12 days in New Zealand Itinerary

12 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Hobart
Fly:  9​h 15​min
1
Auckland
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
2
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
3
Taupo
— 2 nights
Fly:  2​h 45​min
4
Wellington
— 1 night
Fly:  3​h 15​min
5
Queenstown
— 3 nights
bus:  3​h 15​min
6
Te Anau
— 3 nights
bus + Fly:  12​h 45​min
End: Hobart

1
night
Auckland

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.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Tue): get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium, brush up on your military savvy at Auckland War Memorial Museum, and then enjoy breathtaking views from Sky Tower.

For photos, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Auckland journey planner .

Hobart, Australia to Auckland is an approximately 9.5-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Australian Eastern Standard Time (Tasmania) to New Zealand Standard Time is 2 hours. When traveling from Hobart in September, plan for a bit cooler days in Auckland, with highs around 15°C, while nights are somewhat warmer with lows around 15°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Tue) so you can go by car to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Auckland

Museums Parks Zoos & Aquariums
Find places to stay Sep 30 — Oct 1:
Highlights from your plan
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Auckland War Memorial Museum ©
Auckland War Memorial Museum
SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium ©
SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium

1
night
Waitomo Caves

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 2nd (Wed): Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves, stroll through Ruakuri Walk, then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and finally head outdoors with Waitomo Clay Birds.

For more things to do, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Waitomo Caves trip planning tool .

Traveling by car from Auckland to Waitomo Caves takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Wed) early enough to drive to Taupo.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors Adventure Tours
Find places to stay Oct 1 — 2:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk

2
nights
Taupo

The resort town of Taupo lies on the banks of Lake Taupo, the largest body of water in the whole of Australasia.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Thu): admire the sheer force of Huka Falls Walkway, enjoy some diversion at AC Baths, then witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, and finally learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Lilliput Farm Fun And Animal Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 4th (Fri): stop by Souvenir Outlet, then find something for the whole family at Huka Prawn Park, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Kinloch Beach, and finally push the limits with an extreme tour.

For maps, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Taupo day trip tool .

Getting from Waitomo Caves to Taupo by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Fri) so you can travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks Outdoors Fun & Games

Side Trip

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Find places to stay Oct 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

1
night
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 5th (Sat): get to know the resident critters at Wellington Zoo, get outside with Great Alpine Highway, and then see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

To see reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Wellington itinerary builder tool .

Getting from Taupo to Wellington by flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of bus and flight. Expect a daytime high around 19°C in October, and nighttime lows around 11°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Sat) early enough to travel to Queenstown.

Things to do in Wellington

Outdoors Parks Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Great Alpine Highway
Find places to stay Oct 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Great Alpine Highway ©
Great Alpine Highway
Wellington Zoo ©
Wellington Zoo

3
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.
Queenstown is known for fun & games, adventure, wildlife, spas, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown, hit the slopes at The Remarkables Ski Area, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and look for all kinds of wild species at Kiwi Birdlife Park.

For traveler tips, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Queenstown travel route planning site .

Traveling by flight from Wellington to Queenstown takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of ferry and car. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Tue) to allow time to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Parks Winter Sports
Find places to stay Oct 5 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Coronet Peak ©
Coronet Peak
The Remarkables Ski Area ©
The Remarkables Ski Area

3
nights
Te Anau

Te Anau ©
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.
On the 9th (Wed), explore the activities along Lake Gunn, explore the activities along Milford Sound, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at The Chasm Walk. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 10th (Thu): get great views at Te Anau Lion Lookout Point, then explore the activities along Ivan Wilson Park, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Doubtful Sound.

For more things to do, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Te Anau day trip planning app .

Traveling by bus from Queenstown to Te Anau takes 3.5 hours. On the 11th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

Lake Gunn
Find places to stay Oct 8 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound
Lake Te Anau ©
Lake Te Anau

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