18 days in New Zealand Itinerary

18 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Los Angeles
Fly:  14​h 30​min
1
Auckland
— Few hours
Fly:  1​h
2
Wellington
— 2 nights
Fly + Drive:  4​h
3
Lake Tekapo
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
4
Clyde
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
5
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Drive:  30​min
6
Arrowtown
— 1 night
Bus:  2​h 15​min
7
Te Anau
— 2 nights
Bus:  5​h 15​min
8
Dunedin
— 4 nights
Fly:  16​h
End: Los Angeles

few
hours
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.
To find where to stay, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Auckland route planner.

Los Angeles, USA to Auckland is an approximately 16-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of train and flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 20 hours traveling from Los Angeles to Auckland. Traveling from Los Angeles in February, expect much hotter with lows of 72°F in Auckland. You'll set off for Wellington on the 19th (Wed).

Things to do in Auckland

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Feb 19 — 20:

2
nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Wed): take in nature's colorful creations at Wellington Botanic Garden and then look for all kinds of wild species at ZEALANDIA Sanctuary. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 20th (Thu): get a sense of history and politics at New Zealand Parliament, then catch a ride on Wellington Cable Car, and then see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

To see maps, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Wellington vacation maker website .

Fly from Auckland to Wellington in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. Expect a bit cooler evenings in Wellington when traveling from Auckland in February, with lows around 59°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Fri) early enough to travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks Historic Sites Transportation

Side Trip

Wellington Botanic Garden
Find places to stay Feb 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Wellington Cable Car ©
Wellington Cable Car
Wellington Botanic Garden ©
Wellington Botanic Garden

2
nights
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 22nd (Sat): go for a walk through Mount John University Observatory, take in the architecture and atmosphere at The Church of the Good Shepherd, then look for all kinds of wild species at Gem Alpaca Stud, and finally explore the activities along Lake Tekapo. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 23rd (Sun): contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Pukaki and then head outdoors with Aoraki/Mt. Cook.

Before you visit Lake Tekapo, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

Traveling by car from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sun) to allow time to travel to Clyde.

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Gem Alpaca Stud, Lake Pukaki, Aoraki/Mt. Cook
Find places to stay Feb 21 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook
Lake Pukaki ©
Lake Pukaki

1
night
Clyde

Clyde ©
Clyde is a small town in Central Otago, New Zealand with a population of 918 in 2006. Kick off your visit on the 24th (Mon): see human ingenuity at work at Clyde Dam and then grab your bike and head to Otago Central Rail Trail.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Clyde trip maker site .

Drive from Lake Tekapo to Clyde in 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Mon) early enough to drive to Queenstown.

Things to do in Clyde

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trip

Otago Central Rail Trail
Find places to stay Feb 23 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Otago Central Rail Trail ©
Otago Central Rail Trail
Clyde Dam ©
Clyde Dam

3
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 Real Journeys - TSS Earnslaw Vintage Steamship Cruises as well as Glenorchy-Queenstown Road. Kick off your visit on the 25th (Tue): take a memorable drive along Glenorchy-Queenstown Road, get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, and then get a new perspective on things with Real Journeys - TSS Earnslaw Vintage Steamship Cruises.

To find where to stay, photos, reviews, and tourist information, read Queenstown journey maker site .

Traveling by car from Clyde to Queenstown takes 1.5 hours. You will leave for Arrowtown on the 27th (Thu).

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Fun & Games Tours
Find places to stay Feb 24 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Glenorchy-Queenstown Road ©
Glenorchy-Queenstown Road

1
night
Arrowtown

Arrowtown ©
Hello! This is Arrowtown - the much visited, much loved, 4-season, southern hemisphere holiday destination, located only 15mins drive from the Adventure Capital of the World - Queenstown, South Island, New Zealand. On the 27th (Thu), contemplate the long history of Arrowtown Chinese Settlement, stop by The Remarkable Sweet Shop - Arrowtown Shop, and then head outdoors with Arrowtown Village.

To see photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Arrowtown road trip website .

Arrowtown is just a stone's throw from Queenstown. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Fri) to allow enough time to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Arrowtown

Historic Sites Outdoors Shopping
Find places to stay Feb 27 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Arrowtown Chinese Settlement ©
Arrowtown Chinese Settlement

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.
On the 28th (Fri), explore the activities along Milford Sound and then hike along Lake Gunn. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the fascinating underground world of Te Anau Glowworm Caves.

To see photos, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Te Anau driving holiday planning website .

Getting from Arrowtown to Te Anau by bus takes about 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 1st (Sun) to allow time for the bus ride to Dunedin.

Things to do in Te Anau

Nature Parks Outdoors

Side Trip

Lake Gunn
Find places to stay Feb 28 — Mar 1:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Te Anau Glowworm Caves ©
Te Anau Glowworm Caves
Lake Gunn ©
Lake Gunn

4
nights
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.
Step out of Dunedin with an excursion to Moeraki Boulders Beach in Oamaru--about 1h 30 min away. The adventure continues: examine the collection at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, take in the local highlights with Walking tours, steep yourself in history at Olveston Historic Home, and make a trip to The World's Steepest Street.

To see ratings, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, use the Dunedin day trip tool .

Traveling by bus from Te Anau to Dunedin takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. You'll set off for home on the 2nd (Mon).

Things to do in Dunedin

Tours Museums Breweries & Distilleries

Side Trip

Moeraki Boulders Beach
Find places to stay Feb 29 — Mar 5:
Highlights from your plan
Walking tours
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum ©
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum
Olveston Historic Home ©
Olveston Historic Home

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