17 days in New Zealand Itinerary

17 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand trip itinerary builder

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Route & dates

17 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Shanghai
Fly:  17​h 30​min
1
Paihia
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
2
Auckland
— 1 night
bus + Fly:  2​h 45​min
3
Taupo
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
4
Whakapapa
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
5
Wellington
— 1 night
Fly + bus:  6​h 45​min
6
Te Anau
— 2 nights
bus:  3​h 15​min
7
Queenstown
— 4 nights
Fly:  18​h
End: Shanghai

2
nights
Paihia

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.
Step out of Paihia to go to Russell and see Pompallier Mission and Printery, which is approximately 42 minutes away. There's much more to do: contemplate the long history of Waitangi Treaty Grounds, glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour, surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, and look for gifts at Paihia Bookshop.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Paihia road trip website .

Shanghai, China to Paihia is an approximately 17.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 4 hours traveling from Shanghai to Paihia. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Auckland.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife Tours Outdoors

Side Trip

Pompallier Mission and Printery
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Dolphin & Whale Watching

1
night
Auckland

Auckland ©
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 19th (Thu): indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area, then brush up on your military savvy at Auckland War Memorial Museum, and then enjoy breathtaking views from SkyTower.

For reviews, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Auckland trip planner .

Traveling by car from Paihia to Auckland takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. December in Auckland sees daily highs of 20°C and lows of 20°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Thu) early enough to travel to Taupo.

Things to do in Auckland

Tours Museums
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Auckland War Memorial Museum ©
Auckland War Memorial Museum
Wine Tours & Tastings

3
nights
Taupo

The resort town of Taupo lies on the banks of Lake Taupo, the largest body of water in the whole of Australasia.
Get out of town with these interesting Taupo side-trips: Rotorua (Te Puia, Zipline, & more). There's still lots to do: get interesting insight from Tours, admire the sheer force of Huka Falls Walkway, don't miss a visit to Maori Rock Carvings, and let the kids burn off some steam at Huka Prawn Park.

To see reviews, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Taupo trip planner.

Traveling by combination of bus and flight from Auckland to Taupo takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sun) early enough to drive to Whakapapa.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trip

Rotorua
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway

2
nights
Whakapapa

Whakapapa ©
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Mon): take in the dramatic scenery at Taranaki Falls, then admire the sheer force of Tawhai Falls, and then hike along Tongariro Alpine Crossing. On the next day, get around town with Tongariro Crossing Shuttles and then trek along Horsemtrails.

Ask Inspirock to suggest an itinerary and make planning a trip to Whakapapa fast, fun, and easy.

You can drive from Taupo to Whakapapa in 1.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Whakapapa

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trip

Tongariro National Park
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Horsemtrails ©
Horsemtrails
Taranaki Falls ©
Taranaki Falls

1
night
Wellington

Wellington
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.
On the 25th (Wed), take in nature's colorful creations at Wellington Botanic Garden, then catch a ride on Wellington Cable Car, and then see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Wellington trip itinerary website .

Traveling by car from Whakapapa to Wellington takes 4.5 hours. In December in Wellington, expect temperatures between 22°C during the day and 15°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Te Anau.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks Museums Transportation

Side Trip

Wellington Botanic Garden
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Wellington Botanic Garden ©
Wellington Botanic Garden
Wellington Cable Car ©
Wellington Cable Car

2
nights
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 26th (Thu): trek along The Chasm Walk, contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound, and then trek along Lake Gunn. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the activities along Lake Te Anau, then look for all kinds of wild species at Doubtful Sound, and then get great views at Te Anau Lion Lookout Point.

For more things to do, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Te Anau holiday planner.

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Wellington to Te Anau in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can ride a ferry; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) to allow enough time to take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

Lake Gunn
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound
Lake Te Anau ©
Lake Te Anau

4
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.
Queenstown is known for fun & games, adventure, wildlife, nature, and spas. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, do a tasting at Peregrine Wines, enjoy some diversion at Break One, and push the limits with an extreme tour.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Queenstown online trip itinerary maker .

Getting from Te Anau to Queenstown by bus takes about 3.5 hours. You'll have a few hours on the 31st (Tue) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Fun & Games Parks

Side Trip

Hollyford Track
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Hollyford Track ©
Hollyford Track
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours

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