26 days in New Zealand Itinerary

26 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand trip itinerary planner
Make it your trip
Fly to Queenstown, Bus to Te Anau
1
Te Anau
— 3 nights
Bus
2
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Fox Glacier
— 3 nights
Bus to Hokitika i-SITE, Fly to Wellington
4
Wellington
— 1 night
Fly
5
Tongariro National Park
— 3 nights
Shuttle
6
Taupo
— 3 nights
Drive
7
Rotorua
— 3 nights
Drive
8
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
Drive
9
Auckland
— 1 night
Fly
10
Paihia
— 4 nights
Fly

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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.
Go for a jaunt from Te Anau to Milford Sound to see Bowen Falls about 1 hour away. Spend the 4th (Wed) exploring at Doubtful Sound. On the 5th (Thu), hike the day away at Kepler Track. Next up on the itinerary: explore the activities along Milford Sound, trek along Lake Gunn, and tour the pleasant surroundings at The Chasm Walk.

To see more things to do, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Te Anau travel planner.

Melbourne, Australia to Te Anau is an approximately 8.5-hour combination of flight and bus. Traveling from Melbourne to Te Anau, you'll lose 2 hours due to the time zone difference. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Thu) early enough to catch the bus to Queenstown.
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Parks · Nature · Trails · Outdoors
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 5:
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Queenstown — 3 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.
Queenstown is known for fun & games, wildlife, and adventure. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown, explore the activities along Lake Wakatipu, take in nature's colorful creations at Queenstown Gardens, and identify plant and animal life at Kiwi Park.

For ratings, reviews, maps, and tourist information, use the Queenstown tour planning website.

Traveling by bus from Te Anau to Queenstown takes 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Fox Glacier.
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Tours · Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 8:
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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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) (Sealy Tarns Track & Glencoe Walk). Next up on the itinerary: explore the striking landscape at Franz Josef Glacier, tour the pleasant surroundings at Mount Fox Route, hike along Minnehaha Walk, and see the world from above with a helicopter tour.

For where to stay, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Fox Glacier trip planner.

You can drive from Queenstown to Fox Glacier in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Wed) so you can travel to Wellington.
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Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Beaches
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 11:
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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.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Thu): get a sense of history and politics at New Zealand Parliament, admire the natural beauty at Wellington Botanic Garden, then get around town with Wellington Cable Car, and finally examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

For photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Wellington travel planner.

Getting from Fox Glacier to Wellington by combination of bus and flight takes about 8 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. In January, daily temperatures in Wellington can reach 24°C, while at night they dip to 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Thu) early enough to fly to Tongariro National Park.
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Parks · Museums · Transportation · Historic Sites
Side Trip
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 12:
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Tongariro National Park — 3 nights

Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
On the 15th (Sun), hike the day away at Tongariro Alpine Crossing. There's still lots to do: get to know the fascinating history of Ohakune Old Coach Road, hike along Whakapapa Nature Walk, take in the dramatic scenery at Taranaki Falls, and take in the pleasant sights at Mead's Wall.

For reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Tongariro National Park road trip planning tool.

Traveling by flight from Wellington to Tongariro National Park takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and taxi. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sun) so you can take a shuttle to Taupo.
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Parks · Trails · Outdoors · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 15:
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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.
Taupo is known for nature, theme parks, and sightseeing. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: push the limits with an extreme tour, look for gifts at Huka Honey Hive, take in the dramatic scenery at Huka Falls Walkway, and get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

For where to stay, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, read our Taupo online travel planner.

You can take a shuttle from Tongariro National Park to Taupo in 1.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Rotorua.
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Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 18:
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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: whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, look for all kinds of wild species at Waimangu Volcanic Valley, get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, and take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback.

For photos, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, read Rotorua road trip planning site.

You can drive from Taupo to Rotorua in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In January, daily temperatures in Rotorua can reach 27°C, while at night they dip to 19°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Sat) early enough to go by car to Waitomo Caves.
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Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours
Side Trip
Find places to stay Jan 18 — 21:
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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.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Sun): explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, then Head underground at Caveworld, then take a memorable tour with Tours, and finally trek along Ruakuri Walk.

For where to stay, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, read our Waitomo Caves online driving holiday planner.

Getting from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can drive to Auckland.
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Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Trails
Find places to stay Jan 21 — 22:
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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.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Mon): get impressive views of Rangitoto Island, then learn about all things military at Auckland Museum, and then take in panoramic vistas at SkyTower.

For more things to do, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Auckland online itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Waitomo Caves to Auckland takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 22°C in January, and nighttime lows around 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) early enough to fly to Paihia.
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Museums · Parks · Nature
Find places to stay Jan 22 — 23:
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Paihia — 4 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.
Step out of Paihia to go to Russell and see Pompallier Mission and Printery, which is approximately 42 minutes away. There's much more to do: contemplate the long history of Waitangi Treaty Grounds, take in the dramatic scenery at Rainbow Falls, take some stellar pictures from Opua Forest Lookout Track, and look for gifts at The Cabbage Tree Shop.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Paihia driving holiday planning app.

Fly from Auckland to Paihia in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) early enough to catch the flight back home.
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Parks · Wildlife · Tours · Historic Sites
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jan 23 — 27:
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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.
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