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: Sydney
Fly:  6​h 15​min
1
Christchurch
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
2
Dunedin
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
3
Queenstown
— 2 nights
Bus:  3​h 15​min
4
Te Anau
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h 15​min
5
Mt. Cook Village
— Few hours
Drive:  5​h 30​min
6
Fox Glacier
— Few hours
Drive:  6​h 45​min
7
Kaikoura
— 1 night
+2
Train + Bus + Fly:  6​h
8
Wellington
— 1 night
Fly:  3​h 30​min
9
Napier
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
10
Rotorua
— 1 night
Drive:  6​h 15​min
11
Russell
— Few hours
Drive:  1​h 15​min
12
Kerikeri
— Few hours
Fly + Bus:  2​h 45​min
13
Auckland
— 3 nights
Fly:  6​h 45​min
End: Sydney

2
nights
Christchurch

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes River Rafting & Tubing. Kick off your visit on the 26th (Tue): let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

For photos, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Christchurch online trip maker .

Sydney, Australia to Christchurch is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Australian Eastern Standard Time (New South Wales) (AEST) to New Zealand Standard Time (NZST) is 2 hours. Traveling from Sydney in November, things will get little chillier in Christchurch: highs are around 22°C and lows about 9°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Tue) so you can drive to Dunedin.

Things to do in Christchurch

Adventure Tours Outdoors
Find places to stay Nov 24 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing

2
nights
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 find ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Dunedin attractions tool .

Traveling by car from Christchurch to Dunedin takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. On the 29th (Fri), you're off toQueenstown.

Things to do in Dunedin

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Nov 27 — 29:

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.
Go for a jaunt from Queenstown to Wanaka to see Lake Wanaka about 1h 35 min away. There's still lots to do: get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, take in the awesome beauty at Coronet Peak, glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour, and kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

To see reviews, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, read our Queenstown vacation maker tool .

Getting from Dunedin to Queenstown by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. On the 7th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours Outdoors Adventure
Find places to stay Nov 29 — Dec 1:
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Zipline
Speed Boats Tours

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.
Milford Sound has been added to your itinerary. There's more to do: identify plant and animal life at Doubtful Sound and contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Gunn.

To see reviews, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Te Anau online sightseeing planner .

You can take a bus from Queenstown to Te Anau in 3.5 hours. On the 10th (Tue), you're off toMt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Te Anau

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Dec 1 — 2:

few
hours
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Wed): head outdoors with Aoraki/Mt. Cook, hike along Hooker Valley Track, and then trek along Kea Point Track. On the 12th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: hike along Governors Bush Walk, then hike along Glencoe Walk, and then explore the activities along Lake Tekapo.

To find maps, reviews, photos, and tourist information, go to the Mt. Cook Village trip planner.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Te Anau to Mt. Cook Village. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Trails Parks Outdoors

Side Trip

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
Find places to stay Dec 2 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Kea Point Track ©
Kea Point Track

few
hours
Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Fox Glacier is known for nature, trails, beaches, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Fox Glacier, trek along Moraine Walk, tour the pleasant surroundings at Fox Glacier Te Moeka o Tuawe Valley Walk, and take in the dramatic natural features at Franz Josef Glacier.

To find ratings, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Fox Glacier trip planning tool .

You can drive from Mt. Cook Village to Fox Glacier in 5.5 hours. On the 16th (Mon), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Outdoors Parks Tours
Find places to stay Dec 2 — 3:

1
night
Kaikoura

Kaikoura ©
Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Tue): stop by Kaikoura Cheese, then trek along Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway, then make a trip to Ohau Point Seal Colony, and finally hike along Ohau Stream Walk. On the 4th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour and then see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

To find where to stay, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Kaikoura trip itinerary app .

Drive from Fox Glacier to Kaikoura in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, flight, and train; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 4th (Wed) to allow time for travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Outdoors Trails Parks
Find places to stay Dec 3 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway ©
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Ohau Point Seal Colony ©
Ohau Point Seal Colony

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.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Thu): see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and then take an in-depth tour of The Great War Exhibition.

For ratings, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Wellington trip planner .

Traveling by combination of train and flight from Kaikoura to Wellington takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry; or do a combination of train and ferry. In December, daytime highs in Wellington are 22°C, while nighttime lows are 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Thu) so you can travel to Napier.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums
Find places to stay Dec 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
The Great War Exhibition ©
The Great War Exhibition

1
night
Napier

Enjoy the atmosphere and architecture of 1930s design in Napier, one of the best-preserved Art Deco cities in the world.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Fri): learn about winemaking at Trinity Hill Winery, indulge your taste buds at Food & Drink, then get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at National Aquarium of New Zealand, and finally make a trip to Marine Parade.

For maps, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Napier holiday planner.

Getting from Wellington to Napier by flight takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Rotorua.

Things to do in Napier

Tours Parks Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Trinity Hill Winery
Find places to stay Dec 5 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Wine Tours & Tastings
National Aquarium of New Zealand ©
Trinity Hill Winery ©
Trinity Hill Winery

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 25th (Wed): take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, trek along Huka Falls Walkway, then kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and finally don't miss a visit to Amokura Glass. Keep things going the next day: take in the natural beauty of Te Puia and then get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour.

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

You can drive from Napier to Rotorua in 3 hours. Another option is to take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 25°C, and evening lows to 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 27th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Russell.

Things to do in Rotorua

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

few
hours
Russell

Russell
Russell, formerly known as Kororāreka, was the first permanent European settlement and sea port in New Zealand. On the 28th (Sat), steep yourself in history at Pompallier Mission and Printery, stroll through Tapeka Point Track, and then get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 29th (Sun): take in the architecture and atmosphere at Christ Church, stroll through Nancy Fladgate Track, and then steep yourself in history at Flagstaff Hill Historic Reserve.

To find ratings, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, read Russell route tool .

Traveling by car from Rotorua to Russell takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Kerikeri.

Things to do in Russell

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 7 — 8:

few
hours
Kerikeri

Kerikeri ©
Kerikeri, the largest town in Northland New Zealand, is a popular tourist destination about three hours drive north of Auckland, and 80 km north of the northern region's largest city, Whangarei. Start off your visit on the 7th (Sat): identify plant and animal life at Paihia Harbour.

To see where to stay, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Kerikeri online travel planner .

Traveling by car from Russell to Kerikeri takes 1.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sat) so you can travel to Auckland.

Things to do in Kerikeri

Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

Paihia Harbour
Find places to stay Dec 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour

3
nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Wed): get impressive views of Mount Eden, learn about all things military at Auckland War Memorial Museum, and then take in panoramic vistas at SkyTower. Here are some ideas for day two: learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Auckland Zoo and then do a tasting at Foxes Island.

To see other places to visit, maps, photos, and other tourist information, read our Auckland online travel planner .

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Kerikeri to Auckland takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 22°C, and evening lows to 22°C. You'll set off for home on the 3rd (Fri).

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Museums
Find places to stay Dec 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Auckland Museum ©
Auckland Museum
Auckland Zoo ©
Auckland Zoo

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