxi to Whangarei Airport, Fly to Hamilton Airport, Taxi to Waitomo Caves
2
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
Drive
3
Rotorua
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Taupo
— 2 nights
Shuttle
5
Tongariro National Park
— 2 nights
Fly
6
Queenstown
— 2 nights
Bus
7
Te Anau
— 4 nights
Bus to Queenstown, Fly to Sydney

S M T W T F S
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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 1st (Sat): look for gifts at The Cabbage Tree Shop and then see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stroll through Paihia Harbour, contemplate the long history of Waitangi Treaty Grounds, and then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

Plan trip to Paihia with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

Sydney, Australia to Paihia is an approximately 8.5-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 2 hours traveling from Sydney to Paihia. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sun) so you can travel to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife · Outdoors · Tours · Parks
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 2:

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.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Mon): explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, and then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour.

To see photos, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Waitomo Caves trip planner.

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Paihia to Waitomo Caves in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Mon) so you can go by car to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Adventure
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 3:

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.
Start off your visit on the 4th (Tue): delve into the lush surroundings at Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, 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 in the natural beauty of Te Puia, take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Rainbow Springs Nature Park.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Rotorua online trip builder.

Traveling by car from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 27°C, and evening lows to 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Taupo.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 5:

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 6th (Thu): push the limits with an extreme tour, take in the dramatic scenery at Huka Falls Walkway, and then take in the dramatic natural features at Spa Thermal Park and Riverbank Recreational and Scenic Reserve. Keep things going the next day: let little ones run wild at Huka Prawn Park, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and then don't miss a visit to Maori Rock Carvings.

To find photos, maps, and tourist information, use the Taupo online attractions planner.

Getting from Rotorua to Taupo by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Fri) to allow enough time to take a shuttle to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Taupo

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Adventure
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 7:

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 8th (Sat): trek along Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Here are some ideas for day two: trek along Silica Rapids Track, stroll through Whakapapa Nature Walk, admire the sheer force of Taranaki Falls, then take in the dramatic scenery at Tawhai Falls, and finally trek along Mounds Walk.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Tongariro National Park trip itinerary maker site.

You can take a shuttle from Taupo to Tongariro National Park in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sun) so you can catch the flight to Queenstown.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 9:

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 10th (Mon): have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Kiwi Birdlife Park, then get outside with Outdoor Activities, and finally indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas. On the next day, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Wakatipu, take in nature's colorful creations at Queenstown Gardens, and then kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

To see where to stay, ratings, maps, and tourist information, go to the Queenstown trip planning tool.

Traveling by flight from Tongariro National Park to Queenstown takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of taxi, train, ferry, and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Tue) to allow enough time to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Parks · Outdoors · Tours · Fun & Games
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 11:

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.
Spend the 12th (Wed) exploring at Doubtful Sound. On the 14th (Fri), hike the day away at Hollyford Track. The adventure continues: explore the activities along Milford Sound, cast your line with a fishing tour, tour the pleasant surroundings at Ivan Wilson Park, and trek along Gertrude Saddle.

To find maps, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Te Anau holiday app.

Traveling by bus from Queenstown to Te Anau takes 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Wildlife

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 11 — 15:

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.