14 days in San Francisco & New Zealand Itinerary

14 days in San Francisco & New Zealand Itinerary

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14 days in San Francisco & New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Washington DC, United States
Fly:  6​h
1
San Francisco, United States
— Few hours
Fly:  13​h 30​min
2
Auckland, New Zealand
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
3
Paihia, New Zealand
— Few hours
Drive:  3​h
4
Auckland, New Zealand
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
5
Matamata, New Zealand
— Few hours
Drive:  1​h
6
Rotorua, New Zealand
— 1 night
bus:  1​h
7
Taupo, New Zealand
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h
8
Wellington, New Zealand
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​min
9
Picton, New Zealand
— Few hours
Drive:  6​h
10
Christchurch, New Zealand
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h
11
Mt. Cook Village, New Zealand
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
12
Queenstown, New Zealand
— 2 nights
bus:  8​h 15​min
13
Franz Josef, New Zealand
— Few hours
Drive:  2​h 30​min
14
Greymouth, New Zealand
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​min
15
Christchurch, New Zealand
— 1 night
Fly:  4​h
16
Auckland, New Zealand
— Few hours
Fly:  15​h 30​min
17
San Francisco, United States
— Few hours
Fly:  7​h
End: Washington DC, United States

few
hours
San Francisco, United States

San Francisco
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
For where to stay, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, use the San Francisco trip itinerary website .

Washington DC to San Francisco is an approximately 7-hour flight. You can also do a combination of subway, bus, and flight; or drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 3 hours traveling from Washington DC to San Francisco. Traveling from Washington DC in November, San Francisco is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 51°F. On the 29th (Fri), you'll travel to Auckland.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Tours Wineries
Find places to stay Nov 29 — 30:

1
night
Auckland, New Zealand

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.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Sun): get impressive views of Mount Eden, get engrossed in the history at Auckland War Memorial Museum, enjoy the thrill of live dance at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium, then stroll through Cheltenham Beach, and finally explore the activities along Devonport.

To see where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, read Auckland trip app .

You can fly from San Francisco to Auckland in 15.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight. The time zone difference when traveling from San Francisco to Auckland is 20 hours. Traveling from San Francisco in December, plan for a bit warmer nights in Auckland, with lows around 64°F. You'll have a few hours on the 2nd (Mon) to wrap things up before traveling to Paihia.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trip

Cheltenham Beach
Find places to stay Dec 1 — 2:
Highlights from your plan
Mount Eden ©
Mount Eden
Auckland War Memorial Museum ©
Auckland War Memorial Museum
Rangitoto Island ©
Rangitoto Island

few
hours
Paihia, New Zealand

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.
On the 2nd (Mon), look for all kinds of wild species at Paihia Harbour.

To see more things to do, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, use the Paihia trip itinerary planning app .

You can drive from Auckland to Paihia in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Auckland.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife Parks
Find places to stay Dec 2 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour

1
night
Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland
To see photos, ratings, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Auckland trip planner.

Drive from Paihia to Auckland in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. On the 3rd (Tue), you're off toMatamata.

Things to do in Auckland

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Dec 2 — 3:

few
hours
Matamata, New Zealand

Matamata ©
Matamata is a town in the Waikato Region of New Zealand's North Island. Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Tue): look for all kinds of wild species at Waiorongomai Valley Tramping Tracks, don't miss a visit to Dog and Sheep Shaped Corrugated Metal Buildings, and then admire the sheer force of Wairere Falls.

For ratings, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Matamata trip itinerary planner.

Drive from Auckland to Matamata in 2 hours. Traveling from Auckland in December, expect nights in Matamata to be a bit cooler, around 59°F, while days are somewhat warmer, around 71°F. On the 3rd (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Matamata

Parks Trails Wildlife

Side Trips

Dog and Sheep Shaped Corrugated Metal Buildings, Wairere Falls, Waiorongomai Valley Tramping Tracks
Find places to stay Dec 3 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Wairere Falls ©
Wairere Falls

1
night
Rotorua, New Zealand

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.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Tue): boost your wellbeing at a local thermal spa.

To find more things to do, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, read Rotorua trip planner.

Getting from Matamata to Rotorua by car takes about an hour. In December, daily temperatures in Rotorua can reach 71°F, while at night they dip to 59°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Wed) so you can take a bus to Taupo.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Wildlife Adventure
Find places to stay Dec 3 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Rainbow Springs Nature Park ©
Rainbow Springs Nature Park
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Zipline

1
night
Taupo, New Zealand

The resort town of Taupo lies on the banks of Lake Taupo, the largest body of water in the whole of Australasia.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Thu): take in nature's colorful creations at Lava Glass, then hike along Huka Falls Walkway, then push the limits with an extreme tour, and finally see the interesting displays at Taupo Museum.

To see ratings, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Taupo route planner .

You can take a bus from Rotorua to Taupo in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Taupo

Museums Outdoors Tours
Find places to stay Dec 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway
Taupo Museum ©
Taupo Museum

1
night
Wellington, New Zealand

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.
For traveler tips, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Wellington trip 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. In December, plan for daily highs up to 67°F, and evening lows to 56°F. On the 6th (Fri), you'll travel to Picton.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks Outdoors Tours
Find places to stay Dec 5 — 6:

few
hours
Picton, New Zealand

Picton ©
Take photo after stunning photo in Picton, the gateway to South Island.
On the 6th (Fri), browse the exhibits of Edwin Fox Maritime Museum and then do a tasting at Framingham Wines.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Picton online trip itinerary planner .

Getting from Wellington to Picton by car takes about 3.5 hours. In December in Picton, expect temperatures between 67°F during the day and 56°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 6th (Fri) to allow time for travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Picton

Museums Historic Sites Wineries

Side Trip

Framingham Wines
Find places to stay Dec 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Edwin Fox Maritime Museum ©
Edwin Fox Maritime Museum
Framingham Wines ©
Framingham Wines

1
night
Christchurch, New Zealand

Christchurch
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
To see other places to visit, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Christchurch day trip tool .

Getting from Picton to Christchurch by flight takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or drive. Traveling from Picton in December, plan for slightly colder nights in Christchurch, with lows around 51°F. On the 7th (Sat), you're off toMt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Christchurch

Tours Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Dec 6 — 7:

1
night
Mt. Cook Village, New Zealand

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
On the 7th (Sat), stroll through Glencoe Walk, see the sky in a new way at Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Kea Point Track, then trek along Hooker Valley Track, and finally head outdoors with Aoraki/Mt. Cook. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 8th (Sun): get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour and then pause for some serene contemplation at The Church of the Good Shepherd.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Mt. Cook Village tour itinerary builder .

Drive from Christchurch to Mt. Cook Village in 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 8th (Sun) to allow time for travel to Queenstown.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Outdoors Trails Parks

Side Trips

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Lake Tekapo
Find places to stay Dec 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook
Kea Point Track ©
Kea Point Track

2
nights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown ©
Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
You've now added Milford Sound to your itinerary. On the 9th (Mon), explore the activities along Milford Sound and then kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

For more things to do, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Queenstown trip itinerary planner .

You can drive from Mt. Cook Village to Queenstown in 3 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Franz Josef.

Things to do in Queenstown

Nature Parks Adventure

Side Trip

Milford Sound
Find places to stay Dec 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Zipline

few
hours
Franz Josef, New Zealand

Located in the World Heritage Site that is home to its eponymous glacier, the town of Franz Josef provides a comfortable and welcoming rest spot for adventurers after a long day out on the ice.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Tue): indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas and then take in the dramatic natural features at Franz Josef Glacier.

To find ratings, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Franz Josef road trip site .

You can drive from Queenstown to Franz Josef in 4.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Tue) so you can travel to Greymouth.

Things to do in Franz Josef

Spas Trails Nature
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Spas
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier

1
night
Greymouth, New Zealand

Greymouth ©
Greymouth is the largest town in the West Coast region in the South Island of New Zealand, and the seat of the Grey District Council. Start off your visit on the 11th (Wed): hike along Point Elizabeth Walkway, trek along Woods Creek Track, then steep yourself in history at Shantytown Heritage Park, and finally indulge your thirst for a good beer at Monteith's Brewing Company.

To find photos, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Greymouth vacation builder .

You can drive from Franz Josef to Greymouth in 2.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Greymouth

Trails Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Woods Creek Track ©
Woods Creek Track
Point Elizabeth Walkway ©
Point Elizabeth Walkway
Shantytown Heritage Park ©
Shantytown Heritage Park

1
night
Christchurch, New Zealand

Christchurch
To find reviews, other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Christchurch trip builder site .

Getting from Greymouth to Christchurch by car takes about 3.5 hours. On the 12th (Thu), you're off toAuckland.

Things to do in Christchurch

Tours Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Dec 11 — 12:

few
hours
Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland ©
On the 12th (Thu), do a tasting at Foxes Island, explore the world behind art at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, and then make a trip to SkyTower.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, read Auckland road trip website .

You can fly from Christchurch to Auckland in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of train and ferry. While traveling from Christchurch, expect slightly colder days and a bit warmer nights in Auckland, ranging from highs of 64°F to lows of 64°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Thu) early enough to travel to San Francisco.

Things to do in Auckland

Museums Wineries
Find places to stay Dec 12 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki ©
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki
Foxes Island ©
Foxes Island
SkyTower ©
SkyTower

few
hours
San Francisco, United States

San Francisco
For ratings, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, read San Francisco online trip builder .

Traveling by flight from Auckland to San Francisco takes 15.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and train. Traveling from Auckland to San Francisco, you'll gain 20 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Auckland in December, things will get a bit cooler in San Francisco: highs are around 59°F and lows about 45°F. You will leave for home on the 12th (Thu).

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Tours Wineries
Find places to stay Dec 12 — 13:

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