23 days in New Zealand Itinerary

23 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand vacation planner

Make it your trip
Fly to Queenstown, Bus to Te Anau
1
Te Anau
— 3 nights
Bus
2
Queenstown
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Fox Glacier
— 3 nights
Bus to Hokitika i-SITE, Fly to Waitomo Caves
4
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
Drive
5
Tongariro National Park
— 3 nights
Shuttle
6
Taupo
— 3 nights
Drive
7
Rotorua
— 2 nights
Drive
8
Whitianga
— 2 nights
Drive
9
Paihia
— 3 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
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27
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29
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31
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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.
Step out of the city life by going to Milford Sound and Lake Marian Track. Spend the 29th (Thu) exploring at Doubtful Sound. The adventure continues: see what you can catch with a fishing tour, get outside with Bushbash - Day Wilderness Expeditions, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Gertrude Saddle.

To find other places to visit, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, read our Te Anau journey maker.

Adelaide, Australia to Te Anau is an approximately 11-hour combination of flight and bus. The time zone difference moving from Australian Central Standard Time to New Zealand Standard Time is 2.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Thu) so you can catch the bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Outdoors

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 26 — 29:
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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.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Fri): stroll through Kiwi Birdlife Park, have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, then head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, and finally whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: savor the flavors at Food & Drink, then learn about winemaking at Peregrine Wines, and then get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To see photos, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Queenstown day trip planning app.

Getting from Te Anau to Queenstown by bus takes about 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Sat) so you can drive to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours · Outdoors · Adventure · Breweries & Distilleries
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 31:
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Fox Glacier

— 3 nights
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Step out of the city life by going to Gillespies Beach and Moraine Walk. Venture out of the city with trips to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) (Sealy Tarns Track & Glencoe Walk). There's lots more to do: trek along Fox Glacier South Side Walk, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, stroll through Mount Fox Route, and see the world from above with a helicopter tour.

For photos, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Fox Glacier trip builder site.

Traveling by car from Queenstown to Fox Glacier takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 3rd (Tue) to allow time for travel to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 3:
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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.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Wed): Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves, get outside with Outdoor Activities, and then get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

For more things to do, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, use the Waitomo Caves trip planner.

Do a combination of bus and flight from Fox Glacier to Waitomo Caves in 9.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Adventure
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 4:
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Tongariro National Park

— 3 nights
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
Get outdoors at Tongariro Alpine Crossing and Tongariro Northern Circuit. Spend the 5th (Thu) exploring nature at Active Outdoor Adventures. Next up on the itinerary: admire the sheer force of Taranaki Falls, contemplate the waterfront views at Tama Lakes, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Whakapapa Nature Walk.

To find reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Tongariro National Park trip planner.

Getting from Waitomo Caves to Tongariro National Park by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or do a combination of taxi and train. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sat) so you can catch the shuttle to Taupo.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Parks · Trails · Outdoors · Nature
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 7:
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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.
Get in touch with nature at Huka Falls Walkway and Kayaking & Canoeing. There's still lots to do: head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, take in the natural beauty of Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley, tour the pleasant surroundings at Kinloch Beach, and try out the rides at Taupo DeBretts Spa Resort.

For traveler tips, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, read our Taupo holiday planner.

Take a shuttle from Tongariro National Park to Taupo in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 7 — 10:
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Rotorua

— 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.
On the 11th (Wed), witness a stunning natural landmark at Whakarewarewa - The Living Maori Village, take a peaceful walk through Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest, then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and finally head outdoors with Outdoor Activities. Here are some ideas for day two: witness a stunning natural landmark at Waimangu Volcanic Valley, witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, then take in the natural beauty of Te Puia, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Rainbow Springs Nature Park, and finally whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

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

You can drive from Taupo to Rotorua in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 27°C, and evening lows to 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Whitianga.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Tours
Find places to stay Jan 10 — 12:
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Whitianga

— 2 nights
Whitianga is a town on the Coromandel Peninsula, in the Waikato Region of New Zealand's North Island. On the 13th (Fri), tour the pleasant surroundings at Hahei Beach Walk, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Hot Water Beach, and then stroll through Cathedral Cove Walk. Keep things going the next day: kick back and relax at Matarangi Beach, then test the waters at The Lost Spring, and then see majestic marine mammals with Cave Cruzer.

To see photos, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Whitianga trip itinerary maker app.

Traveling by car from Rotorua to Whitianga takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. Expect a daytime high around 26°C in January, and nighttime lows around 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sat) so you can drive to Paihia.

Things to do in Whitianga

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 12 — 14:
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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.
Get in touch with nature at Scuba & Snorkeling and Paihia Harbour. The adventure continues: admire all the interesting features of Waitangi Treaty Grounds, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, hike along Kerikeri River Track, and take in the pleasant sights at Opua Forest Lookout Track.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Paihia trip planner.

Traveling by car from Whitianga to Paihia takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and flight; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Tue) early enough to catch the flight back home.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 14 — 17:
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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.