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: Rockhampton
Fly:  15​h
1
Christchurch
— 1 night
Drive:  6​h 30​min
2
Queenstown
— 2 nights
car:  6​h
3
Milford Sound
— 1 night
Fly + Bus:  2​h
4
Wanaka
— 2 nights
car:  4​h
5
Fox Glacier
— Few hours
Drive:  7​h
6
Picton
— 1 night
Ferry:  3​h 15​min
7
Wellington
— 1 night
Drive:  6​h 30​min
8
Hamilton
— 1 night
Drive:  6​h
9
Waipoua Forest
— Few hours
Drive:  5​h
10
Hot Water Beach
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
11
Auckland
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
12
Rotorua
— 1 night
+2
Drive + Ferry + Drive:  15​h
13
Christchurch
— 2 nights
Fly:  14​h 45​min
End: Rockhampton

1
night
Christchurch

Christchurch
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
For where to stay, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Christchurch online holiday planner .

Rockhampton, Australia to Christchurch is an approximately 15-hour flight. You can also drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 2 hours traveling from Rockhampton to Christchurch. Prepare for little chillier weather when traveling from Rockhampton in February: high temperatures in Christchurch hover around 26°C and lows are around 13°C. On the 9th (Sun), you'll travel to Queenstown.

Things to do in Christchurch

Tours Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Feb 8 — 9:

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.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Sun): hike along Lake Hayes Walkway, then grab your bike and head to Queenstown Trail, and then do a tasting at Stoneridge Estate & Bald Hills Cellar Door. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 10th (Mon): look for all kinds of wild species at Kiwi Birdlife Park, then contemplate the long history of Arrowtown Chinese Settlement, and then get engrossed in the history at Lakes District Museum & Art Gallery.

To find maps, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Queenstown trip itinerary builder tool .

Fly from Christchurch to Queenstown in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 11th (Tue) to allow time for the bus ride to Milford Sound.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trip

Arrowtown
Find places to stay Feb 9 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Hayes Walkway ©
Lake Hayes Walkway
Arrowtown Chinese Settlement ©
Arrowtown Chinese Settlement
Lakes District Museum & Art Gallery ©

1
night
Milford Sound

Milford Sound ©
Carved by glaciers into a land of sheer cliffs, impressive waterfalls, and lush, meandering fjords, Milford Sound remains one of the most popular holiday destinations in New Zealand.
On the 12th (Wed), examine the collection at Southern Discoveries - Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory, then explore the activities along Bowen Falls, and then identify plant and animal life at Milford sound Hwy.

For more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Milford Sound trip planner .

Traveling by bus from Queenstown to Milford Sound takes 6 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Wed) early enough to travel to Wanaka.

Things to do in Milford Sound

Parks Wildlife Museums
Find places to stay Feb 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Milford sound Hwy ©
Milford sound Hwy
Bowen Falls ©
Bowen Falls

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.
For reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Wanaka trip itinerary maker app .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Milford Sound to Wanaka. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Fri) early enough to catcht the bus to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors Museums Spas
Find places to stay Feb 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
National Transport and Toy Museum ©
National Transport and Toy Museum
Spas

few
hours
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 14th (Fri): trek along Fox Glacier Hiking Trails, go for a walk through River Walk, and then take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour.

To see photos, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, read Fox Glacier trip builder app .

Take a bus from Wanaka to Fox Glacier in 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Fri) early enough to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks Trails Outdoors
Find places to stay Feb 14 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Helicopter Tours
Fox Glacier Hiking Trails ©
Fox Glacier Hiking Trails
River Walk ©
River Walk

1
night
Picton

Picton
Take photo after stunning photo in Picton, the gateway to South Island.
For where to stay, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Picton online trip maker .

You can drive from Fox Glacier to Picton in 7 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. In February in Picton, expect temperatures between 24°C during the day and 17°C at night. On the 15th (Sat), you'll travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Picton

Tours Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Feb 14 — 15:

1
night
Wellington

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.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Sat): take an in-depth tour of The Great War Exhibition, then explore the galleries of National War Memorial, then get a taste of the local shopping with Cuba Street District, and finally see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa).

For photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Wellington road trip website .

Fly from Picton to Wellington in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can ride a ferry. February in Wellington sees daily highs of 24°C and lows of 17°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Sun) early enough to travel to Hamilton.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums Neighborhoods Shopping
Find places to stay Feb 15 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
National War Memorial ©
National War Memorial
The Great War Exhibition ©
The Great War Exhibition

1
night
Hamilton

Hamilton ©
On the banks of the Waikato River lies Hamilton, a pretty, active city on North Island.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Sun): admire nature's wide array of creatures at Hamilton Zoo, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Hamilton New Zealand Temple, then see the interesting displays at Waikato Museum, and finally hunt for treasures at Cambridge Farmers' Market.

For where to stay and other tourist information, go to the Hamilton day trip planner .

Traveling by flight from Wellington to Hamilton takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Mon) early enough to travel to Waipoua Forest.

Things to do in Hamilton

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Shopping

Side Trip

Cambridge Farmers' Market
Find places to stay Feb 16 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Hamilton Zoo ©
Hamilton Zoo
Waikato Museum ©
Waikato Museum
Hamilton New Zealand Temple ©
Hamilton New Zealand Temple

few
hours
Waipoua Forest

Waipoua Forest ©
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Mon): tour the pleasant surroundings at Four Sisters Walk, then look for all kinds of wild species at Yakas Walk, and then take a peaceful walk through Waipoua Forest.

For traveler tips, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, use the Waipoua Forest driving holiday planner .

Getting from Hamilton to Waipoua Forest by car takes about 5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Mon) early enough to travel to Hot Water Beach.

Things to do in Waipoua Forest

Parks Nature Wildlife
Find places to stay Feb 17 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Waipoua Forest ©
Waipoua Forest

1
night
Hot Water Beach

Hot Water Beach ©
Named after the geothermal springs that supply the coast with pleasantly warm water ideal for swimming and soaking, Hot Water Beach attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists every year.
To see traveler tips, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, read Hot Water Beach road trip planning app .

Traveling by car from Waipoua Forest to Hot Water Beach takes 5.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 28°C in February, and nighttime lows around 19°C. On the 18th (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Auckland.

Things to do in Hot Water Beach

Nature Beaches Parks
Find places to stay Feb 17 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Hot Water Beach ©
Hot Water Beach

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

You can drive from Hot Water Beach to Auckland in 2.5 hours. Traveling from Hot Water Beach in February, plan for somewhat warmer nights in Auckland, with lows around 26°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Wed) so you can go by car to Rotorua.

Things to do in Auckland

Neighborhoods Shopping
Find places to stay Feb 18 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Ponsonby ©
Ponsonby

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.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Wed): witness a stunning natural landmark at Waimangu Cauldron, witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, then witness a stunning natural landmark at Te Puia, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at St. Faith's Anglican Church.

To find ratings, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Rotorua trip itinerary maker app .

Traveling by car from Auckland to Rotorua takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. Plan for little chillier nights when traveling from Auckland in February since evenings lows in Rotorua dip to 19°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Thu) early enough to travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Rotorua

Nature Parks Historic Sites
Find places to stay Feb 19 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Te Puia ©
Te Puia
St. Faith's Anglican Church ©
St. Faith's Anglican Church

2
nights
Christchurch

Christchurch ©
On the 20th (Thu), browse the different shops at Re:START. Keep things going the next day: get engrossed in the history at Canterbury Museum, admire the masterpieces at Christchurch Art Gallery (Te Puna o Waiwhetu), see the interesting displays at International Antarctic Centre, then steep yourself in history at Riccarton House & Bush, and finally don't miss a visit to Cardboard Cathedral.

To find more things to do, ratings, photos, and tourist information, read Christchurch day trip planner .

You can fly from Rotorua to Christchurch in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of car and ferry. Traveling from Rotorua in February, Christchurch is a bit cooler at night with lows of 13°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Christchurch

Parks Nature Museums
Find places to stay Feb 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Port Hills ©
Port Hills
Sumner Beach (Cave Rock) ©
Sumner Beach (Cave Rock)
Riccarton House & Bush ©
Riccarton House & Bush

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