18 days in New Zealand Itinerary

18 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand sightseeing planner

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Route & dates

18 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Minneapolis
Fly:  14​h 30​min
1
Auckland
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
2
Matamata
— Few hours
Drive:  1​h
3
Rotorua
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
4
Taupo
— 2 nights
Fly:  2​h 30​min
5
Nelson
— Few hours
Drive:  3​h 30​min
6
Punakaiki
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 30​min
7
Fox Glacier
— 1 night
bus:  4​h
8
Wanaka
— 2 nights
bus:  4​h
9
Te Anau
— 2 nights
bus:  3​h 30​min
10
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h
11
Mt. Cook Village
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h
12
Lake Tekapo
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
13
Christchurch
— 1 night
Fly:  25​h
End: Minneapolis

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Mount Eden as well as Queens Wharf. Kick off your visit on the 31st (Tue): make a trip to Sky Tower, wander the streets of Queens Wharf, and then get impressive views of Mount Eden.

For photos, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Auckland visit planner .

Minneapolis, USA to Auckland is an approximately 20-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight. Traveling from Minneapolis to Auckland, you'll lose 18 hours due to the time zone difference. Plan for much hotter temperatures traveling from Minneapolis in March, with highs in Auckland at 67°F and lows at 67°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Wed) to allow time to travel to Matamata.

Things to do in Auckland

Nature Parks Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Mar 31 — Apr 1:
Highlights from your plan
Sky Tower ©
Sky Tower
Mount Eden ©
Mount Eden
Queens Wharf ©
Queens Wharf

few
hours
Matamata

Matamata ©
Matamata is a town in the Waikato Region of New Zealand's North Island. Hobbiton Movie Set has been added to your itinerary.

For ratings, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Matamata holiday builder .

You can drive from Auckland to Matamata in 2 hours. Traveling from Auckland in February, plan for slightly colder nights in Matamata, with lows around 62°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 29th (Sat) to allow time for the car ride to Rotorua.
Find places to stay Apr 1 — 2:
Highlights from your plan
Hobbiton Movie Set ©
Hobbiton Movie Set

1
night
Rotorua

Rotorua ©
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.
Your list of things to see and do now includes Redwoods Treewalk, Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest, Waimangu Volcanic Valley, and other attractions. On the 29th (Sat), contemplate the geological forces at Waimangu Volcanic Valley, then delve into the lush surroundings at Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Redwoods Treewalk. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Rotorua, then take a stroll through Eat Street, then witness a stunning natural landmark at Waikite Valley Thermal Pools, and finally admire the natural beauty at Government Gardens.

For other places to visit, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Rotorua trip itinerary builder .

Drive from Matamata to Rotorua in an hour. In February in Rotorua, expect temperatures between 75°F during the day and 62°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sun) to allow enough time to take a bus to Taupo.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Find places to stay Apr 1 — 2:
Highlights from your plan
Waimangu Volcanic Valley ©
Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Redwoods Treewalk ©
Redwoods Treewalk
Waikite Valley Thermal Pools ©
Waikite Valley Thermal Pools

2
nights
Taupo

Taupo ©
The resort town of Taupo lies on the banks of Lake Taupo, the largest body of water in the whole of Australasia.
Tongariro Alpine Crossing has been added to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Fri): tour the pleasant surroundings at Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

For other places to visit, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Taupo trip itinerary planning website .

Traveling by bus from Rotorua to Taupo takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive. On the 4th (Sat), you'll travel to Nelson.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trip

Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Find places to stay Apr 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing

few
hours
Nelson

Nelson
Put on your shades to enjoy the sights of Nelson, one of the sunniest cities in New Zealand.
To see ratings, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Nelson trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by flight from Taupo to Nelson takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of car and ferry. On the 4th (Sat), you're off toPunakaiki.

Things to do in Nelson

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

1
night
Punakaiki

Punakaiki ©
Punakaiki is a small community on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand, between Westport and Greymouth. Punakaiki Cavern has been added to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 4th (Sat): Head underground at Punakaiki Cavern, take in the dramatic natural features at Pancake Rocks and Blowholes Walk, and then trek along Truman Track.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, read Punakaiki travel itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Nelson to Punakaiki takes 4 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sun) so you can travel to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Punakaiki

Parks Nature Trails
Find places to stay Apr 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Pancake Rocks and Blowholes Walk ©
Pancake Rocks and Blowholes Walk
Truman Track ©
Truman Track
Punakaiki Cavern ©
Punakaiki Cavern

1
night
Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier ©
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
You've now added Lake Matheson Walk to your itinerary. Start off your visit on the 5th (Sun): explore and take pictures at Tatare Tunnels Walk, explore the striking landscape at Franz Josef Glacier, and then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Matheson Walk.

To find where to stay, maps, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Fox Glacier trip planning app .

Getting from Punakaiki to Fox Glacier by car takes about 3.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Mon) to allow enough time to take a bus to Wanaka.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trip

Franz Josef
Find places to stay Apr 5 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Matheson Walk ©
Lake Matheson Walk
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier
Tatare Tunnels Walk ©
Tatare Tunnels Walk

2
nights
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Mount Iron Track, Roys Peak Track and Puzzling World. Kick off your visit on the 6th (Mon): get your game on at Puzzling World and then trek along Mount Iron Track. On the 7th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: trek along Roys Peak Track.

To see photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Wanaka trip planner .

You can take a bus from Fox Glacier to Wanaka in 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 8th (Wed) to allow enough time to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Wanaka

Parks Trails Outdoors
Find places to stay Apr 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Mount Iron Track ©
Mount Iron Track
Roys Peak Track ©
Roys Peak Track
Puzzling World ©
Puzzling World

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.
Milford Sound has been added to your itinerary. On the 8th (Wed), explore the fascinating underground world of Te Anau Glowworm Caves and then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Te Anau. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound and then trek along The Chasm Walk.

To find ratings, reviews, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Te Anau trip website .

You can take a bus from Wanaka to Te Anau in 6.5 hours. On the 10th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Trails
Find places to stay Apr 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Te Anau ©
Lake Te Anau
The Chasm Walk ©
The Chasm Walk
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound

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.
You've now added Glenorchy Lagoon Boardwalk to your itinerary. Visiting Queenstown Trail and Lake Hayes Walkway will get you outdoors. There's still lots to do: stroll through Mt Crichton Loop Track, learn about winemaking at Mt Rosa Wines, and stop by The Remarkable Sweet Shop - Arrowtown Shop.

To see other places to visit, maps, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Queenstown trip planner .

Traveling by bus from Te Anau to Queenstown takes 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Mon) early enough to travel to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Queenstown

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trips

Arrowtown, Glenorchy Lagoon Boardwalk
Find places to stay Apr 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Hayes Walkway ©
Lake Hayes Walkway
Glenorchy Lagoon Boardwalk ©
Glenorchy Lagoon Boardwalk
Mt Rosa Wines ©
Mt Rosa Wines

1
night
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Hooker Valley Track as well as Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier walks. Start off your visit on the 10th (Tue): tour the pleasant surroundings at Hooker Valley Track and then contemplate the waterfront views at Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier walks.

To see where to stay, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Mt. Cook Village visit app .

Traveling by car from Queenstown to Mt. Cook Village takes 3 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Lake Tekapo.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trip

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
Find places to stay Apr 13 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track

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 Tekapo as well as Mount John Summit Circuit Track. On the 14th (Tue), hike along Mount John Summit Circuit Track and then explore the activities along Lake Tekapo.

To see traveler tips, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Lake Tekapo trip itinerary maker app .

Getting from Mt. Cook Village to Lake Tekapo by car takes about an hour. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Christchurch.

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Parks Trails Outdoors
Find places to stay Apr 14 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo

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 see reviews, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Christchurch trip planner .

Traveling by car from Lake Tekapo to Christchurch takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In April in Christchurch, expect temperatures between 63°F during the day and 45°F at night. You will leave for home on the 16th (Thu).

Things to do in Christchurch

Tours Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Apr 15 — 16:

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