18 days in New Zealand Itinerary

18 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand visit planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Rotorua
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Taupo
— 1 night
Fly
3
Wellington
— 2 nights
Fly
4
Christchurch
— 1 night
Fly
5
Dunedin
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Wanaka
— 2 nights
Bus
7
Queenstown
— 2 nights
Fly
8
Auckland
— 2 nights
Fly

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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.
Get a sense of the local culture at Volcanic Hills Winery and Buried Village of Te Wairoa. Get in touch with nature at Waimangu Volcanic Valley and Kuirau Park. And it doesn't end there: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, admire the masterpieces at Rotorua Museum, trot along with a tour on horseback, and push the limits with an extreme tour.

To see more things to do, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, use the Rotorua vacation builder tool.

Hartford, USA to Rotorua is an approximately 25.5-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Hartford to Rotorua is 17 hours. Expect much warmer temperatures when traveling from Hartford in February; daily highs in Rotorua reach 75°F and lows reach 62°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Taupo.

Things to do in Rotorua

Nature · Parks · Tours · Outdoors
Find places to stay Feb 17 — 19:
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Taupo

— 1 night

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.
To see maps, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Taupo trip planner.

Drive from Rotorua to Taupo in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Sun) so you can fly to Wellington.

Things to do in Taupo

Nature · Parks · Wildlife · Trails

Side Trip

Find places to stay Feb 19 — 20:
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Wellington

— 2 nights

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 next day, take an in-depth tour of Wellington Museum, contemplate the long history of Old St Paul's, then catch a ride on Wellington Cable Car, and finally see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Wellington trip planner.

You can fly from Taupo to Wellington in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In February, daily temperatures in Wellington can reach 70°F, while at night they dip to 59°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Tue) early enough to catch the flight to Christchurch.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums · Historic Sites · Transportation
Find places to stay Feb 20 — 22:
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Christchurch

— 1 night

Garden City

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
To find maps, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Christchurch online trip itinerary maker.

You can fly from Wellington to Christchurch in 2.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Expect slightly colder evenings in Christchurch when traveling from Wellington in February, with lows around 53°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Wed) to allow enough time to fly to Dunedin.

Things to do in Christchurch

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Dunedin

— 2 nights

Edinburgh of the South

With its history proudly stemming from the Scottish settlers who came here during the colonial era, Dunedin's streets are lined with well-preserved examples of Victorian and Edwardian architecture, while a new culture of nightlife and fine dining takes hold around them.
On your second day here, tour the pleasant surroundings at The Royal Albatross Centre and then take in the dramatic natural features at Otago Peninsula.

For more things to do, maps, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Dunedin trip planner.

Fly from Christchurch to Dunedin in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Fri) early enough to travel to Wanaka.

Things to do in Dunedin

Parks · Wildlife · Museums · Nature
Find places to stay Feb 23 — 25:
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Wanaka

— 2 nights
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.
On the 26th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour and then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Wanaka.

To find reviews, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Wanaka trip planning tool.

Explore your travel options from Dunedin to Wanaka with the Route module. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Sun) so you can catch the bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors · Parks · Nature · Tours
Find places to stay Feb 25 — 27:
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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.
Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 28th (Mon): push the limits with an extreme tour, cruise along Glenorchy-Queenstown Road, and then explore the activities along Lake Wakatipu.

To find traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, read Queenstown road trip planner.

You can take a bus from Wanaka to Queenstown in 3 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Tue) so you can fly to Auckland.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Nature

Side Trip

Find places to stay Feb 27 — Mar 1:
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Auckland

— 2 nights

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.
Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in panoramic vistas at SkyTower, then brush up on your military savvy at Auckland Museum, and then paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour.

For maps, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Auckland trip planner.

You can fly from Queenstown to Auckland in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry. In March in Auckland, expect temperatures between 67°F during the day and 67°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Thu) so you can fly back home.

Things to do in Auckland

Museums · Wineries · Historic Sites · Adventure

Side Trip

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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.