18 days in New Zealand Itinerary

18 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand route maker

Plan created by another user.Make it yours

Route & dates

1
Waitomo Caves
— 1 day
2
Tongariro National Park
— 2 nights
3
Rotorua
— 3 nights
4
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
— 2 nights
5
Te Anau
— 3 nights
6
Queenstown
— 2 nights
7
Paihia
— 2 nights
8
Auckland
— 1 night

1
day
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.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Sat): explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, thenget a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and then take in the views from Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk.

For other places to visit, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, read Waitomo Caves day trip planner.

Toronto, Canada to Waitomo Caves is an approximately 24-hour flight. You'll lose 17 hours traveling from Toronto to Waitomo Caves due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sat) so you can drive to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Adventure Outdoors Tours
Find places to stay Dec 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk ©
Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk

2
nights
Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
On the 6th (Sun), admire the sheer force of Tawhai Falls, thenstroll through Tongariro Alpine Crossing, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Taranaki Falls. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, thenhike along Mounds Walk, thentrek along Whakapapa Nature Walk, and finally hike along Silica Rapids Track.

For maps, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Tongariro National Park road trip planning app.

Getting from Waitomo Caves to Tongariro National Park by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or do a combination of taxi and train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Mon) early enough to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trip

River Rafting & Tubing
Find places to stay Dec 5 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Taranaki Falls ©
Taranaki Falls

3
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.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Rotorua: Taupo (Maori Rock Carvings, Huka Falls Walkway, &more). And it doesn't end there: whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, witness a stunning natural landmark at Te Puia, get interesting insight from Tours, and take a peaceful walk through Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest.

To find ratings, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Rotorua tour itinerary maker app.

Getting from Tongariro National Park to Rotorua by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. December in Rotorua sees daily highs of °C and lows of °C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Thu) so you can travel to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu).

Things to do in Rotorua

Outdoors Nature Parks

Side Trip

Taupo
Find places to stay Dec 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Huka Falls Walkway
Huka Falls Walkway
Zipline

2
nights
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) ©
On the 11th (Fri), trek along Kea Point Track, get outside with Aoraki/Mt. Cook, and then hike along Sealy Tarns Track. Here are some ideas for day two: browse the exhibits of ReflectioNZ Gifts & Gallery, hike along Fox Glacier South Side Walk, and then trek along Moraine Walk.

To see maps, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) day trip website.

Traveling by flight from Rotorua to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) takes 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Sat) early enough to catch the bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trip

Fox Glacier
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Fox Glacier South Side Walk ©
Fox Glacier South Side Walk
Sealy Tarns Track ©
Sealy Tarns Track
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook

3
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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Te Anau: Milford Sound (Boat Tours & Water Sports & Humboldt Falls). Spend the 15th (Tue) exploring at Doubtful Sound. The adventure continues: trek along Hollyford Track and explore the activities along Milford Sound.

To see ratings, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Te Anau day trip planning site.

Getting from Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) to Te Anau by bus takes about 7 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Tue) early enough to catch the bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Milford Sound, Hollyford Track
Find places to stay Dec 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Hollyford Track ©
Hollyford Track
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound

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.
On the 16th (Wed), look for all kinds of wild species at Kiwi Birdlife Park, have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown, and then see Off-Road Tours. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 17th (Thu): kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, and then get your game on at iFLY Queenstown.

To find maps, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Queenstown road trip tool.

You can take a bus from Te Anau to Queenstown in 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Tours Fun & Games
Find places to stay Dec 15 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Zipline

2
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.
On the 18th (Fri), identify plant and animal life at Paihia Harbour, thenadmire all the interesting features of Waitangi Treaty Grounds, and then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. Keep things going the next day: admire the landmark architecture of St Paul's Anglican Church, thenidentify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas, thenlook for gifts at Paihia Bookshop, and finally indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

To see other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, use the Paihia trip tool.

You can fly from Queenstown to Paihia in 5.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus, ferry, and car. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sat) so you can go by car to Auckland.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife Historic Sites Parks
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour

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.
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Sun): meet the residents at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium, thenbrush up on your military savvy at Auckland Museum, thenstop by Pauanesia, and finally make a trip to SkyTower.

For where to stay, photos, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Auckland itinerary builder tool.

Getting from Paihia to Auckland by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: fly; or take a bus. December in Auckland sees daily highs of °C and lows of °C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Auckland

Museums Parks Nightlife
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Auckland Museum ©
Auckland Museum
SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium ©
SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium

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