21 days in New Zealand Itinerary

21 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand trip builder
Make it your trip
1
Wellington
— 1 day
Fly
2
Tongariro National Park
— 3 nights
Shuttle
3
Taupo
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Rotorua
— 3 nights
Drive
5
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
+2
Taxi to Hamilton Airport, Fly to Whangarei Airport, Taxi to Paihia
6
Paihia
— 3 nights
Fly to Queenstown, Bus to Te Anau
7
Te Anau
— 4 nights
Bus
8
Queenstown
— 2 nights
Drive
9
Fox Glacier
— 2 nights
Bus to Hokitika i-SITE, Fly to Wellington

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1
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Wellington — 1 day

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), get a sense of history and politics at New Zealand Parliament, then take in nature's colorful creations at Wellington Botanic Garden, then take a memorable ride with Wellington Cable Car, and finally see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

To see more things to do, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, use the Wellington trip builder.

Use the Route module to find travel options from your starting location to Wellington. In November in Wellington, expect temperatures between 20°C during the day and 13°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Mon) so you can catch the flight to Tongariro National Park.
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Parks · Museums · Transportation · Historic Sites
Side Trip
Find places to stay Nov 7 — 8:

Tongariro National Park — 3 nights

Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
On the 10th (Thu), hike the day away at Tongariro Alpine Crossing. And it doesn't end there: explore the activities along Tama Lakes, trek along Silica Rapids Track, take in the dramatic scenery at Tawhai Falls, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Taranaki Falls.

For ratings, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Tongariro National Park trip itinerary builder.

You can fly from Wellington to Tongariro National Park in 2.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of train and taxi. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Thu) to allow enough time to take a shuttle to Taupo.
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Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature
Find places to stay Nov 7 — 10:

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 11th (Fri), make a trip to Maori Rock Carvings, then push the limits with an extreme tour, and then admire the sheer force of Huka Falls Walkway. Keep things going the next day: take in the natural beauty of Spa Thermal Park and Riverbank Recreational and Scenic Reserve, take in the exciting artwork at Lava Glass, race across the water with a speed boat tour, then look for gifts at Huka Honey Hive, and finally take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour.

For other places to visit, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, read Taupo day trip planning site.

Getting from Tongariro National Park to Taupo by shuttle takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sat) so you can go by car to Rotorua.
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Parks · Outdoors · Tours · Nature
Find places to stay Nov 10 — 12:

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.
Rotorua is known for nature, adventure, and nightlife. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: get interesting insight from Tours, take an in-depth tour of Rotorua Museum, look for all kinds of wild species at Waimangu Volcanic Valley, and let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

To see other places to visit, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Rotorua route builder tool.

You can drive from Taupo to Rotorua in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 23°C in November, and nighttime lows around 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Tue) early enough to drive to Waitomo Caves.
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Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours
Find places to stay Nov 12 — 15:

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 16th (Wed): Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves, then Head underground at Ruakuri Cave, then get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Ruakuri Walk.

For photos, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Waitomo Caves road trip planning site.

You can drive from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves in 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Wed) so you can travel to Paihia.
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Parks · Outdoors · Tours · Nature
Find places to stay Nov 15 — 16:

Paihia — 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.
Change things up with a short trip to Phantom Sailing in Russell (about 42 minutes away). There's much more to do: contemplate the long history of Waitangi Treaty Grounds, let your taste buds guide you at a local gastronomic tour, surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, and identify plant and animal life at Paihia Harbour.

For photos, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Paihia trip builder tool.

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Waitomo Caves to Paihia in 5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of bus and flight. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Te Anau.
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Tours · Wildlife · Outdoors · Parks
Side Trip
Find places to stay Nov 16 — 19:

Te Anau — 4 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.
Take a break from Te Anau with a short trip to Bowen Falls in Milford Sound, about 1 hour away. On the 22nd (Tue), hike the day away at Hollyford Track. On the 23rd (Wed), hike the day away at Kepler Track. The adventure continues: explore the activities along Milford Sound, look for all kinds of wild species at Doubtful Sound, hike along Lake Gunn, and tour the pleasant surroundings at The Chasm Walk.

For more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Te Anau attractions planning site.

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Paihia to Te Anau in 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Wed) early enough to catch the bus to Queenstown.
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Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature
Side Trips
Find places to stay Nov 19 — 23:

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.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Thu): take in nature's colorful creations at Queenstown Gardens, race across the water with a speed boat tour, then identify plant and animal life at Kiwi Park, and finally have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 25th (Fri): get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, get interesting insight from Tours, and then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

To find traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, use the Queenstown itinerary planner.

Take a bus from Te Anau to Queenstown in 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Fox Glacier.
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Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks
Find places to stay Nov 23 — 25:

Fox Glacier — 2 nights

A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Sat): make a trip to Franz Josef Glacier, then hike along Mount Fox Route, then trek along Fox Glacier South Side Walk, and finally take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour. On the next day, trek along Minnehaha Walk, stroll through Moraine Walk, and then stroll through Gillespies Beach.

For other places to visit, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, use the Fox Glacier online route builder.

Drive from Queenstown to Fox Glacier in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.
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Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Beaches
Side Trip
Find places to stay Nov 25 — 27:

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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