16 days in New Zealand Itinerary

16 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand vacation planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Rotorua
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Taupo
— 4 nights
Fly
3
Wellington
— 1 night
Fly
4
Christchurch
— 1 night
Fly
5
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Fly
6
Auckland
— 1 night
Fly

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Rotorua

— 4 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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to River Rafting & Tubing and 3D Trick Art Gallery. Bring the kids along to Zipline and Mount Maunganui Base Track. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Rotorua: Mount Maunganui (Moturiki Island & Mount Maunganui Summit Track). And it doesn't end there: push the limits with an extreme tour, take a peaceful walk through Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest, take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, and trot along with a tour on horseback.

To see other places to visit, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Rotorua online road trip planner.

Cairns, Australia to Rotorua is an approximately 10-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 2 hours traveling from Cairns to Rotorua. Prepare for slightly colder weather when traveling from Cairns in January: high temperatures in Rotorua hover around 74°F and lows are around 61°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Taupo.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Tours

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 25 — 30:

Taupo

— 4 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.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Taupo Museum and L'Arte. Get outdoors at Huka Falls Walkway and Huka Falls. There's still lots to do: get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, grab your bike and head to Great Lake Trail, tour the pleasant surroundings at Kinloch Beach, and cast your line with a fishing tour.

To find more things to do, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Taupo trip planner.

You can drive from Rotorua to Taupo in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) so you can catch the flight to Wellington.

Things to do in Taupo

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Museums

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 30 — Feb 3:

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 3rd (Fri): steep yourself in history at Wellington Railway Station, then admire the landmark architecture of Old St Paul's, then take a memorable ride with Wellington Cable Car, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Saint Mary of the Angels.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Wellington online driving holiday planner.

Fly from Taupo to Wellington in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. February in Wellington sees daily highs of 70°F and lows of 59°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sat) so you can fly to Christchurch.

Things to do in Wellington

Historic Sites · Transportation
Find places to stay Feb 3 — 4:

Christchurch

— 1 night

Garden City

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Sat): examine the collection at International Antarctic Centre, then admire the striking features of The Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora, then get engrossed in the history at Canterbury Museum, and finally admire the natural beauty at Christchurch Botanic Gardens.

To see ratings, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Christchurch trip builder website.

Traveling by flight from Wellington to Christchurch takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Plan for slightly colder nights when traveling from Wellington in February since evenings lows in Christchurch dip to 53°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) early enough to catch the flight to Queenstown.

Things to do in Christchurch

Find places to stay Feb 4 — 5:

Queenstown

— 3 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.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Ben Lomond Track and Tiki Trail. Escape the urban bustle at Canyoning & Rappelling Tours and Queenstown Trail. Next up on the itinerary: see Off-Road Tours, get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, pick up a one of a kind souvenir at The Barn, and grab your bike and head to Lake Hayes Walkway.

To see more things to do, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Queenstown vacation site.

Traveling by flight from Christchurch to Queenstown takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Wed) so you can fly to Auckland.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Tours

Side Trip

Find places to stay Feb 5 — 8:

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.
On the 8th (Wed), shake up your sightseeing with a climbing tour, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Holy Trinity Cathedral, and then make a trip to SkyTower. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: learn about all things military at Auckland Museum and then enjoy the thrill of live dance at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium.

To find more things to do, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Auckland online travel route planner.

Getting from Queenstown to Auckland by flight takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: fly; or do a combination of car and ferry. In February, plan for daily highs up to 72°F, and evening lows to 72°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Thu) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Auckland

Find places to stay Feb 8 — 9:

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.