20 days in New Zealand Itinerary

20 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock North Island trip planner

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Route & dates

20 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Auckland
1
Auckland
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
2
Hahei
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
3
Tauranga
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
4
Whakatane
— 1 night
Drive:  45​min
5
Opotiki
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
6
Gisborne
— 1 night
Fly + Drive:  4​h 30​min
7
Masterton
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
8
Levin
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
9
Wellington
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h
10
Rotorua
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
11
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  7​h 15​min
12
Cape Reinga
— 1 night
Drive + Fly:  5​h
End: Auckland

2
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Tawharanui Regional Park and Piha Beach. Step out of the city life by going to Orewa Beach and Waitakere Ranges. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Auckland: Muriwai Gannet Colony (in Muriwai Beach) and Kitekite Falls (in Piha). There's more to do: identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas and admire all the interesting features of Sweet Red Strawberries.

For maps, ratings, photos, and tourist information, read our Auckland trip builder tool .

The Route module can give you travel options from your home to Auckland. In December, plan for daily highs up to 20°C, and evening lows to 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Hahei.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Piha, Orewa Beach, Muriwai Gannet Colony, Tawharanui Regional Park
Find places to stay Dec 9 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Piha Beach ©
Piha Beach
Orewa Beach ©
Orewa Beach
Arataki Visitor Centre ©
Arataki Visitor Centre

1
night
Hahei

Hahei ©
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Thu): take in the awesome beauty at Mount Paku, then take in the exciting artwork at Moko Artspace, then witness a stunning natural landmark at Hot Water Beach, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Hahei Beach Walk.

For traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Hahei itinerary planner.

Getting from Auckland to Hahei by car takes about 2.5 hours. Traveling from Auckland in December, you will find days in Hahei are somewhat warmer (24°C), and nights are a bit cooler (17°C). Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) so you can drive to Tauranga.

Things to do in Hahei

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Hot Water Beach, Mount Paku
Find places to stay Dec 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Mount Paku ©
Mount Paku
Hahei Beach Walk ©
Hahei Beach Walk
Hot Water Beach ©
Hot Water Beach

2
nights
Tauranga

Tauranga ©
The largest city in the Bay of Plenty, Tauranga features extensive sandy beaches, well-maintained hiking paths, and a good range of accommodations.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Fri): admire the sheer force of Wairere Falls, look for gifts at Mossop's Honey, then hike along Mount Maunganui Base Track, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Pilot Bay. On your second day here, enjoy the sand and surf at Papamoa Beach, admire the sheer force of Kaiate Falls, and then take in the dramatic scenery at McLaren Falls Park.

To see reviews, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Tauranga trip planner .

Getting from Hahei to Tauranga by car takes about 2.5 hours. In December, daily temperatures in Tauranga can reach 25°C, while at night they dip to 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Whakatane.

Things to do in Tauranga

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Papamoa Beach, Wairere Falls
Find places to stay Dec 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Wairere Falls ©
Wairere Falls
Papamoa Beach ©
Papamoa Beach
Kaiate Falls ©
Kaiate Falls

1
night
Whakatane

Whakatane ©
Whakatāne is a town in the eastern Bay of Plenty Region in the North Island of New Zealand, 90 km east of Tauranga and 89 km north-east of Rotorua, at the mouth of the Whakatāne River. Kick off your visit on the 15th (Sun): tour the pleasant surroundings at Whakatane River Walk, then take some stellar pictures from Puketapa Lookout, then steep yourself in history at Te Papaka, and finally kick back and relax at Ohope Beach.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Whakatane trip planner .

Traveling by car from Tauranga to Whakatane takes 1.5 hours. In December, daily temperatures in Whakatane can reach 25°C, while at night they dip to 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Opotiki.

Things to do in Whakatane

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Ohope Beach ©
Ohope Beach
Whakatane River Walk ©
Whakatane River Walk
Puketapa Lookout ©
Puketapa Lookout

1
night
Opotiki

Opotiki ©
Opotiki is a small town in the eastern Bay of Plenty in the North Island of New Zealand. Kick off your visit on the 16th (Mon): don't miss a visit to Christ Church Raukokore, explore the landscape on two wheels at Motu Trails, and then kick back and relax at Waiotahe Beach.

To find other places to visit, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, read Opotiki trip site .

You can drive from Whakatane to Opotiki in an hour. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Gisborne.

Things to do in Opotiki

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Dec 15 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Motu Trails ©
Motu Trails
Christ Church Raukokore ©
Christ Church Raukokore

1
night
Gisborne

Gisborne ©
A holiday in Gisborne incorporates both leisure and culture.
On the 17th (Tue), learn about winemaking at Millton Vineyards & Winery, delve into the lush surroundings at Eastwoodhill Arboretum, then take in the dramatic natural features at Rere Rockslide, and finally learn about winemaking at Kirkpatrick Estate Winery.

For reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Gisborne vacation planner.

You can drive from Opotiki to Gisborne in 2 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Masterton.

Things to do in Gisborne

Parks Nature Wineries

Side Trips

Eastwoodhill Arboretum, Millton Vineyards & Winery
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Rere Rockslide ©
Rere Rockslide
Millton Vineyards & Winery ©
Millton Vineyards & Winery
Kirkpatrick Estate Winery ©
Kirkpatrick Estate Winery

1
night
Masterton

Masterton ©
Masterton is a large town in the Wellington Region of New Zealand and the seat of the Masterton District . Kick off your visit on the 18th (Wed): explore and take pictures at The Alpaca Place, see the interesting displays at The Woolshed Museum, and then trek along Mt Holdsworth - Jumbo Circuit.

To find traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Masterton online trip itinerary planner .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Gisborne to Masterton. Expect a daytime high around 22°C in December, and nighttime lows around 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Levin.

Things to do in Masterton

Outdoors Parks Trails
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
The Alpaca Place ©
The Alpaca Place

1
night
Levin

Levin ©
Levin is the largest town and seat of the Horowhenua District, in the Manawatu-Wanganui region of New Zealand's North Island. Start off your visit on the 19th (Thu): trek along Kohitere Trig, contemplate the long history of De Molen, Windmill, then take an in-depth tour of Oranjehof, Dutch Connection Centre, and finally delve into the lush surroundings at Waitarere Forest.

For photos, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Levin travel route planner .

Drive from Masterton to Levin in 2 hours. While traveling from Masterton, expect little chillier days and about the same nights in Levin, ranging from highs of 19°C to lows of 19°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Wellington.

Things to do in Levin

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Foxton, Waitarere Forest
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
De Molen, Windmill ©
De Molen, Windmill

2
nights
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.
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Fri): examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa), enjoy the sand and surf at Oriental Bay, then admire the landmark architecture of Old St Paul's, then appreciate the history behind Paddy the Wanderer Monument, and finally take an in-depth tour of Wellington Museum. Here are some ideas for day two: catch a ride on Wellington Cable Car, examine the collection at Cable Car Museum, then see the sky in a new way at Space Place at Carter Observatory, and finally look for all kinds of wild species at Staglands Wildlife Reserve.

To find where to stay, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Wellington day trip planning website .

Drive from Levin to Wellington in 1.5 hours. Traveling from Levin in December, expect nights in Wellington to be little chillier, around 15°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sat) to allow time to travel to Rotorua.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks Museums Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Oriental Bay ©
Oriental Bay
Old St Paul's ©
Old St Paul's

3
nights
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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Stand-Up Paddleboarding and Waikite Valley Thermal Pools. Step out of the city life by going to Blue Lake Track and Waimangu Volcanic Valley. When in Rotorua, make a side trip to see Huka Falls Walkway in Taupo, approximately 1h 25 min away. There's lots more to do: take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, identify plant and animal life at Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park, and trek along Tikitapu Nature Walk.

For other places to visit, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Rotorua online sightseeing planner .

You can fly from Wellington to Rotorua in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 25°C in December, and nighttime lows around 17°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave, Waimangu Volcanic Valley, Huka Falls Walkway
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Waimangu Volcanic Valley ©
Waimangu Volcanic Valley
River Rafting & Tubing
Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave ©

2
nights
Waitomo Caves

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 25th (Wed): trek along Ruakuri Walk, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, then explore the fascinating underground world of Ruakuri Cave, and finally Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Keep things going the next day: explore the fascinating underground world of Caveworld, then step off the mainland to explore Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari, and then admire the sheer force of Marokopa Falls Walk.

For photos, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Waitomo Caves day trip planning website .

Getting from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Thu) early enough to travel to Cape Reinga.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk
Ruakuri Cave
Ruakuri Cave
Caveworld ©
Caveworld

1
night
Cape Reinga

Cape Reinga ©
On the 27th (Fri), explore the striking landscape at Te Paki Sand Dunes. Here are some ideas for day two: hike along Te Paki Coastal Track, go for a walk through Cape Reinga, and then visit a coastal fixture at Cape Reinga Lighthouse Walk.

To see photos, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Cape Reinga trip planning app .

Explore your travel options from Waitomo Caves to Cape Reinga with the Route module. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Cape Reinga

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Te Paki Coastal Track, Te Paki Sand Dunes
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Te Paki Sand Dunes ©
Te Paki Sand Dunes
Cape Reinga Lighthouse Walk ©
Cape Reinga Lighthouse Walk
Te Paki Coastal Track ©
Te Paki Coastal Track

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