22 days in New Zealand Itinerary

22 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand vacation planner

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Route & dates

22 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Melbourne
Fly:  7 h
1
New Plymouth
— 1 night
Fly + Bus:  2 h 45 min
2
Auckland
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h 30 min
3
Hamilton
— 3 nights
Drive:  1 h 30 min
4
Tauranga
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h
5
Rotorua
— 3 nights
Fly:  3 h
6
Wellington
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h 30 min
7
Picton
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h
8
Nelson
— 2 nights
Fly + Bus:  3 h
9
Christchurch
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h 30 min
10
Timaru
— 1 night
Drive:  4 h
11
Queenstown
— 2 nights
Fly:  6 h
End: Melbourne

1
night
New Plymouth

New Plymouth ©
Where other cities run, New Plymouth prefers to stroll.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Thu): meet the residents at Pukekura Park, hike along Ratapihipihi Scenic Reserve Walk, then step off the mainland to explore Paritutu Rock, and finally go for a walk through New Plymouth Coastal Walkway.

To find photos, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read New Plymouth trip planning tool .

Melbourne, Australia to New Plymouth is an approximately 7-hour flight. Traveling from Melbourne to New Plymouth, you'll lose 2 hours due to the time zone difference. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) so you can travel to Auckland.

Things to do in New Plymouth

Parks Nature Zoos & Aquariums
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Pukekura Park ©
Pukekura Park
Paritutu Rock ©
Paritutu Rock
New Plymouth Coastal Walkway ©
New Plymouth Coastal Walkway

2
nights
Auckland

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.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Fri): see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour and then enjoy the sand and surf at Orewa Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 18th (Sat): stroll through Piha Beach, cruise along Arataki Visitor Centre, and then identify plant and animal life at Muriwai Gannet Colony.

To find reviews, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Auckland trip itinerary planner.

Getting from New Plymouth to Auckland by combination of flight and bus takes about 3 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. In January, daytime highs in Auckland are 22°C, while nighttime lows are 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Hamilton.

Things to do in Auckland

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Piha, Orewa Beach, Muriwai Gannet Colony
Find places to stay Jan 16 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Muriwai Gannet Colony ©
Muriwai Gannet Colony
Arataki Visitor Centre ©
Arataki Visitor Centre

3
nights
Hamilton

Hamilton ©
On the banks of the Waikato River lies Hamilton, a pretty, active city on North Island.
Get outdoors at Redwoods Treewalk and Ruakuri Cave. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Caveworld and Kuirau Park. Get out of town with these interesting Hamilton side-trips: Raglan (Stand-Up Paddleboarding, Ngarunui Beach, & more) and Waitomo Caves (Ruakuri Walk & Waitomo Glowworm Caves). There's more to do: admire the natural beauty at Taitua Arboretum.

To see ratings, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, read Hamilton trip itinerary maker app .

Getting from Auckland to Hamilton by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Tue) early enough to drive to Tauranga.

Things to do in Hamilton

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Waitomo Caves, Raglan, Rotorua
Find places to stay Jan 18 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Taitua Arboretum ©
Taitua Arboretum
Redwoods Treewalk ©
Redwoods Treewalk
Ngarunui Beach ©
Ngarunui Beach

2
nights
Tauranga

Tauranga ©
The largest city in the Bay of Plenty, Tauranga features extensive sandy beaches, well-maintained hiking paths, and a good range of accommodations.
On the 22nd (Wed), kick back and relax at Pilot Bay, hike along Mount Maunganui Base Track, then stroll through Mt Maunganui Main Beach, and finally take some stellar pictures from Minden Lookout. Keep things going the next day: stroll through Papamoa Beach, then hike along Mount Maunganui Summit Track, and then admire the sheer force of Wairere Falls.

To find more things to do, photos, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Tauranga road trip planner.

Traveling by car from Hamilton to Tauranga takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 27°C in January, and nighttime lows around 19°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Thu) early enough to go by car to Rotorua.

Things to do in Tauranga

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Wairere Falls, Papamoa Beach
Find places to stay Jan 21 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Pilot Bay ©
Pilot Bay
Mt Maunganui Main Beach ©
Mt Maunganui Main Beach
Papamoa Beach ©
Papamoa Beach

3
nights
Rotorua

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.
Take a break from the city and head to Huka Falls Walkway and Horseback Riding Tours. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Waimangu Volcanic Valley and Redwoods Treewalk. Go for a jaunt from Rotorua to Taupo to see Spa Thermal Park and Riverbank Recreational and Scenic Reserve about 1h 05 min away. Next up on the itinerary: identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas, witness a stunning natural landmark at Waiotapu Boardwalk/ Mud Pool, delve into the lush surroundings at Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest, and trek along Tikitapu Nature Walk.

For other places to visit, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Rotorua travel site .

Drive from Tauranga to Rotorua in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In January, daytime highs in Rotorua are 27°C, while nighttime lows are 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) so you can travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Taupo, Waiotapu Boardwalk/ Mud Pool, Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave
Find places to stay Jan 23 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave ©
Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave
Waimangu Volcanic Valley ©
Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Nature & Wildlife Tours

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.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Mon): contemplate the long history of Old St Paul's, contemplate the waterfront views at Oriental Bay, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Staglands Wildlife Reserve. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 28th (Tue): take an exotic tour of a safari tour and then take a peaceful walk through Otari-Wilton's Bush Native Botanic Garden.

To find ratings, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Wellington trip itinerary maker .

You can fly from Rotorua to Wellington in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 24°C in January, and nighttime lows around 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Tue) so you can drive to Picton.

Things to do in Wellington

Wildlife Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Jan 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Staglands Wildlife Reserve ©
Staglands Wildlife Reserve
Safaris

1
night
Picton

Picton ©
Take photo after stunning photo in Picton, the gateway to South Island.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Wed): explore the galleries of Edwin Fox Maritime Museum, go for a walk through Karaka Point Walk, and then contemplate the waterfront views at Marlborough Sounds.

Plan a trip to Picton easily and quickly by telling Inspirock to suggest an itinerary.

Traveling by car from Wellington to Picton takes 3.5 hours. January in Picton sees daily highs of 24°C and lows of 17°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Nelson.

Things to do in Picton

Parks Trails Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 28 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Marlborough Sounds ©
Marlborough Sounds
Edwin Fox Maritime Museum ©
Edwin Fox Maritime Museum

2
nights
Nelson

Nelson ©
Put on your shades to enjoy the sights of Nelson, one of the sunniest cities in New Zealand.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Thu): pause for some serene contemplation at Christ Church Cathedral, then enjoy the sand and surf at Tahunanui Beach, and then kick back and relax at Kaiteriteri Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: admire the natural beauty at Queen's Gardens, don't miss a visit to Centre of New Zealand, see the interesting displays at World of WearableArt & Classic Car Museum, then get your game on at Pro Karts, and finally head outdoors with SUPSTAR.

To see other places to visit, ratings, maps, and tourist information, read Nelson journey planner .

Getting from Picton to Nelson by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Fri) early enough to travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Nelson

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Kaiteriteri Beach
Find places to stay Jan 29 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Tahunanui Beach ©
Tahunanui Beach
Christ Church Cathedral ©
Christ Church Cathedral

2
nights
Christchurch

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Sat): let the kids burn off some steam at Margaret Mahy Family Playground and then take a memorable tour with Tours. On the 2nd (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take a stroll through Port Hills, then explore the striking landscape at Sumner Beach (Cave Rock), then have some family-friendly fun at Velocity Karts, and finally steep yourself in history at Riccarton House & Bush.

For where to stay, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, read Christchurch online tour itinerary planner .

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Nelson to Christchurch takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and flight. In January, daytime highs in Christchurch are 26°C, while nighttime lows are 13°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sun) early enough to travel to Timaru.

Things to do in Christchurch

Outdoors Parks Tours
Find places to stay Jan 31 — Feb 2:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Sumner Beach (Cave Rock) ©
Sumner Beach (Cave Rock)
Port Hills ©
Port Hills

1
night
Timaru

Timaru ©
Timaru is a port city in the southern Canterbury region of New Zealand, located 157 kilometres southwest of Christchurch and about 196 kilometres northeast of Dunedin on the eastern Pacific coast of the South Island. On the 3rd (Mon), look for all kinds of wild species at Otipua Wetland, then stroll through Caroline Bay Beach, and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Sacred Heart Basilica.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Timaru tour builder website .

Traveling by car from Christchurch to Timaru takes 2.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Mon) so you can travel to Queenstown.

Things to do in Timaru

Parks Wildlife Beaches
Find places to stay Feb 2 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Caroline Bay Beach ©
Caroline Bay Beach
Sacred Heart Basilica ©
Sacred Heart Basilica

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 4th (Tue): take in nature's colorful creations at Little Paradise Dream Garden, then admire all the interesting features of Glenorchy-Queenstown Road, and then get outside with Arrowtown Village. Keep things going the next day: get your game on at Dark Ride, then trek along Ben Lomond Track, then get interesting insight from Tours, and finally contemplate the long history of Fallen Soldiers Memorial.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Queenstown travel tool .

You can drive from Timaru to Queenstown in 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Little Paradise Dream Garden, Arrowtown Village
Find places to stay Feb 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Glenorchy-Queenstown Road ©
Glenorchy-Queenstown Road
Ben Lomond Track ©
Ben Lomond Track
Fishing Charters & Tours

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