19 days in New Zealand & Sydney Itinerary

19 days in New Zealand & Sydney Itinerary

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Route & dates

19 days in New Zealand & Sydney Itinerary

Start: Madison, United States
Bus + Fly:  22​h 30​min
1
Auckland, New Zealand
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
2
Waitomo Caves, New Zealand
— 1 day
Drive:  2​h
3
Rotorua, New Zealand
— 2 nights
Fly:  2​h
4
Christchurch, New Zealand
— 1 day
Drive:  3​h
5
Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h
6
Mt. Cook Village, New Zealand
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
7
Queenstown, New Zealand
— 2 nights
Bus:  3​h 30​min
8
Te Anau, New Zealand
— 1 night
Bus:  3​h 30​min
9
Queenstown, New Zealand
— 2 nights
Fly:  6​h
10
Sydney, Australia
— 5 nights
Fly:  9​h
End: Madison, United States

2
nights
Auckland, New Zealand

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 Waiheke Island, Queen Street, Mount Eden, and other attractions you added. On the 12th (Sun), contemplate the waterfront views at Devonport, take in the views from Auckland Harbour Bridge, then don't miss a visit to Queen Street, and finally head off the coast to Waiheke Island. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in the waterfront activity at Viaduct Harbour, step off the mainland to explore Rangitoto Island, then enjoy breathtaking views from SkyTower, then get impressive views of Mount Eden, and finally take a stroll through Queens Wharf.

For traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, use the Auckland online route planner .

Madison, USA to Auckland is an approximately 22-hour combination of bus and flight. You can also fly. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 18 hours traveling from Madison to Auckland. Traveling from Madison in January, things will get much warmer in Auckland: highs are around 66°F and lows about 66°F. You will have some time to spend on the 14th (Tue) before leaving for Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Nature Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Devonport ©
Devonport
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Rangitoto Island ©
Rangitoto Island

1
day
Waitomo Caves, New Zealand

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.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Wed): explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves and then make a trip to Hobbiton Movie Set.

For where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Waitomo Caves tour itinerary planner .

Traveling by car from Auckland to Waitomo Caves takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Wed) early enough to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Nature Parks

Side Trip

Hobbiton Movie Set
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Hobbiton Movie Set ©
Hobbiton Movie Set

2
nights
Rotorua, New Zealand

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Redwoods Treewalk as well as Tamaki Maori Village. Start off your visit on the 18th (Wed): look for all kinds of wild species at Redwoods Treewalk.

To see reviews, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Rotorua tour itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In December in Rotorua, expect temperatures between 71°F during the day and 59°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Fri) so you can travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Nature Nightlife
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Te Puia ©
Te Puia
Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest ©
Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest

1
day
Christchurch, New Zealand

Christchurch ©
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
You've now added Arthur's Pass National Park Visitor Centre to your itinerary. On the 20th (Fri), get all the information you need at Arthur's Pass National Park Visitor Centre.

To find reviews, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, read Christchurch trip itinerary planning site .

You can fly from Rotorua to Christchurch in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of car and ferry. Traveling from Rotorua in December, expect slightly colder with lows of 51°F in Christchurch. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Lake Tekapo.
Find places to stay Jan 16 — 17:
Highlights from your plan

1
night
Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

Lake Tekapo
Located in a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo offers evenings of stargazing and days of long walks.
On the 21st (Sat), explore the activities along Lake Tekapo.

To find more things to do, photos, ratings, and tourist information, use the Lake Tekapo trip planner .

Getting from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a bus. On the 21st (Sat), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Outdoors Parks Tours
Find places to stay Jan 16 — 17:

1
night
Mt. Cook Village, New Zealand

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Lindis Pass, New Zealand Alpine Lavender Farm and Lake Pukaki. On the 21st (Sat), cruise along Lindis Pass, get outside with Aoraki/Mt. Cook, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Pukaki, then experience rural life at New Zealand Alpine Lavender Farm, then trek along Hooker Valley Track, and finally stroll through Roys Peak Track.

To find maps, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Mt. Cook Village trip planner .

You can drive from Lake Tekapo to Mt. Cook Village in an hour. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sun) early enough to travel to Queenstown.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Wanaka, Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), New Zealand Alpine Lavender Farm, Lindis Pass, Lake Pukaki
Find places to stay Jan 17 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook
Lake Wanaka ©
Lake Wanaka

2
nights
Queenstown, New Zealand

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 Queenstown Hill, Glenorchy-Queenstown Road, Kawarau River, and other attractions you added. Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Sun): have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown and then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Wakatipu. On your second day here, race across the water with a speed boat tour, then contemplate the waterfront views at Kawarau River, and then admire the natural beauty at Queenstown Garden.

To find traveler tips, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, read Queenstown holiday builder app .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Mt. Cook Village to Queenstown. On the 24th (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Parks Nature

Side Trip

Kawarau River
Find places to stay Jan 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Glenorchy-Queenstown Road ©
Glenorchy-Queenstown Road
Lake Wakatipu
Lake Wakatipu

1
night
Te Anau, New Zealand

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Te Anau Glowworm Caves, Homer Tunnel and Milford Sound. Start off your visit on the 24th (Tue): explore the fascinating underground world of Te Anau Glowworm Caves and then make a trip to Homer Tunnel.

To find other places to visit, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Te Anau journey planner.

You can take a bus from Queenstown to Te Anau in 3.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Wed) so you can catcht the bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Nature Parks
Find places to stay Jan 20 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound

2
nights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown ©
On the 26th (Thu), take in the exciting artwork at Silver Fern Gallery and then get your game on at Dark Ride.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, read Queenstown trip planner .

You can take a bus from Te Anau to Queenstown in 3.5 hours. On the 27th (Fri), you're off toSydney.

Things to do in Queenstown

Fun & Games Museums Shopping
Find places to stay Jan 21 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Silver Fern Gallery ©
Silver Fern Gallery

5
nights
Sydney, Australia

Sydney ©
Lent iconic status as a result of its famous bridge and opera house, Sydney has a down-to-earth charm that enhances its spectacular setting and functional efficiency.
You've now added Blue Mountains to your itinerary. The adventure continues: make a trip to Sydney Opera House, tour the pleasant surroundings at Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk, take in nature's colorful creations at Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, and see the interesting displays at Australian National Maritime Museum.

To see photos, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Sydney trip planning site .

Getting from Queenstown to Sydney by flight takes about 6 hours. The time zone difference moving from New Zealand Standard Time to Australian Eastern Standard Time (New South Wales) is minus 2 hours. December in Sydney sees daily highs of 81°F and lows of 65°F at night. You'll set off for home on the 1st (Wed).

Things to do in Sydney

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Bondi to Coogee Walk, Blue Mountains
Find places to stay Jan 23 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Sydney Opera House ©
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Harbour Bridge ©
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Royal Botanic Garden Sydney ©
Royal Botanic Garden Sydney

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