16 days in New Zealand Itinerary

16 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Pacific vacation builder

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Route & dates

16 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Nashville
Fly:  22​h
1
Auckland
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
2
Whangamata
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
3
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
4
Rotorua
— 1 night
bus:  1​h
5
Taupo
— 1 night
Fly:  5​h
6
Picton
— 1 night
bus:  5​h
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:  3​h
10
Wanaka
— 1 night
bus:  4​h
11
Lake Tekapo
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​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.
On the 2nd (Thu), kick back and relax at Cheltenham Beach.

For other places to visit, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Auckland trip maker .

Nashville, USA to Auckland is an approximately 22-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of flight and bus. Traveling from Nashville to Auckland, you'll lose 18 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Nashville in January, you will find days in Auckland are somewhat warmer (66°F), and nights are warmer (66°F). Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) so you can drive to Whangamata.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Nature Nightlife

Side Trip

Cheltenham Beach
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 3:
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 find more things to do, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Whangamata trip planning tool .

Traveling by car from Auckland to Whangamata takes 2.5 hours. While traveling from Auckland, expect somewhat warmer days and little chillier nights in Whangamata, ranging from highs of 74°F to lows of 61°F. On the 4th (Sat), you're off toWaitomo Caves.

Things to do in Whangamata

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 4:

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.
On the 4th (Sat), trek along Ruakuri Walk, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and then identify plant and animal life at Otorohanga Kiwi House & Native Bird Park. Here are some ideas for day two: admire the sheer force of Marakopa Falls, then Head underground at Caveworld, then explore the fascinating underground world of Ruakuri Cave, and finally Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves.

Plan my Waitomo Caves trip by asking Inpirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

Explore your travel options from Whangamata to Waitomo Caves with the Route module. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Otorohanga Kiwi House & Native Bird Park
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 5:
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.
For other places to visit and more tourist information, read Rotorua day trip planning site .

Getting from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus. In January, daily temperatures in Rotorua can reach 74°F, while at night they dip to 61°F. You'll set off for Taupo on the 6th (Mon).

Things to do in Rotorua

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

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 6th (Mon), get interesting insight from Tours, then kick back and relax at Kinloch Beach, then admire the sheer force of Huka Falls Walkway, and finally take in nature's colorful creations at Lava Glass. On your second day here, view the masterpieces at Tukairangi Gallery and then make a splash at Taupo DeBretts Spa Resort.

For maps, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, read Taupo trip itinerary planner .

Take a bus from Rotorua to Taupo in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive. On the 7th (Tue), 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 6 — 7:
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 where to stay, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, read our Picton attractions planning site .

You can fly from Taupo to Picton in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and ferry; or do a combination of flight and bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 70°F, and evening lows to 59°F. You'll set off for Abel Tasman National Park on the 8th (Wed).

Things to do in Picton

Tours Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 8:

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.
On the 8th (Wed), stroll through Wainui Falls Track, explore the fascinating underground world of Rawhiti Cave Track, then learn about winemaking at Neudorf Vineyards, then head outdoors with u-fly extreme, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Kaiteriteri Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: trek along Abel Tasman Coast Track.

To see where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, read our Abel Tasman National Park vacation planner.

You can take a bus from Picton to Abel Tasman National Park in 5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Thu) so you can 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 7 — 9:
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 10th (Fri): look for all kinds of wild species at West Coast Wildlife Centre and then explore the striking landscape at Franz Josef Glacier.

To see maps, other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, read Fox Glacier travel app .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Abel Tasman National Park to Fox Glacier. On the 10th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks Wildlife Trails

Side Trip

Franz Josef
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 10:
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.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Sat): stroll through Glencoe Walk, look and learn at Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, and then stroll through Kea Point Track.

To find maps, photos, reviews, and tourist information, read our Mt. Cook Village trip itinerary planner .

Getting from Fox Glacier to Mt. Cook Village by car takes about 5.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sat) 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 10 — 11:
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.
On the 12th (Sun), see the interesting displays at National Transport and Toy Museum, then learn about winemaking at Rippon Vineyard, and then glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour.

To see traveler tips, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Wanaka route planner.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Mt. Cook Village to Wanaka. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sun) so you can take a bus to Lake Tekapo.

Things to do in Wanaka

Museums Adventure Tours
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 12:
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 13th (Mon): take in panoramic vistas at Mount John University Observatory, browse the exhibits of Burkes Pass Gallery, then look for all kinds of wild species 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.

For traveler tips, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Lake Tekapo trip itinerary planning app .

Traveling by bus from Wanaka to Lake Tekapo takes 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Queenstown.

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

Fairlie
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 13:
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.
Kick off your visit on the 14th (Tue): look for all kinds of wild species at Kiwi Birdlife Park, then relax and rejuvenate 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 learn about winemaking at Stoneridge Estate & Bald Hills Cellar Door. Here are some ideas for day two: get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, then learn about winemaking at Chard Farm Winery, and then do a tasting at Peregrine Wines.

Plan trip to Queenstown with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

You can drive from Lake Tekapo to Queenstown in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours Outdoors Adventure
Find places to stay Jan 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Kiwi Birdlife Park ©
Kiwi Birdlife Park
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours

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