16 days in New Zealand Itinerary

16 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

16 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Vancouver
Fly:  18​h 30​min
1
Christchurch
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h
2
Queenstown
— 2 nights
bus:  3​h 15​min
3
Te Anau
— 2 nights
bus:  5​h 15​min
4
Dunedin
— 2 nights
Fly:  5​h 30​min
5
Paihia
— 2 nights
taxi + Fly:  4​h 15​min
6
Rotorua
— 4 nights
Fly:  19​h 30​min
End: Vancouver

2
nights
Christchurch

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Explore hidden gems such as Banks Peninsula and Swim with Dolphins. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Christchurch: Little River Gallery (in Little River) and Akaroa (The Garden at French Farm & Dolphin & Whale Watching). Next up on the itinerary: stroll around Hagley Park, don't miss a visit to 185 Empty White Chairs - Earthquake Memorial, take in nature's colorful creations at Christchurch Botanic Gardens, and let little ones run wild at Margaret Mahy Family Playground.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Christchurch trip planner .

Vancouver, Canada to Christchurch is an approximately 18.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight, taxi, and bus; or do a combination of flight and train. You'll lose 20 hours traveling from Vancouver to Christchurch due to the time zone difference. While traveling from Vancouver, expect warmer days and somewhat warmer nights in Christchurch, ranging from highs of 26°C to lows of 13°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Tue) so you can travel to Queenstown.

Things to do in Christchurch

Wildlife Parks Tours

Side Trips

Akaroa, Little River Gallery
Find places to stay Feb 27 — Mar 2:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Banks Peninsula
Banks Peninsula
Swim with Dolphins

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.
On the 3rd (Wed), relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour and then explore and take pictures at Glenorchy-Queenstown Road. Here are some ideas for day two: get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, head outdoors with Arrowtown Village, and then trek along Queenstown Hill.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Queenstown trip planning app .

Fly from Christchurch to Queenstown in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Thu) to allow enough time to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trip

Arrowtown Village
Find places to stay Mar 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
River Rafting & Tubing
Queenstown Hill ©
Queenstown Hill

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Fri): stroll through The Chasm Walk, then contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound, and then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Gunn. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the activities along Lake Te Anau, then appreciate the history behind Quintin Mackinnon Monument, and then contemplate the waterfront views at Doubtful Sound.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Te Anau travel planner .

You can take a bus from Queenstown to Te Anau in 3.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sat) so you can catcht the bus to Dunedin.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

Lake Gunn
Find places to stay Mar 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound
Lake Te Anau ©
Lake Te Anau

2
nights
Dunedin

Dunedin ©
With its history proudly stemming from the Scottish settlers who came here during the colonial era, Dunedin's streets are lined with well-preserved examples of Victorian and Edwardian architecture, while a new culture of nightlife and fine dining takes hold around them.
On the 7th (Sun), get curious at Otago Museum, admire the natural beauty at Dunedin Botanic Garden, contemplate the long history of Olveston Historic Home, then browse the exhibits of Dunedin Public Art Gallery, and finally hike along Tunnel Beach Track. Here are some ideas for day two: sample the tasty concoctions at Speight’s Brewery, then see the interesting displays at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Penguin Place.

To find ratings, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Dunedin trip itinerary builder site .

Traveling by bus from Te Anau to Dunedin takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Mon) early enough to travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Dunedin

Museums Parks Childrens Museums
Find places to stay Mar 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Otago Museum ©
Otago Museum
Dunedin Botanic Garden ©
Dunedin Botanic Garden
Penguin Place ©
Penguin Place

2
nights
Paihia

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.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Tue): admire the sheer force of Rainbow Falls, then contemplate the long history of Waitangi Treaty Grounds, then get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and finally look for all kinds of wild species at Paihia Harbour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 10th (Wed): steep yourself in history at Pompallier Mission and Printery and then see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

To find where to stay, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Paihia trip itinerary planner .

Traveling by flight from Dunedin to Paihia takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of bus and flight. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Wed) so you can travel to Rotorua.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife Tours Outdoors

Side Trips

Rainbow Falls, Pompallier Mission and Printery
Find places to stay Mar 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Rainbow Falls ©
Rainbow Falls

4
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.
Step off the beaten path and head to River Rafting & Tubing and Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave. Get out of town with these interesting Rotorua side-trips: Mt Maunganui Main Beach (in Mount Maunganui), Taupo (Huka Falls Walkway & Souvenir Outlet) and Hobbiton Movie Set (in Hinuera). There's still lots to do: take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, take a memorable tour with Tours, get impressive views of Waimangu Volcanic Valley, and have some family-friendly fun at OGO Rotorua.

For maps, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Rotorua trip itinerary planner .

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Paihia to Rotorua takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. March in Rotorua sees daily highs of 26°C and lows of 18°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Taupo, Mt Maunganui Main Beach, Waimangu Volcanic Valley, River Rafting & Tubing, Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave
Find places to stay Mar 10 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Mt Maunganui Main Beach ©
Mt Maunganui Main Beach
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

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