14 days in New Zealand Itinerary

14 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

14 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  5​h 45​min
1
Queenstown
— 2 nights
bus:  2​h 30​min
2
Wanaka
— 2 nights
Fly + bus:  6​h 45​min
3
Akaroa
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
4
Kaikoura
— 1 night
+2
train + bus + Fly:  8​h
5
Rotorua
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
6
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
+2
taxi + Fly + taxi:  3​h
7
Paihia
— 3 nights
Fly:  8​h
End: Sydney

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 2nd (Thu): appreciate the extensive heritage of Arrowtown Chinese Settlement, then get engrossed in the history at Lakes District Museum & Art Gallery, and then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas. On the 3rd (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: learn about winemaking at Mt Difficulty Wines Cellar Door, cruise along Crown Range Road, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Lake Hayes Walkway.

For traveler tips, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Queenstown itinerary builder website .

Sydney, Australia to Queenstown is an approximately 6-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 2 hours traveling from Sydney to Queenstown. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) early enough to take a bus to Wanaka.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Historic Sites Trails

Side Trips

Arrowtown, Mt Difficulty Wines Cellar Door, Crown Range Road
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Hayes Walkway ©
Lake Hayes Walkway
Arrowtown Chinese Settlement ©
Arrowtown Chinese Settlement
Lakes District Museum & Art Gallery ©

2
nights
Wanaka

Wanaka ©
Situated on the shores of Lake Wanaka in the Otago region, Wanaka has become a popular ski and summer resort area, owing to its extensive views of the lake and its proximity to some of the best slopes in the country.
On the 4th (Sat), explore the activities along Lake Wanaka, then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, then gear up at Outside Sports, and finally learn about winemaking at Aitken's Folly Vineyard. Keep things going the next day: hike along Roys Peak Track.

To see more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Wanaka trip itinerary maker tool .

Take a bus from Queenstown to Wanaka in 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) early enough to travel to Akaroa.

Things to do in Wanaka

Parks Outdoors Trails
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Wanaka ©
Lake Wanaka
Roys Peak Track ©
Roys Peak Track
Spas

1
night
Akaroa

The French heritage and colonial architecture of Akaroa has broad appeal to anthropologists, historians, architects--and just about anyone with an eye for beautiful, historical buildings and a palate for fine dining.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Mon): get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, look for gifts at Fire & Ice - Gemstone Jewellery Specialists, pause for some serene contemplation at Saint Peter's Anglican Church, then take an in-depth tour of Akaroa Museum, and finally appreciate the history behind Banks Peninsula War Memorial and Grounds.

For photos, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Akaroa online day trip planner .

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Wanaka to Akaroa takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In January, daily temperatures in Akaroa can reach 25°C, while at night they dip to 13°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Akaroa

Wildlife Tours Museums
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Akaroa Museum ©
Akaroa Museum

1
night
Kaikoura

Kaikoura ©
Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Tue): see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, get engrossed in the history at Kaikoura Museum, then trek along Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway, and finally look for gifts at Kaikoura Cheese.

To see maps, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Kaikoura trip app .

You can drive from Akaroa to Kaikoura in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi and train; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Tue) early enough to travel to Rotorua.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Outdoors Trails Parks
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway ©
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway
Kaikoura Museum ©
Kaikoura Museum
Dolphin & Whale Watching

2
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.
Head to 3D Trick Art Gallery and the Zeus Galleryfor some retail therapy. Discover out-of-the-way places like Mt Maunganui Main Beach and Waimangu Cauldron. Change things up with a short trip to Ohope Beach in Whakatane (about 1h 25 min away). And it doesn't end there: look for all kinds of wild species at Waimangu Volcanic Valley, take a stroll through Eat Street, take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, and do a tasting at Volcanic Hills Winery.

For traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Rotorua trip planner .

Getting from Kaikoura to Rotorua by combination of train and flight takes about 8 hours. Other options: do a combination of train, bus, and flight; or do a combination of train, bus, and flight. January in Rotorua sees daily highs of 27°C and lows of 19°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Fri) early enough to drive to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Nature Beaches

Side Trips

Tauranga, Waimangu Volcanic Valley, Ohope Beach
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Mt Maunganui Main Beach ©
Mt Maunganui Main Beach
Waimangu Volcanic Valley ©
Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Ohope Beach ©
Ohope Beach

1
night
Waitomo Caves

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 11th (Sat): Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves, then Head underground at Ruakuri Cave, then surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, and finally stroll through Ruakuri Walk.

To see photos, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Waitomo Caves sightseeing tool .

Traveling by car from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Sat) early enough to travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors Wildlife Tours
Find places to stay Jan 10 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Ruakuri Cave
Ruakuri Cave

3
nights
Paihia

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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Paihia Harbour and Nature & Wildlife Tours. When in Paihia, make a side trip to see Wairere Boulders in Horeke, approximately 54 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: take a memorable excursion with Day Trips, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, stop by Paihia Bookshop, and discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

To see more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Paihia tour itinerary planner.

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Waitomo Caves to Paihia in 3 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of bus and flight. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Tue) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife Tours Outdoors

Side Trip

Wairere Boulders
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour
Wairere Boulders ©
Wairere Boulders

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