16 days in New Zealand Itinerary

16 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island trip itinerary builder

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Route & dates

16 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Melbourne
Fly:  3 h 30 min
1
Christchurch
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h
2
Lake Tekapo
— 1 night
Drive:  1 h
3
Mt. Cook Village
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h
4
Wanaka
— 1 night
car:  1 h
5
Queenstown
— 3 nights
car:  4 h
6
Te Anau
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h
7
Milford Sound
— Few hours
Drive:  1 h 15 min
8
Te Anau
— 1 night
Bus:  6 h 30 min
9
Wanaka
— 1 night
car:  3 h 30 min
10
Franz Josef
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 30 min
11
Punakaiki
— 1 night
Drive:  5 h
12
Kaikoura
— 3 nights
Bus:  2 h 30 min
13
Christchurch
— 1 day
Fly:  6 h 30 min
End: Melbourne

1
night
Christchurch

Christchurch ©
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
To find traveler tips and other tourist information, read our Christchurch trip planner.

Melbourne, Australia to Christchurch is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. The time zone changes from Australian Eastern Standard Time (Victoria) (AEST) to New Zealand Standard Time (NZST), which is usually a 2 hour difference. Traveling from Melbourne in December, expect nights in Christchurch to be about the same, around 12°C, while days are slightly colder, around 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 28th (Mon) to allow time for the car ride to Lake Tekapo.

Things to do in Christchurch

Outdoors Beaches Parks
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Sumner Beach (Cave Rock) ©
Sumner Beach (Cave Rock)

1
night
Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo ©
Located in a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo offers evenings of stargazing and days of long walks.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Lake Pukaki.

For maps, photos, reviews, and tourist information, read Lake Tekapo trip planning app .

Traveling by car from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Tue) early enough to drive to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Lake Pukaki, Hooker Valley Track
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Lake Pukaki ©
Lake Pukaki

1
night
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
To see maps, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Mt. Cook Village trip itinerary maker site .

Traveling by car from Lake Tekapo to Mt. Cook Village takes an hour. On the 30th (Wed), you're off to Wanaka.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Outdoors Parks Tours
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 30:

1
night
Wanaka

Wanaka ©
Situated on the shores of Lake Wanaka in the Otago region, Wanaka has become a popular ski and summer resort area, owing to its extensive views of the lake and its proximity to some of the best slopes in the country.
Roys Peak Track has been added to your itinerary. On the 30th (Wed), hike along Roys Peak Track.

To find reviews, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Wanaka online journey maker .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Mt. Cook Village to Wanaka. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Thu) to allow enough time to take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors Parks Trails
Find places to stay Dec 30 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Roys Peak Track ©
Roys Peak Track

3
nights
Queenstown

Queenstown ©
Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand, Skydiving and Onsen Hot Pools Retreat & Day Spa.

To find photos, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, read our Queenstown online trip maker .

Getting from Wanaka to Queenstown by bus takes about 2.5 hours. On the 3rd (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours Adventure Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 3:
Highlights from your plan
AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand ©
AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand
Onsen Hot Pools Retreat & Day Spa ©
Onsen Hot Pools Retreat & Day Spa
Skydiving

1
night
Te Anau

Te Anau ©
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.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Sun): contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Te Anau.

Plan a Te Anau trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

Traveling by bus from Queenstown to Te Anau takes 3.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Mon) early enough to travel to Milford Sound.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Te Anau ©
Lake Te Anau

few
hours
Milford Sound

Milford Sound ©
Carved by glaciers into a land of sheer cliffs, impressive waterfalls, and lush, meandering fjords, Milford Sound remains one of the most popular holiday destinations in New Zealand.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Mon): examine the collection at Southern Discoveries - Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory.

To see reviews, maps, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Milford Sound online trip itinerary maker .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Te Anau to Milford Sound. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Mon) so you can travel to Wanaka.

Things to do in Milford Sound

Museums
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan

1
night
Te Anau

Te Anau
For ratings, maps, photos, and other tourist information, read Te Anau travel planner.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Milford Sound to Te Anau. You'll set off for Wanaka on the 5th (Tue).

Things to do in Te Anau

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 5:

1
night
Wanaka

Wanaka
To see photos, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Wanaka travel route planning site .

Traveling by bus from Te Anau to Wanaka takes 6.5 hours. You will leave for Franz Josef on the 6th (Wed).

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 6:

1
night
Franz Josef

Franz Josef ©
Located in the World Heritage Site that is home to its eponymous glacier, the town of Franz Josef provides a comfortable and welcoming rest spot for adventurers after a long day out on the ice.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Wed): trek along Roberts Point Track.

To find more things to do, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Franz Josef trip planner.

You can take a bus from Wanaka to Franz Josef in 5.5 hours. On the 7th (Thu), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Punakaiki.

Things to do in Franz Josef

Outdoors Parks Trails
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier
Roberts Point Track ©
Roberts Point Track
Helicopter Tours

1
night
Punakaiki

Punakaiki ©
Punakaiki is a small community on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand, between Westport and Greymouth. To find more things to do, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Punakaiki journey planner.

Traveling by car from Franz Josef to Punakaiki takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. You'll have a few hours on the 8th (Fri) to wrap things up before traveling to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Punakaiki

Outdoors Parks Trails
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Truman Track ©
Truman Track
Pancake Rocks and Blowholes Walk ©
Pancake Rocks and Blowholes Walk

3
nights
Kaikoura

Kaikoura ©
Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
You've now added Dolphin & Whale Watching to your itinerary. Keep things going the next day: hike along Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway, stop by Kaikoura Cheese, then identify plant and animal life at Peninsula Seal Colony, and finally get interesting insight from Tours.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Kaikoura trip maker app .

Getting from Punakaiki to Kaikoura by car takes about 5 hours. On the 11th (Mon), you're off to Christchurch.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Parks Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Peninsula Seal Colony ©
Peninsula Seal Colony
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway ©
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway

1
day
Christchurch

Christchurch
For ratings, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Christchurch trip planner .

Getting from Kaikoura to Christchurch by bus takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a train; or drive. You will leave for home on the 10th (Fri).

Things to do in Christchurch

Tours Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 12:

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