21 days in New Zealand Itinerary

21 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand trip itinerary planner

Plan created by another user. Make it yours
1
Kaikoura
— 1 night
2
Franz Josef
— 1 night
3
Wanaka
— 3 nights
4
Queenstown
— 4 nights
5
Paihia
— 2 nights
6
Waiheke Island
— 1 night
7
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights
8
Rotorua
— 4 nights
9
Wellington
— 2 nights

1
night
Kaikoura

Kaikoura ©
Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
On the 24th (Mon), make a trip to Ohau Point Seal Colony, look for gifts at Southern Paua Shop & Factory, and then trek along Ohau Stream Walk. On your second day here, tour the pleasant surroundings at Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway and then look for all kinds of wild species at Peninsula Seal Colony.

To see ratings, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Kaikoura online travel route planner.

Wellington to Kaikoura is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of ferry and bus; or do a combination of ferry and train. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Tue) so you can drive to Franz Josef.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Parks · Outdoors · Trails
Find places to stay Aug 24 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Ohau Stream Walk ©
Ohau Stream Walk
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway ©
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway
Peninsula Seal Colony ©
Peninsula Seal Colony

1
night
Franz Josef

Located in the World Heritage Site that is home to its eponymous glacier, the town of Franz Josef provides a comfortable and welcoming rest spot for adventurers after a long day out on the ice.
On the 26th (Wed), take in the pleasant sights at Lake Matheson Walk, take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, then identify plant and animal life at West Coast Wildlife Centre, and finally see Across Country Quad Bikes.

To find reviews, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Franz Josef sightseeing site.

You can drive from Kaikoura to Franz Josef in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Wed) to allow enough time to take a bus to Wanaka.

Things to do in Franz Josef

Tours · Outdoors · Parks

Side Trip

Fox Glacier
Find places to stay Aug 25 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Helicopter Tours
Across Country Quad Bikes ©
Across Country Quad Bikes
Lake Matheson Walk ©
Lake Matheson Walk

3
nights
Wanaka

Wanaka ©
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Roys Peak Track and Wanaka. National Transport and Toy Museum and Wanaka Fine Art Gallery are good opportunities to explore the local culture. There's still lots to do: hike along Mount Iron Track, get off the beaten track with The Cardrona, appreciate the history behind Wanaka War Memorial, and ski along the peaceful trails at Snow Farm NZ.

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

You can take a bus from Franz Josef to Wanaka in 6 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Sat) early enough to catch the bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors · Parks · Trails
Find places to stay Aug 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Roys Peak Track ©
Roys Peak Track
Wanaka ©
Wanaka
Mount Iron Track ©
Mount Iron Track

4
nights
Queenstown

Queenstown ©
Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Get outdoors at Queenstown Hill and Hydro Attack. Step off the beaten path and head to Coronet Peak and Skydiving. There's lots more to do: take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, trek along Ben Lomond Track, explore and take pictures at Glenorchy-Queenstown Road, and see Off-Road Tours.

Ask Inspirock to suggest an itinerary and make planning a trip to Queenstown fast, fun, and easy.

Take a bus from Wanaka to Queenstown in 3 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Wed) so you can travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors · Parks · Tours

Side Trip

Arrowtown Village
Find places to stay Aug 29 — Sep 2:
Highlights from your plan
Queenstown Hill ©
Queenstown Hill
Ben Lomond Track ©
Ben Lomond Track
Coronet Peak ©
Coronet Peak

2
nights
Paihia

Paihia ©
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.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Thu): pause for some serene contemplation at Christ Church, then contemplate the long history of Pompallier Mission and Printery, and then get interesting insight from Tours. Keep things going the next day: identify plant and animal life at Paihia Harbour, then get close to the beloved marine mammals with Fullers GreatSights Bay of Islands Day Tours, and then admire the sheer force of Rainbow Falls.

To find ratings, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Paihia trip maker website.

Fly from Queenstown to Paihia in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus, ferry, and car. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Fri) early enough to travel to Waiheke Island.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife · Tours · Outdoors

Side Trips

Russell, Rainbow Falls
Find places to stay Sep 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Fullers GreatSights Bay of Islands Day Tours ©
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour
Nature & Wildlife Tours

1
night
Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island ©
Head to Waiheke Island, a place of white sandy beaches, palm trees, great wine, and relaxation, just 35 minutes off the coast of Auckland.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Sat): get engrossed in the history at Waiheke Museum and Historic Village, take a memorable tour with EcoZip Adventures, and then enjoy some diversion at Wild on Waiheke.

To find where to stay, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Waiheke Island trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by combination of flight and ferry from Paihia to Waiheke Island takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry. In September, plan for daily highs up to 19°C, and evening lows to 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sat) early enough to travel to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Waiheke Island

Tours · Adventure · Fun & Games
Find places to stay Sep 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
EcoZip Adventures ©
EcoZip Adventures
Wild on Waiheke ©
Wild on Waiheke
Waiheke Museum and Historic Village ©
Waiheke Museum and Historic Village

2
nights
Waitomo Caves

Waitomo Caves
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): appreciate the history behind Statue of shearer, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Ruakuri Walk, then explore the fascinating underground world of Ruakuri Cave, and finally get a dose of the wild on Spellbound Glowworm & Cave Tours. Keep things going the next day: head off the coast to Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari, then admire the sheer force of Marakopa Falls, then take in the views from Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk, and finally Head underground at Caveworld.

For more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Waitomo Caves trip itinerary builder website.

Traveling by combination of ferry and bus from Waiheke Island to Waitomo Caves takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry, train, and taxi; or do a combination of ferry, train, and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks · Nature · Outdoors

Side Trips

Statue of shearer, Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari
Find places to stay Sep 5 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Ruakuri Cave
Ruakuri Cave
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk
Caveworld ©
Caveworld

4
nights
Rotorua

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. Step off the beaten path and head to Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave and Horseback Riding Tours. And it doesn't end there: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, get impressive views of Waimangu Volcanic Valley, get interesting insight from Velocity Valley, and trek along Blue Lake Track.

To find reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Rotorua trip itinerary app.

Traveling by car from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In September, daily temperatures in Rotorua can reach 19°C, while at night they dip to 10°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Nature · Wildlife

Side Trip

Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave
Find places to stay Sep 7 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Horseback Riding Tours
Waimangu Volcanic Valley ©
Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Redwoods Treewalk ©
Redwoods Treewalk

2
nights
Wellington

Wellington ©
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.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Sat): explore the galleries of National War Memorial, take an in-depth tour of Wellington Museum, then admire the landmark architecture of Old St Paul's, then ponder the world of politics at New Zealand Parliament, and finally explore the activities along Oriental Bay. On the 13th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: examine the collection at Cable Car Museum, then look for all kinds of wild species at Staglands Wildlife Reserve, and then delve into the lush surroundings at Otari-Wilton's Bush Native Botanic Garden.

For maps, reviews, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Wellington road trip planner.

You can fly from Rotorua to Wellington in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 16°C in September, and nighttime lows around 10°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sun) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks · Wildlife · Nature
Find places to stay Sep 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Old St Paul's ©
Old St Paul's
Staglands Wildlife Reserve ©
Staglands Wildlife Reserve
Wellington Museum ©
Wellington Museum

Similar plans

24 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems Preferences: February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Slow & easy 42 days in Australia & New Zealand BY A USER FROM VIETNAM June, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, museums, shopping, popular sights Preferences: June, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, museums, shopping Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 24 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM MALTA October, popular sights Preferences: October Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 24 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM November, popular sights Preferences: November Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 23 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND March, popular sights Preferences: March Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 22 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM CANADA January, popular sights Preferences: January Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 60 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems Preferences: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 22 days in New Zealand & Niue BY A USER FROM ITALY September, popular sights Preferences: September Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 37 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems Preferences: February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Slow & easy 19 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, shopping, popular & hidden gems Preferences: January, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, shopping Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 29 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM March, culture, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular sights Preferences: March, culture, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 59 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM THE NETHERLANDS January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular sights Preferences: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium
See more plans