18 days in New Zealand Itinerary

18 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand vacation planner
Make it your trip
Fly
1
Paihia
— 2 nights
Fly
2
Rotorua
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Taupo
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
Fly
5
Wellington
— 1 night
Fly to Hokitika, Bus to Fox Glacier
6
Fox Glacier
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Bus
8
Te Anau
— 3 nights
Bus to Queenstown, Fly to Sydney

S M T W T F S
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31
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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.
Explore Paihia's surroundings by going to Whangarei (Mount Manaia Track & Bream Head Coast Walks) and Tapeka Point Track (in Russell). There's much more to do: admire all the interesting features of Waitangi Treaty Grounds, stop by The Cabbage Tree Shop, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour.

To find traveler tips, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, read Paihia trip planning site.

Sydney, Australia to Paihia is an approximately 8.5-hour flight. The time zone changes from Australian Eastern Standard Time to New Zealand Standard Time, which is usually a 2 hour difference. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 31st (Mon) so you can catch the flight to Rotorua.
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Side Trips
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Rotorua — 3 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.
Step out of Rotorua to go to Hinuera and see Hobbiton Movie Set, which is approximately 1h 15 min away. There's much more to do: whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, soothe aching muscles at Wikitoria Maori Healing, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland.

To find other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Rotorua road trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Paihia to Rotorua takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In October, daily temperatures in Rotorua can reach 21°C, while at night they dip to 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Thu) to allow time to drive to Taupo.
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Side Trip
Find places to stay Oct 31 — Nov 3:
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Taupo — 2 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.
On the 4th (Fri), make a trip to Maori Rock Carvings, then laugh and play at Taupo DeBretts Spa Resort, then get some thrills on the water with a speed boat tour, and finally take in the dramatic scenery at Huka Falls Walkway. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: see the interesting displays at Taupo Museum, then get in on the family fun at Huka Prawn Park, then shop like a local with Souvenir Outlet & Mountain Bike Hire, and finally push the limits with an extreme tour.

For photos, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Taupo trip maker app.

Traveling by car from Rotorua to Taupo takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Waitomo Caves.
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Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Theme Parks
Find places to stay Nov 3 — 5:
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Waitomo Caves — 1 night

Head deep beneath the surface of the earth at Waitomo Caves, a village and cave system that draws both extreme sports enthusiasts and those wanting something a little more relaxed.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Sun): explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, then hike along Ruakuri Walk, and then get interesting insight from Tours.

Inspirock's itinerary builder makes planning a Waitomo Caves trip simple and quick.

You can drive from Taupo to Waitomo Caves in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Sun) to allow time to fly to Wellington.
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Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Tours
Find places to stay Nov 5 — 6:
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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 7th (Mon), ponder the world of politics at New Zealand Parliament, then contemplate the long history of Wellington Cable Car, and then see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Planning Wellington trip won't be overwhelming when you use Inspirock's itinerary maker.

You can fly from Waitomo Caves to Wellington in 3 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In November, plan for daily highs up to 20°C, and evening lows to 13°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Mon) early enough to travel to Fox Glacier.
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Museums · Transportation · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Nov 6 — 7:
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Fox Glacier — 2 nights

A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
On the 8th (Tue), browse the exhibits of ReflectioNZ Gifts & Gallery, tour the pleasant surroundings at Gillespies Beach, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Mount Fox Route. On the 9th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: hike along Fox Glacier Hiking Trails, hike along Minnehaha Walk, stroll through Fox Glacier South Side Walk, then trek along Moraine Walk, and finally take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Fox Glacier tour planner.

Do a combination of flight and bus from Wellington to Fox Glacier in 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Wed) so you can drive to Queenstown.
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Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Beaches
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Queenstown — 3 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.
Queenstown is known for fun & games, wildlife, and adventure. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at The Remarkables Ski Area.

Discover how to plan a Queenstown trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

Getting from Fox Glacier to Queenstown by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Sat) to allow time to take a bus to Te Anau.
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Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Winter Sports
Find places to stay Nov 9 — 12:
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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 1 hour away. Next up on the itinerary: explore the activities along Milford Sound, identify plant and animal life at Ivan Wilson Park, hike along The Chasm Walk, and take a memorable tour with Tours.

To find photos, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Te Anau route builder tool.

Getting from Queenstown to Te Anau by bus takes about 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Tue) so you can travel back home.
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Side Trips
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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.
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