11 days in New Zealand Itinerary

11 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

11 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Auckland
Drive:  1​h 45​min
1
Waiheke Island
— 1 day
+3
Ferry + Bus + Fly + Taxi:  4​h 30​min
2
Rotorua
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
3
Napier
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
4
Gisborne
— 1 night
Fly + Drive:  3​h 30​min
5
Paraparaumu
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h
6
Wellington
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h 15​min
7
Queenstown
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h 15​min
End: Auckland

1
day
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.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Thu): stop by Rangihoua Estate and then indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area.

Plan trip to Waiheke Island with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

Auckland to Waiheke Island is an approximately 2-hour car ride. Traveling from Auckland in December, you will find days in Waiheke Island are a bit warmer (24°C), and nights are little chillier (17°C). Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Thu) early enough to travel to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waiheke Island

Tours Shopping
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Wine Tours & Tastings
Rangihoua Estate ©
Rangihoua Estate

3
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.
Explore Rotorua's surroundings by going to Hobbiton Movie Set (in Hinuera) and Taupo (Adrenaline & Extreme Tours & Huka Falls Walkway). There's much more to do: take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, identify plant and animal life at Redwoods Treewalk, take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, and don't miss a visit to Amokura Glass.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Rotorua online attractions planner .

Do a combination of ferry, flight, and taxi from Waiheke Island to Rotorua in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and flight; or do a combination of ferry and bus. December in Rotorua sees daily highs of 25°C and lows of 17°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Napier.

Things to do in Rotorua

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Taupo, Hobbiton Movie Set
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway

1
night
Napier

Napier ©
Enjoy the atmosphere and architecture of 1930s design in Napier, one of the best-preserved Art Deco cities in the world.
Start off your visit on the 30th (Mon): observe the fascinating underwater world at National Aquarium of New Zealand, do a tasting at Elephant Hill, and then identify plant and animal life at Cape Kidnappers.

For reviews, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Napier visit planner .

Traveling by car from Rotorua to Napier takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Gisborne.

Things to do in Napier

Parks Wildlife Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Cape Kidnappers, Elephant Hill
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Cape Kidnappers ©
Cape Kidnappers
National Aquarium of New Zealand ©
National Aquarium of New Zealand
Elephant Hill ©
Elephant Hill

1
night
Gisborne

Gisborne ©
A holiday in Gisborne incorporates both leisure and culture.
Kick off your visit on the 31st (Tue): admire the masterpieces at Tairawhiti Museum, then do a tasting at Millton Vineyards & Winery, then take a peaceful walk through Eastwoodhill Arboretum, and finally indulge your thirst for a good beer at Sunshine Brewery & Taproom.

For where to stay, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Gisborne online trip itinerary planner .

Getting from Napier to Gisborne by car takes about 3 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Tue) early enough to travel to Paraparaumu.

Things to do in Gisborne

Wineries Nature Breweries & Distilleries

Side Trips

Millton Vineyards & Winery, Eastwoodhill Arboretum
Find places to stay Dec 30 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Millton Vineyards & Winery ©
Millton Vineyards & Winery
Eastwoodhill Arboretum ©
Eastwoodhill Arboretum
Tairawhiti Museum ©
Tairawhiti Museum

1
night
Paraparaumu

Paraparaumu ©
Paraparaumu is a town in the south-western North Island of New Zealand. On the 1st (Wed), see the interesting displays at Southward Car Museum, head off the coast to Kapiti Island, then stop by Nyco Chocolates, and finally examine the collection at Kapiti Coast Electric Tramway.

For more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Paraparaumu sightseeing tool .

Explore your travel options from Gisborne to Paraparaumu with the Route module. Expect a daytime high around 22°C in December, and nighttime lows around 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Wed) early enough to drive to Wellington.

Things to do in Paraparaumu

Museums Nature Shopping

Side Trips

Kapiti Island, Kapiti Coast Electric Tramway
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Southward Car Museum ©
Southward Car Museum
Kapiti Island ©
Kapiti Island

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 2nd (Thu): get a sense of history and politics at New Zealand Parliament, then admire the natural beauty at Wellington Botanic Garden, then take a memorable ride with Wellington Cable Car, and finally examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. On the next day, get engrossed in the history at Wellington Museum, look for all kinds of wild species at ZEALANDIA Sanctuary, and then get engrossed in the history at The Great War Exhibition.

For other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Wellington travel itinerary planner .

You can drive from Paraparaumu to Wellington in an hour. In January in Wellington, expect temperatures between 24°C during the day and 17°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) early enough to travel to Queenstown.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

Wellington Botanic Garden
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Wellington Cable Car ©
Wellington Cable Car
Wellington Botanic Garden ©
Wellington Botanic Garden

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 (Sat): get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, learn about winemaking at Peregrine Wines, and then have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: identify plant and animal life at Kiwi Birdlife Park, whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

Planning Queenstown trip won't be overwheling when you use's Insprock itinerary maker.

You can fly from Wellington to Queenstown in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of ferry and car. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sun) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Tours Adventure
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Zipline

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