17 days in New Zealand Itinerary

17 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Auckland
1
Auckland
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
2
Paihia
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
3
Cape Reinga
— Few hours
Drive:  3​h 45​min
4
Whangarei
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
5
Auckland
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
6
Miranda
— Few hours
Drive:  1​h 30​min
7
Hot Water Beach
— Few hours
Drive:  30​min
8
Whitianga
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
9
Whangamata
— Few hours
Drive:  1​h 30​min
10
Tauranga
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h
11
Rotorua
— 1 day
Bus:  1​h
12
Taupo
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
13
Waitomo Caves
— Few hours
Drive:  2​h 45​min
14
Auckland
— 1 night
Fly:  4​h
15
Christchurch
— Few hours
Drive:  3​h
16
Lake Tekapo
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h
17
Mt. Cook Village
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
18
Wanaka
— Few hours
Bus:  2​h 30​min
19
Queenstown
— 2 nights
Bus:  3​h 15​min
20
Te Anau
— 1 night
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  5​h 45​min
21
Milford
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  4​h 45​min
22
Dunedin
— Few hours
Drive:  4​h 30​min
23
Christchurch
— 1 day
Fly:  4​h
End: Auckland

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes SkyTower. On the 21st (Sat), don't miss a visit to SkyTower.

To see maps, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Auckland itinerary site .

If you are flying in from India, the closest major airports are Auckland International Airport and Hamilton International Airport. December in Auckland sees daily highs of 20°C and lows of 20°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can go by car to Paihia.
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
SkyTower ©
SkyTower

1
night
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 22nd (Sun): take a memorable tour with Tours.

Discover how to plan a Paihia trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

Getting from Auckland to Paihia by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) to allow time to travel to Cape Reinga.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife Tours Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching

few
hours
Cape Reinga

Cape Reinga ©
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Cape Reinga Lighthouse Walk as well as Te Paki Sand Dunes. On the 23rd (Mon), take in the dramatic natural features at Te Paki Sand Dunes and then visit a coastal fixture at Cape Reinga Lighthouse Walk.

To find photos, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Cape Reinga trip itinerary site .

Getting from Paihia to Cape Reinga by car takes about 3 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Whangarei.

Things to do in Cape Reinga

Parks Nature

Side Trip

Te Paki Sand Dunes
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Te Paki Sand Dunes ©
Te Paki Sand Dunes

1
night
Whangarei

Whangarei ©
Whangarei is the northernmost city in New Zealand and the regional capital of Northland Region. Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Whangarei Falls, AH Reed Memorial Park and Mount Manaia Track. On the 24th (Tue), take in the awesome beauty at Mount Manaia Track, admire the sheer force of Whangarei Falls, and then walk around AH Reed Memorial Park.

To find more things to do, maps, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Whangarei holiday planner.

Traveling by car from Cape Reinga to Whangarei takes 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Auckland.

Things to do in Whangarei

Parks Nature
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
AH Reed Memorial Park ©
AH Reed Memorial Park
Mount Manaia Track ©
Mount Manaia Track
Whangarei Falls ©
Whangarei Falls

1
night
Auckland

Auckland
To find ratings, photos, maps, and more tourist information, read Auckland trip itinerary planning tool .

You can drive from Whangarei to Auckland in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. You will leave for Miranda on the 25th (Wed).

Things to do in Auckland

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 25:

few
hours
Miranda

Miranda ©
Pukorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre has been added to your itinerary. Start off your visit on the 25th (Wed): identify plant and animal life at Pukorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre.

For photos, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Miranda trip itinerary builder site .

You can drive from Auckland to Miranda in 1.5 hours. When traveling from Auckland in December, plan for a bit warmer days in Miranda, with highs around 24°C, while nights are a bit cooler with lows around 17°C. You will have some time to spend on the 25th (Wed) before leaving for Hot Water Beach.

Things to do in Miranda

Wildlife Parks
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Pukorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre ©

few
hours
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.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Wed): take in the natural beauty of Hot Water Beach.

To see maps, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Hot Water Beach vacation builder site .

Traveling by car from Miranda to Hot Water Beach takes 1.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 24°C in December, and nighttime lows around 17°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Wed) so you can go by car to Whitianga.

Things to do in Hot Water Beach

Parks Outdoors Nature
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Hot Water Beach ©
Hot Water Beach

1
night
Whitianga

Whitianga
Whitianga is a town on the Coromandel Peninsula, in the Waikato Region of New Zealand's North Island. To see photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Whitianga tour itinerary planning app .

Whitianga is just a short distance from Hot Water Beach. December in Whitianga sees daily highs of 24°C and lows of 17°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Whangamata.

Things to do in Whitianga

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 26:

few
hours
Whangamata

Whangamata ©
The town of Whangamatā is sited on the southeast coast of the Coromandel Peninsula in the North Island of New Zealand. You've now added Whenuakura Island to your itinerary. On the 26th (Thu), head off the coast to Whenuakura Island.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Whangamata trip planner .

Getting from Whitianga to Whangamata by car takes about 1.5 hours. In December, daytime highs in Whangamata are 25°C, while nighttime lows are 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 26th (Thu) to allow time for the car ride to Tauranga.

Things to do in Whangamata

Parks Nature
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Whenuakura Island ©
Whenuakura Island

1
night
Tauranga

Tauranga
The largest city in the Bay of Plenty, Tauranga features extensive sandy beaches, well-maintained hiking paths, and a good range of accommodations.
To see where to stay, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Tauranga attractions planner.

Getting from Whangamata to Tauranga by car takes about 1.5 hours. In December, daily temperatures in Tauranga can reach 25°C, while at night they dip to 17°C. On the 27th (Fri), you'll travel to Rotorua.

Things to do in Tauranga

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 27:

1
day
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.
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland has been added to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 27th (Fri): take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland.

Plan a trip to Rotorua easily and quickly by telling Inspirock to suggest an itinerary.

Getting from Tauranga to Rotorua by car takes about an hour. Other options: take a bus. In December, daytime highs in Rotorua are 25°C, while nighttime lows are 17°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) so you can catcht the bus to Taupo.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Nature
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

1
night
Taupo

Taupo ©
The resort town of Taupo lies on the banks of Lake Taupo, the largest body of water in the whole of Australasia.
For reviews, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Taupo day trip planning tool .

Getting from Rotorua to Taupo by bus takes about an hour. Other options: drive. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 28th (Sat) to allow time for the car ride to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Taupo

Trails Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway

few
hours
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 28th (Sat), Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves.

For photos, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Waitomo Caves tour itinerary planning website .

Getting from Taupo to Waitomo Caves by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sat) so you can go by car to Auckland.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks Nature
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves

1
night
Auckland

Auckland
For photos, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Auckland online trip maker .

You can drive from Waitomo Caves to Auckland in 3 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a train. You'll set off for Christchurch on the 29th (Sun).

Things to do in Auckland

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 29:

few
hours
Christchurch

Christchurch
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
To see more things to do, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Christchurch trip itinerary maker site .

Fly from Auckland to Christchurch in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of train and ferry. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Auckland in December: highs in Christchurch hover around 24°C, while lows dip to 12°C. On the 29th (Sun), you'll travel to Lake Tekapo.

Things to do in Christchurch

Tours Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 30:

1
night
Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo
Located in a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo offers evenings of stargazing and days of long walks.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Sun): contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Tekapo.

For where to stay, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Lake Tekapo tour itinerary maker site .

You can drive from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo in 3 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Parks Nature
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo

1
night
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Lake Pukaki as well as Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier walks. On the 30th (Mon), trek along Hooker Valley Track and then explore the activities along Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier walks.

To find maps, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Mt. Cook Village route site .

Drive from Lake Tekapo to Mt. Cook Village in an hour. You'll have a few hours on the 31st (Tue) to wrap things up before traveling to Wanaka.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trips

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Lake Pukaki
Find places to stay Dec 30 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier walks ©
Lake Pukaki ©
Lake Pukaki

few
hours
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.
You've now added Roys Peak Track to your itinerary. Start off your visit on the 31st (Tue): trek along Roys Peak Track.

Planning Wanaka trip won't be overwheling when you use's Insprock itinerary maker.

Explore your travel options from Mt. Cook Village to Wanaka with the Route module. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Tue) so you can take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Wanaka

Trails Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Roys Peak Track ©
Roys Peak Track

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Kawarau Zipride. Start off your visit on the 1st (Wed): kick your exploration up a notch at Kawarau Zipride.

To find ratings, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, read Queenstown planner .

Traveling by bus from Wanaka to Queenstown takes 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 2nd (Thu) to allow time for the bus ride to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours Outdoors Adventure
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 2:

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Thu): stroll through The Chasm Walk, then explore the activities along Milford Sound, and then explore the activities along Lake Gunn.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, read Te Anau trip itinerary maker tool .

Traveling by bus from Queenstown to Te Anau takes 3.5 hours. On the 3rd (Fri), you're off toMilford.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trip

Lake Gunn
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
The Chasm Walk ©
The Chasm Walk
Lake Gunn ©
Lake Gunn

2
nights
Milford

Milford ©
On your second day here, stroll through Rangitoto Summit Track, have some family-friendly fun at JUMP Indoor Trampoline Park, and then get your game on at Inflatable World.

For traveler tips, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Milford online journey planner .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Te Anau to Milford. In January, plan for daily highs up to 22°C, and evening lows to 22°C. On the 5th (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Dunedin.

Things to do in Milford

Fun & Games Museums Shopping

Side Trips

Auckland Region, Inflatable World, JUMP Indoor Trampoline Park
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
JUMP Indoor Trampoline Park ©
JUMP Indoor Trampoline Park
TOI Gallery ©
TOI Gallery
Inflatable World ©
Inflatable World

few
hours
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.
To see ratings, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, read our Dunedin sightseeing tool .

Explore your travel options from Milford to Dunedin with the Route module. On the 5th (Sun), you're off toChristchurch.

Things to do in Dunedin

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

1
day
Christchurch

Christchurch ©
Start off your visit on the 6th (Mon): appreciate the history behind Chalice Sculpture, then enjoy breathtaking views from Christchurch Gondola, and then make a trip to 185 Empty White Chairs - Earthquake Memorial.

To find ratings, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Christchurch trip builder .

You can drive from Dunedin to Christchurch in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Christchurch

Transportation
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Christchurch Gondola ©
Christchurch Gondola
Chalice Sculpture ©
Chalice Sculpture

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