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: Ottawa
Fly:  27​h
1
Rotorua
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
2
Whakapapa
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
3
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights
+2
Taxi + Fly + Taxi:  3​h
4
Paihia
— 5 nights
Fly:  26​h
End: Ottawa

4
nights
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.
Family-friendly places like Rainbow Springs Nature Park and Huka Honey Hive will thrill your kids. Get in touch with nature at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland and Adrenaline & Extreme Tours. Venture out of the city with trips to Taupo (Kayaking & Canoeing, Fishing Charters & Tours, & more). There's lots more to do: get interesting insight from Tours, look for all kinds of wild species at Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park, witness a stunning natural landmark at Lady Knox Geyser, and do a tasting at Volcanic Hills Winery.

To see reviews, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Rotorua attractions app .

Ottawa, Canada to Rotorua is an approximately 27-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of train and flight. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time to New Zealand Standard Time is 17 hours. Plan for much hotter temperatures traveling from Ottawa in March, with highs in Rotorua at 26°C and lows at 18°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sat) so you can travel to Whakapapa.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Outdoors Tours

Side Trip

Taupo
Find places to stay Mar 10 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

3
nights
Whakapapa

Whakapapa ©
Get in touch with nature at Tongariro Alpine Crossing and Ohakune Old Coach Road. Taranaki Falls and Tongariro Crossing Shuttles are good opportunities to explore the local culture.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Whakapapa trip planner .

Drive from Rotorua to Whakapapa in 2.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) so you can travel to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Whakapapa

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trip

Tongariro National Park
Find places to stay Mar 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Horsemtrails ©
Horsemtrails
Ohakune Old Coach Road ©
Ohakune Old Coach Road

2
nights
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 18th (Wed), explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, take a memorable tour with Tours, then explore the fascinating underground world of Ruakuri Cave, and finally trek along Ruakuri Walk. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the fascinating underground world of Caveworld, then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and then get outside with Waitomo Clay Birds.

To find reviews, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Waitomo Caves trip planner .

Drive from Whakapapa to Waitomo Caves in 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Thu) early enough to travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Mar 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk

5
nights
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.
Take a break from the city and head to Dolphin & Whale Watching and Paihia Harbour. Attractions like Ocean Beach and Action World make great kid-friendly stops. Step out of Paihia with an excursion to Bream Head Coast Walks in Whangarei--about 1h 35 min away. There's much more to do: see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, cast your line with a fishing tour, fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour, and trek along Hongi Hika Walk.

To find ratings, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Paihia online trip builder .

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Waitomo Caves to Paihia in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and flight. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 24th (Tue) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Paihia

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Kerikeri, Bream Head Coast Walks, Ocean Beach
Find places to stay Mar 19 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Scuba & Snorkeling
Dolphin & Whale Watching

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