21 days in New Zealand & Australia Itinerary

21 days in New Zealand & Australia Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Pacific travel route maker

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Rotorua, New Zealand
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Taupo, New Zealand
— 2 nights
Fly
3
Paihia, New Zealand
— 3 nights
Fly to Queenstown, Bus to Te Anau
4
Te Anau, New Zealand
— 3 nights
Bus
5
Queenstown, New Zealand
— 2 nights
Fly
6
Melbourne, Australia
— 3 nights
Fly
7
Sydney, Australia
— 4 nights
Fly

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Rotorua, New Zealand

— 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 3rd (Sun): take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, take in the natural beauty of Te Puia, and then get interesting insight from Tours. Keep things going the next day: take a peaceful walk through Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest, then take a memorable tour with Redwoods Treewalk, then witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, and finally contemplate the geological forces at Waimangu Volcanic Valley.

To see photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Rotorua visit planner.

Seattle, USA to Rotorua is an approximately 23-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Seattle to Rotorua is 20 hours. Plan for warmer temperatures traveling from Seattle in January, with highs in Rotorua at 74°F and lows at 61°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Taupo.

Things to do in Rotorua

Nature · Parks · Tours · Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 4:

Taupo, New Zealand

— 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 5th (Tue), explore the activities along Lake Taupo, then get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, and then don't miss a visit to Maori Rock Carvings. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stop by Huka Honey Hive, take a memorable tour with Tours, then see the interesting displays at Taupo Museum, and finally admire the sheer force of Huka Falls Walkway.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, read Taupo planner.

You can drive from Rotorua to Taupo in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Wed) early enough to travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Taupo

Outdoors · Tours · Nature · Parks
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 6:

Paihia, New Zealand

— 3 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.
Paihia is known for wildlife, historic sites, and adventure. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: steep yourself in history at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, look for all kinds of wild species at Paihia Harbour, get a bird's-eye view with Skydive Bay of Islands, and find something for the whole family at Action World.

To find reviews, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, read our Paihia trip itinerary maker app.

Traveling by flight from Taupo to Paihia takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sat) so you can travel to Te Anau.

Things to do in Paihia

Tours · Outdoors · Adventure · Parks

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 6 — 9:

Te Anau, New Zealand

— 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.
Change things up with a short trip to Bowen Falls in Milford Sound (about 1h 5 min away). Spend the 10th (Sun) exploring at Doubtful Sound. The adventure continues: contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound, take an unforgettable tour with Southern Lakes Helicopters, hike along The Chasm Walk, and tour in harmony with nature at Fiordland Jet.

To find more things to do, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Te Anau online driving holiday planner.

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Paihia to Te Anau takes 8.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Tue) to allow enough time to take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Tours

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 9 — 12:

Queenstown, New Zealand

— 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.
On the 13th (Wed), learn about winemaking at Peregrine Wines, then take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, then identify plant and animal life at Kiwi Birdlife Park, and finally have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown. Keep things going the next day: take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, then kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and finally get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour.

For other places to visit, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Queenstown travel route website.

Traveling by bus from Te Anau to Queenstown takes 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Melbourne.

Things to do in Queenstown

Find places to stay Jan 12 — 14:

Melbourne, Australia

— 3 nights

Australia's Garden City

The state of Victoria crown jewel, Melbourne boasts shaded streets, leafy residential neighborhoods, vibrant street life, and a picturesque city center.
Melbourne is known for museums, shopping, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take in nature's colorful creations at Royal Botanic Gardens, appreciate the history behind Shrine of Remembrance, don't miss a visit to Flinders Street Station, and admire nature's wide array of creatures at Melbourne Zoo.

To find more things to do, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Melbourne road trip planner.

Fly from Queenstown to Melbourne in 6.5 hours. The time zone changes from New Zealand Standard Time to Australian Eastern Standard Time, which is usually a -2 hour difference. In January, plan for daily highs up to 81°F, and evening lows to 58°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Sun) early enough to travel to Sydney.

Things to do in Melbourne

Parks · Museums · Tours · Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 17:

Sydney, Australia

— 4 nights

The Harbour City

Lent iconic status as a result of its famous bridge and opera house, Sydney has a down-to-earth charm that enhances its spectacular setting and functional efficiency.
Sydney is known for nightlife, beaches, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: catch a live performance at Sydney Opera House, get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, take a stroll through The Rocks, and see the interesting displays at Australian National Maritime Museum.

To find other places to visit, maps, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Sydney trip itinerary planner.

You can fly from Melbourne to Sydney in 3.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a train. Expect a bit warmer evenings in Sydney when traveling from Melbourne in January, with lows around 68°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Sydney

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 17 — 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.

Australia travel guide

4.7
Beaches · Gardens · Wildlife Areas
Australia is a country of breathtaking beauty and unforgettable adventure. From coast to coast you’ll find ancient rainforests, towering cities, stunning outback landscapes and white sand beaches. It’s not only the scenery that varies here, but also the lifestyle. Lay back and relax within a coastal paradise, explore the bustling laneways of a lively metropolis, or feed your sense of adventure in the most remote and remarkable pockets of the country. Whether you’re connecting with Aboriginal culture, tasting seafood straight from the ocean, or diving with gentle whale sharks, you’ll discover why there’s nothing like Australia.