20 days in New Zealand Itinerary

20 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

20 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Cairns
Fly + bus:  11​h
1
Te Anau
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h 15​min
2
Mt. Cook Village
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Fly:  5​h 30​min
4
Rotorua
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
5
Whakapapa
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
6
Auckland
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
7
Paihia
— 3 nights
Fly:  9​h 15​min
End: Cairns

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.
On the 24th (Thu), hike the day away at Hollyford Track. There's much more to do: explore the activities along Milford Sound, get great views at Te Anau Lion Lookout Point, trek along Gertrude Saddle, and look for all kinds of wild species at Doubtful Sound.

To see reviews, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Te Anau trip planner.

Cairns, Australia to Te Anau is an approximately 11-hour combination of flight and bus. The time zone difference moving from Australian Eastern Standard Time (Queensland) to New Zealand Standard Time is 2 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Thu) so you can travel to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trip

Hollyford Track
Find places to stay Oct 21 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound
Hollyford Track ©
Hollyford Track

3
nights
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Mt. Cook Village: Fox Glacier (Moraine Walk, Fox Glacier, & more) and Franz Josef Glacier (in Franz Josef). And it doesn't end there: get outside with Aoraki/Mt. Cook, trek along Glencoe Walk, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Red Tarns Track.

To see photos, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, read Mt. Cook Village holiday maker tool .

Explore your travel options from Te Anau to Mt. Cook Village with the Route module. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sun) early enough to travel to Queenstown.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Fox Glacier, Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Franz Josef Glacier
Find places to stay Oct 24 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Fox Glacier ©
Fox Glacier
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook
Gillespies Beach ©
Gillespies Beach

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.
Queenstown is known for fun & games, adventure, wildlife, nature, and spas. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at The Remarkables Ski Area, hit the slopes at Coronet Peak, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

To see where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, read Queenstown travel route website .

Traveling by car from Mt. Cook Village to Queenstown takes 3 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Wed) so you can travel to Rotorua.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Parks Winter Sports
Find places to stay Oct 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Coronet Peak ©
Coronet Peak
Spas

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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Rotorua: Hobbiton Movie Set (in Hinuera) and Taupo (Adrenaline & Extreme Tours, Huka Falls Walkway, & more). There's still lots to do: witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, don't miss a visit to Amokura Glass, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and admire all the interesting features of Te Puia.

To find reviews, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Rotorua online trip itinerary maker .

Getting from Queenstown to Rotorua by flight takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of car and ferry. October in Rotorua sees daily highs of 21°C and lows of 13°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sat) to allow time to travel to Whakapapa.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Taupo, Hobbiton Movie Set
Find places to stay Oct 30 — Nov 2:
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway

3
nights
Whakapapa

Whakapapa ©
Whakapapa is known for winter sports, nature, trails, and outdoors. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: trek along Tongariro Alpine Crossing, admire the sheer force of Tawhai Falls, tour the pleasant surroundings at Taranaki Falls, and take in the pleasant sights at Mead's Wall.

To see traveler tips, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Whakapapa trip itinerary tool .

Traveling by car from Rotorua to Whakapapa takes 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Tue) early enough to travel to Auckland.

Things to do in Whakapapa

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trip

Tongariro National Park
Find places to stay Nov 2 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Horsemtrails ©
Horsemtrails
Tama Lakes ©
Tama Lakes

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 6th (Wed): awaken your taste buds at some of the top wineries in the area, then see the interesting displays at Auckland War Memorial Museum, and then enjoy breathtaking views from SkyTower.

To find other places to visit, maps, photos, and other tourist information, read our Auckland trip planner .

Drive from Whakapapa to Auckland in 4.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 20°C in November, and nighttime lows around 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Wed) early enough to drive to Paihia.

Things to do in Auckland

Tours Museums
Find places to stay Nov 5 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Auckland War Memorial Museum ©
Auckland War Memorial Museum
Wine Tours & Tastings

3
nights
Paihia

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.
Paihia is known for wildlife, historic sites, nature, adventure, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: contemplate the long history of Waitangi Treaty Grounds, pause for some serene contemplation at St Paul's Anglican Church, make a trip to KeriKeri New Zealand, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

To find ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Paihia trip maker site .

You can drive from Auckland to Paihia in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Paihia

Outdoors Parks Historic Sites

Side Trip

Kerikeri
Find places to stay Nov 6 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Waitangi Golf Club ©
Waitangi Golf Club
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Spas

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