22 days in New Zealand Itinerary

22 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand route planner

Make it your trip
1
Wellington
— 1 night
Fly
2
Taupo
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Rotorua
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Auckland
— 1 night
Drive
6
Paihia
— 2 nights
Fly
7
Queenstown
— 4 nights
Bus
8
Te Anau
— 3 nights
Drive
9
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
— 2 nights
Fly

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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.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Thu): admire the natural beauty at Wellington Botanic Garden, then get to know the resident critters at Wellington Zoo, then explore the galleries of Maori Arts Gallery, and finally examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Here are some ideas for day two: ponder the world of politics at New Zealand Parliament, take some stellar pictures from Wellington Cable Car, then admire the landmark architecture of Old St Paul's, then brush up on your military savvy at National War Memorial, and finally take an in-depth tour of The Great War Exhibition.

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

The Route module shows you all the different ways you can get to Wellington. Expect a daytime high around 16°C in September, and nighttime lows around 10°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Fri) early enough to travel to Taupo.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums · Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Find places to stay Sep 1 — 2:

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.
Taupo is known for nature, adventure, and theme parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take in the dramatic scenery at Huka Falls Walkway, laugh and play at Huka Prawn Park, take in the dramatic natural features at Craters of the Moon, and don't miss a visit to Maori Rock Carvings.

To see photos, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Taupo online trip maker.

You can fly from Wellington to Taupo in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Mon) so you can go by car to Rotorua.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours
Find places to stay Sep 2 — 5:

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.
Change things up with a short trip to Hobbiton Movie Set in Hinuera (about 1h 20 min away). There's much more to do: whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, test the waters at a local thermal spa, take in the natural beauty of Te Puia, and take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback.

For photos, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Rotorua online trip builder.

Drive from Taupo to Rotorua in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In September in Rotorua, expect temperatures between 19°C during the day and 10°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trip

Find places to stay Sep 5 — 8:

Waitomo Caves

— 2 nights
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.
On the 9th (Fri), trek along Ruakuri Walk, explore the fascinating underground world of Ruakuri Cave, then explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, and finally surround yourself with nature on Spellbound Glowworm & Cave Tours. On the 10th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the views from Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk, then Head underground at Aranui Cave, then get outside with Waitomo Clay Birds, and finally relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour.

To find photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Waitomo Caves road trip website.

Drive from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Auckland.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Nature

Side Trip

Find places to stay Sep 8 — 10:

Auckland

— 1 night

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.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Sun): indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area, brush up on your military savvy at Auckland Museum, then stop by Pauanesia, and finally enjoy breathtaking views from SkyTower.

To find photos, more things to do, and tourist information, read Auckland online travel route builder.

Traveling by car from Waitomo Caves to Auckland takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. In September, daytime highs in Auckland are 15°C, while nighttime lows are 15°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sun) so you can go by car to Paihia.

Things to do in Auckland

Museums · Wineries · Tours · Shopping
Find places to stay Sep 10 — 11:

Paihia

— 2 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.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Mon): identify plant and animal life at Paihia Harbour, steep yourself in history at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at St James Anglican Church. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 13th (Tue): stop by Paihia Bookshop, then admire the landmark architecture of St Paul's Anglican Church, and then tee off at Waitangi Golf Club.

To see photos, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Paihia travel planning tool.

Drive from Auckland to Paihia in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Tue) early enough to travel to Queenstown.

Things to do in Paihia

Historic Sites · Parks · Golf · Outdoors

Side Trip

Find places to stay Sep 11 — 13:

Queenstown

— 4 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.
Take a break from Queenstown with a short trip to UnderDog Sled Dog Tours in Cardrona, about 54 minutes away. On the 14th (Wed), dedicate a day to the elevated beauty of The Remarkables Ski Area. On the 16th (Fri), dedicate a day to the elevated beauty of Coronet Peak. There's still lots to do: get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, see the world from above with a helicopter tour, and indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

For more things to do, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Queenstown day trip tool.

Traveling by flight from Paihia to Queenstown takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Sat) to allow time to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors · Parks · Nature · Winter Sports

Side Trip

Find places to stay Sep 13 — 17:

Te Anau

— 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.
Go for a jaunt from Te Anau to Milford Sound to see Boat Tours & Water Sports about 1 hour away. On the 20th (Tue), do a day of sightseeing from above with a helicopter tour. There's lots more to do: explore the activities along Milford Sound, indulge in some personalized pampering at Fiordland Massage Clinic, look for gifts at Kowhai Gifts & Souvenirs, and identify plant and animal life at Te Anau Bird Sanctuary.

For other places to visit, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, use the Te Anau trip itinerary maker app.

Traveling by bus from Queenstown to Te Anau takes 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu).

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Tours · Nature · Outdoors

Side Trip

Find places to stay Sep 17 — 20:

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

— 2 nights
On the 21st (Wed), trek along Glencoe Walk, hit the slopes at Ski The Tasman, then trek along Kea Point Track, and finally head outdoors with Aoraki/Mt. Cook. Here are some ideas for day two: hike along Fox Glacier South Side Walk, tour the pleasant surroundings at Minnehaha Walk, then see the world from above with a helicopter tour, and finally hike along Fox Glacier Hiking Trails.

To find reviews, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) trip itinerary website.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Te Anau to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Winter Sports

Side Trip

Find places to stay Sep 20 — 22:

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.