18 days in New Zealand Itinerary

18 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand trip itinerary builder

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

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Paihia

— 2 nights
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 6th (Sat), take some stellar pictures from Opua Forest Lookout Track, identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas, then look for gifts at Paihia Bookshop, and finally admire the landmark architecture of St Paul's Anglican Church. On your second day here, look for all kinds of wild species at Paihia Harbour, then contemplate the long history of Waitangi Treaty Grounds, and then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

To find more things to do, maps, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Paihia trip planner.

Denver, USA to Paihia is an approximately 22.5-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Denver to Paihia is 19 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Queenstown.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife · Parks · Tours · Outdoors
Find places to stay Feb 5 — 7:

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.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Mon): take a memorable tour with Tours, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, then look for all kinds of wild species at Kiwi Birdlife Park, and finally get your game on at Skyline Queenstown. On the next day, explore the activities along Lake Wakatipu and then take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

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

Traveling by flight from Paihia to Queenstown takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Tue) to allow time to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Parks · Nature · Tours · Outdoors
Find places to stay Feb 7 — 9:

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.
Step out of Te Anau to go to Milford Sound and see Bowen Falls, which is approximately 1h 5 min away. Spend the 11th (Thu) exploring at Doubtful Sound. And it doesn't end there: explore the activities along Milford Sound, get great views at Te Anau Lion Lookout Point, explore the fascinating underground world of Te Anau Glowworm Caves, and identify plant and animal life at Ivan Wilson Park.

For photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Te Anau journey builder website.

You can take a bus from Queenstown to Te Anau in 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Fri) early enough to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Outdoors

Side Trip

Find places to stay Feb 9 — 12:

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 13th (Sat): see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, then catch a ride on Wellington Cable Car, then ponder the world of politics at New Zealand Parliament, and finally admire the natural beauty at Wellington Botanic Garden.

For maps, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Wellington tour itinerary website.

Do a combination of bus and flight from Te Anau to Wellington in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can ride a ferry; or do a combination of bus, train, and ferry. February in Wellington sees daily highs of 70°F and lows of 59°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Sat) early enough to travel to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums · Parks · Transportation · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Find places to stay Feb 12 — 13:

Tongariro National Park

— 2 nights
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
On the 14th (Sun), stroll through Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Keep things going the next day: go for a walk through Mead's Wall, hike along Ridge Track, then stroll through Silica Rapids Track, then trek along Whakapapa Nature Walk, and finally hike along Taranaki Falls.

To find ratings, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Tongariro National Park trip planner.

You can fly from Wellington to Tongariro National Park in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and taxi. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Mon) so you can drive to Taupo.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Outdoors · Trails · Parks · Nature
Find places to stay Feb 13 — 15:

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, stroll around Huka Prawn Park, make a trip to Maori Rock Carvings, and witness a stunning natural landmark at Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley.

For other places to visit, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Taupo attractions app.

You can 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 up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Thu) so you can go by car to Rotorua.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours
Find places to stay Feb 15 — 18:

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.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Fri): witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, get impressive views of Waimangu Volcanic Valley, and then whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks. On the 20th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: witness a stunning natural landmark at Te Puia, take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, and then delve into the lush surroundings at Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest.

For more things to do, other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Rotorua tour itinerary builder tool.

Drive from Taupo to Rotorua in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In February in Rotorua, expect temperatures between 75°F during the day and 62°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Auckland.

Things to do in Rotorua

Nature · Parks · Tours · Outdoors
Find places to stay Feb 18 — 20:

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 21st (Sun): indulge your taste buds at Food & Drink, then brush up on your military savvy at Auckland Museum, then look for gifts at Pauanesia, and finally take in panoramic vistas at SkyTower.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Auckland using our trip planner.

Traveling by car from Rotorua to Auckland takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Auckland when traveling from Rotorua in February, with lows around 72°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sun) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Auckland

Museums · Tours · Wineries · Shopping
Find places to stay Feb 20 — 21:

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.