20 days in Oceania

20 days in Oceania

Tashy Haigh

Make it your trip
1
Wellington
— 1 night
Fly
2
Taupo
— 3 nights
Bus
3
Rotorua
— 2 nights
Fly
4
Auckland
— 3 nights
Drive
5
Whangarei Heads
— 1 night
Drive
6
Paihia
— 1 night
Fly
7
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Ferry: 3h 20mins / 229kms + Bus
See details
8
Stewart Island
— 2 nights
Fly: 1h 15mins / 461kms
See details
9
Christchurch
— 2 nights
Drive
10
Kaikoura
— 1 night
Train to Blenheim, Fly to Wellington

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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.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Thu): examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, then contemplate the waterfront views at Oriental Bay, then take some stellar pictures from Mount Victoria, and finally take a memorable ride with Wellington Cable Car. On the 3rd (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: get engrossed in the history at The Great War Exhibition and then stroll through ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary.

To see maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Wellington trip itinerary maker.

Use the Route module to see travel options from your home to Wellington. In September in Wellington, expect temperatures between 16°C during the day and 10°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) so you can catch the flight to Taupo.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks · Museums · Wildlife · Beaches
Find places to stay Sep 2 — 3:

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.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Skydive Taupo as well as Rapids Jet. Keep things going the next day: take in the natural beauty of Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave, then find something for the whole family at Huka Prawn Park, then get a new perspective on things with Rapids Jet, and finally hike along Huka Falls Walkway.

For traveler tips, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Taupo sightseeing planner.

You can fly from Wellington to Taupo in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Taupo

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Nature

Side Trip

Find places to stay Sep 3 — 6:

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.
Escape the urban bustle at Zipline and Te Puia. Take a break from Rotorua with a short trip to Papamoa Beach in Papamoa, about 56 minutes away. The adventure continues: take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, push the limits with an extreme tour, relax and rejuvenate at Hell's Gate Geothermal Reserve & Mud Spa, and delve into the lush surroundings at Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Rotorua trip planner.

You can drive from Taupo to Rotorua in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 19°C in September, and nighttime lows around 10°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Wed) so you can catch the flight to Auckland.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Outdoors

Side Trips

Find places to stay Sep 6 — 8:

Auckland

— 3 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.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Rainbow's End Theme Park. Visit Muriwai Beach and Browns Bay Beach for some beach relaxation. Get outdoors at Muriwai Gannet Colony and Rothesay Bay. There's lots more to do: take in panoramic vistas at SkyTower, learn about all things military at Auckland Museum, contemplate the geological forces at Mount Eden, and meet the residents at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium.

To see where to stay, reviews, photos, and tourist information, use the Auckland online day trip planner.

Fly from Rotorua to Auckland in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Rotorua in September, you will find days in Auckland are a bit cooler (15°C), and nights are somewhat warmer (15°C). Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sat) so you can travel to Whangarei Heads.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks · Outdoors · Theme Parks · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Sep 8 — 11:

Whangarei Heads

— 1 night
Whangarei Heads is a locality and promontory on the northern side of the Whangarei Harbour in Northland, New Zealand. Kick off your visit on the 12th (Sun): explore the fascinating underground world of Waipu Cave, tour the pleasant surroundings at Peach Cove Track, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Ocean Beach.

To find ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Whangarei Heads online trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by car from Auckland to Whangarei Heads takes 3 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sun) so you can drive to Paihia.

Things to do in Whangarei Heads

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Beaches

Side Trip

Find places to stay Sep 11 — 12:
Highlights from your trip

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.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Mon): fulfill a lifelong dream with a swim-with-the-dolphins experience, stroll through Paihia Harbour, and then identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Paihia online travel route planner.

You can drive from Whangarei Heads to Paihia in 1.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Mon) early enough to catch the flight to Queenstown.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife · Tours · Outdoors · Parks
Find places to stay Sep 12 — 13:

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.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Tue): get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, let your taste buds guide you at a local gastronomic tour, then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, then push the limits with an extreme tour, and finally get your game on at Skyline Queenstown. Keep things going the next day: take in the awesome beauty at Coronet Peak.

For traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Queenstown vacation planner.

Getting from Paihia to Queenstown by flight takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and ferry. You will have some time to spend on the 16th (Thu) before leaving for Stewart Island.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors · Parks · Nature · Winter Sports
Find places to stay Sep 13 — 16:

Stewart Island

— 2 nights
On the 17th (Fri), step off the mainland to explore Ulva Island and then see what you can catch with a fishing tour.

For reviews, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Stewart Island sightseeing planning tool.

Explore your travel options from Queenstown to Stewart Island with the Route module. You will leave for Christchurch on the 18th (Sat).

Things to do in Stewart Island

Wildlife · Tours · Outdoors · Nature
Find places to stay Sep 16 — 18:

Christchurch

— 2 nights

Garden City

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
On the 18th (Sat), catch some excitement at Velocity Karts and then walk around Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Here are some ideas for day two: get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Christchurch trip planning tool.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Stewart Island to Christchurch. In September, daily temperatures in Christchurch can reach 16°C, while at night they dip to 5°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Mon) early enough to drive to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Christchurch

Find places to stay Sep 18 — 20:

Kaikoura

— 1 night
Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
On the 20th (Mon), stroll through Peninsula Seal Colony, stroll through Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway, then see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, and finally get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. Keep things going the next day: look for gifts at Southern Paua Shop & Factory and then hike along Ohau Stream Walk.

Find out how to plan Kaikoura trip without stress by asking Inspirock to help create an itinerary.

You can drive from Christchurch to Kaikoura in 2.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a train. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Tue) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Wildlife
Find places to stay Sep 20 — 21:

Northland Region travel guide

4.4
Gardens · Waterfalls · Scuba & Snorkeling
Tail of the Fish
Boasting a sub-tropical climate and two extensive coastlines, Northland Region makes a great destination for those who love water sports, marine life, and relaxing on the beach. A holiday in Northland Region can include dolphin-watching boat cruises, snorkeling and diving opportunities, and sandy beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see. However, venture farther inland and you'll find still more to enjoy. As a hub of Maori culture and communities, historical sites important to the story of the nation, and staggering biodiversity in native forests, the interior of Northland Region offers a wealth of experiences to complement its two coasts.