17 days in New Zealand Itinerary

17 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Queenstown
— 2 nights
Bus
2
Te Anau
— 3 nights
Bus to Queenstown, Fly to Wellington
3
Wellington
— 1 night
Fly
4
Tongariro National Park
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Taupo
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Rotorua
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Auckland
— 1 night
Drive
8
Paihia
— 1 night
Fly

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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.
On the 1st (Mon), push the limits with an extreme tour, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, then look for all kinds of wild species at Kiwi Birdlife Park, and finally have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 2nd (Tue): look for gifts at The Stitching Post, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Wakatipu, and then take a memorable tour with Tours.

To find more things to do, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Queenstown online trip planner.

San Diego, USA to Queenstown is an approximately 20-hour flight. You'll lose 20 hours traveling from San Diego to Queenstown due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Tue) so you can take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Parks · Nature · Tours · Outdoors

Side Trip

Find places to stay Feb 28 — Mar 2:

Te Anau

— 3 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.
When in Te Anau, make a side trip to see Bowen Falls in Milford Sound, approximately Milford Sound away. Spend the 4th (Thu) exploring at Doubtful Sound. The adventure continues: explore the activities along Milford Sound, trek along The Chasm Walk, and explore the fascinating underground world of Te Anau Glowworm Caves.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Te Anau road trip planning website.

Take a bus from Queenstown to Te Anau in 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Trails

Side Trip

Find places to stay Mar 2 — 5:

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.
On the 6th (Sat), get a sense of history and politics at New Zealand Parliament, take an in-depth tour of Wellington Museum, then take a memorable ride with Wellington Cable Car, then appreciate the history behind John Plimmer Statue, and finally see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

To see more things to do, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Wellington online route builder.

Getting from Te Anau to Wellington by combination of bus and flight takes about 7 hours. Other options: ride a ferry; or do a combination of bus, train, and ferry. Expect a daytime high around 67°F in March, and nighttime lows around 57°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums · Historic Sites · Transportation
Find places to stay Mar 5 — 6:

Tongariro National Park

— 2 nights
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Sun): hike along Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Here are some ideas for day two: admire the sheer force of Taranaki Falls, hike along Ridge Track, then hike along Silica Rapids Track, then stroll through Whakapapa Nature Walk, and finally go for a walk through Mead's Wall.

To find out how to plan a trip to Tongariro National Park, use our trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by flight from Wellington to Tongariro National Park takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and taxi. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Taupo.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Trails · Outdoors · Parks · Nature
Find places to stay Mar 6 — 8:

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 plan includes some of its best attractions: take in the dramatic scenery at Huka Falls Walkway, take in the natural beauty of Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley, try out the rides at Huka Prawn Park, and make a trip to Aratiatia Rapids.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, go to the Taupo road trip planner.

Drive from Tongariro National Park to Taupo in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours
Find places to stay Mar 8 — 11:

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 12th (Fri), take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, then witness a stunning natural landmark at Te Puia, and then whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks. On the 13th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, then take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, then take in the natural beauty of Waimangu Volcanic Valley, and finally take a peaceful walk through Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest.

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

Drive from Taupo to Rotorua in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In March in Rotorua, expect temperatures between 73°F during the day and 60°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sat) so you can drive to Auckland.

Things to do in Rotorua

Nature · Parks · Tours · Outdoors
Find places to stay Mar 11 — 13:

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.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Sun): savor the flavors at Food & Drink, learn about all things military at Auckland Museum, then look for gifts at Pauanesia, and finally take in panoramic vistas at SkyTower.

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

Traveling by car from Rotorua to Auckland takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. When traveling from Rotorua in March, plan for slightly colder days in Auckland, with highs around 67°F, while nights are somewhat warmer with lows around 67°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sun) so you can drive to Paihia.

Things to do in Auckland

Museums · Tours · Wineries · Shopping
Find places to stay Mar 13 — 14:

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.
On the 15th (Mon), look for all kinds of wild species at Paihia Harbour, contemplate the long history of Waitangi Treaty Grounds, and then get interesting insight from Tours.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, read our Paihia tour builder app.

Drive from Auckland to Paihia in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Mon) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife · Parks · Historic Sites · Tours
Find places to stay Mar 14 — 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.