16 days in New Zealand Itinerary

16 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Pacific route planner

This plan was created by another user.  Make it your plan

Route & dates

16 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Nashville
Fly:  22​h
1
Auckland
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
2
Whangamata
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
3
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
4
Rotorua
— 1 night
bus:  1​h
5
Taupo
— 1 night
Fly:  4​h 45​min
6
Picton
— 1 night
bus:  4​h 45​min
7
Abel Tasman National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  7​h 30​min
8
Fox Glacier
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h 30​min
9
Mt. Cook Village
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
10
Wanaka
— 1 night
bus:  3​h 45​min
11
Lake Tekapo
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
12
Queenstown
— 2 nights
Fly:  24​h
End: Nashville

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.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Wed): tour the pleasant surroundings at Cheltenham Beach.

For more things to do and other tourist information, go to the Auckland trip itinerary maker website .

Nashville, USA to Auckland is an approximately 22-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time (CST) to New Zealand Standard Time (NZST) is 18 hours. While traveling from Nashville, expect somewhat warmer days and much warmer nights in Auckland, ranging from highs of 66°F to lows of 66°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Whangamata.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Nature Nightlife

Side Trip

Cheltenham Beach
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 2:
Highlights from your plan
Mount Eden ©
Mount Eden
Rangitoto Island ©
Rangitoto Island
SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium ©

1
night
Whangamata

Whangamata
The town of Whangamatā is sited on the southeast coast of the Coromandel Peninsula in the North Island of New Zealand. To see traveler tips, ratings, photos, and tourist information, go to the Whangamata trip maker app .

You can drive from Auckland to Whangamata in 2.5 hours. When traveling from Auckland in January, plan for a bit warmer days in Whangamata, with highs around 74°F, while nights are a bit cooler with lows around 61°F. You will leave for Waitomo Caves on the 3rd (Fri).

Things to do in Whangamata

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 3:

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.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Fri): stroll through Ruakuri Walk, then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and then identify plant and animal life at Otorohanga Kiwi House & Native Bird Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: admire the sheer force of Marokopa Falls Walk, then Head underground at Caveworld, then Head underground at Ruakuri Cave, and finally Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves.

For ratings, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Waitomo Caves day trip planner.

Traveling by car from Whangamata to Waitomo Caves takes 3 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sat) so you can drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Otorohanga Kiwi House & Native Bird Park
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
River Rafting & Tubing
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk

1
night
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.
To find where to stay, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Rotorua travel route planner .

You can drive from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. January in Rotorua sees daily highs of 74°F and lows of 61°F at night. You will leave for Taupo on the 5th (Sun).

Things to do in Rotorua

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 5:

1
night
Taupo

The resort town of Taupo lies on the banks of Lake Taupo, the largest body of water in the whole of Australasia.
On the 5th (Sun), push the limits with an extreme tour, then enjoy the sand and surf at Kinloch Beach, then admire the sheer force of Huka Falls Walkway, and finally get a taste of the local shopping with Lava Glass. Keep things going the next day: stop by Tukairangi Gallery and then try out the rides at Taupo DeBretts Spa Resort.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Taupo using our trip planner.

Traveling by bus from Rotorua to Taupo takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive. On the 6th (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Picton.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks Outdoors Nature
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway
Kinloch Beach ©
Kinloch Beach

1
night
Picton

Picton
Take photo after stunning photo in Picton, the gateway to South Island.
To see reviews, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Picton travel route planner.

Traveling by flight from Taupo to Picton takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and ferry; or do a combination of flight and bus. Expect a daytime high around 70°F in January, and nighttime lows around 59°F. On the 7th (Tue), you'll travel to Abel Tasman National Park.

Things to do in Picton

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

1
night
Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park ©
Pristine blue water, immaculate white sand, and a thick, temperate rainforest make Abel Tasman National Park a natural jewel on the northern coast of Tasmania's South Island.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Tue): admire the sheer force of Wainui Falls Track, Head underground at Rawhiti Cave Track, then learn about winemaking at Neudorf Vineyards, then get outside with u-fly extreme, and finally kick back and relax at Kaiteriteri Beach. Here are some ideas for day two: hike along Abel Tasman Coast Track.

To find ratings, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Abel Tasman National Park trip planner .

You can take a bus from Picton to Abel Tasman National Park in 5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Abel Tasman National Park

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Rawhiti Cave Track, Neudorf Vineyards, Kaiteriteri Beach, u-fly extreme
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Abel Tasman Coast Track ©
Abel Tasman Coast Track
Wainui Falls Track ©
Wainui Falls Track
Neudorf Vineyards ©
Neudorf Vineyards

1
night
Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier ©
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Thu): look for all kinds of wild species at West Coast Wildlife Centre and then trek along Franz Josef Glacier.

To see where to stay, photos, reviews, and tourist information, use the Fox Glacier itinerary maker site .

Explore your travel options from Abel Tasman National Park to Fox Glacier with the Route module. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 9th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks Wildlife Trails

Side Trip

Franz Josef
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
West Coast Wildlife Centre ©
West Coast Wildlife Centre
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier

1
night
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Fri): hike along Glencoe Walk, look and learn at Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, and then hike along Kea Point Track.

To find maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Mt. Cook Village road trip planning site .

Getting from Fox Glacier to Mt. Cook Village by car takes about 5.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Wanaka.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Museums Childrens Museums Trails

Side Trip

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre ©
Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre
Kea Point Track ©
Kea Point Track

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Sat): see the interesting displays at National Transport and Toy Museum, do a tasting at Rippon Vineyard, and then fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour.

To see where to stay, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Wanaka day trip website .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Mt. Cook Village to Wanaka. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Sat) to allow time to take a bus to Lake Tekapo.

Things to do in Wanaka

Museums Adventure Tours
Find places to stay Jan 10 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
National Transport and Toy Museum ©
National Transport and Toy Museum
Parasailing & Paragliding
Rippon Vineyard ©
Rippon Vineyard

1
night
Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo ©
Located in a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo offers evenings of stargazing and days of long walks.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Sun): go for a walk through Mount John University Observatory, view the masterpieces at Burkes Pass Gallery, identify plant and animal life at Gem Alpaca Stud, then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Tekapo, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at The Church of the Good Shepherd.

Take the guesswork out of planning a Lake Tekapo vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

You can take a bus from Wanaka to Lake Tekapo in 4 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sun) so you can go by car to Queenstown.

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

Fairlie
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Gem Alpaca Stud ©
Gem Alpaca Stud
Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo
The Church of the Good Shepherd ©
The Church of the Good Shepherd

2
nights
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 13th (Mon), look for all kinds of wild species at Kiwi Birdlife Park, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, then kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and finally do a tasting at Stoneridge Estate & Bald Hills Cellar Door. Here are some ideas for day two: get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, then do a tasting at Chard Farm Winery, and then do a tasting at Peregrine Wines.

For reviews, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Queenstown road trip planner.

Getting from Lake Tekapo to Queenstown by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Tue) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours Outdoors Adventure
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Kiwi Birdlife Park ©
Kiwi Birdlife Park
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours

Similar Plans

20 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA December, outdoors, romantic, beaches, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, outdoors, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 17 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA July, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 20 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA August, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife, slow & easy, popular sights PREFERENCES: August, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Slow & easy 19 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM THAILAND October, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 20 days in Australia & New Zealand BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES February, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 19 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA September, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, shopping, hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 17 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA June, popular sights PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 17 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM QATAR July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 17 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 20 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 30 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA September, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 17 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM INDIA July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans