20 days in New Zealand Itinerary

20 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand attractions planner

This plan was created by another user.  Make it your plan

Route & dates

20 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Buenos Aires
Fly:  15​h 30​min
1
Paihia
— 3 nights
+2
taxi + Fly + taxi:  3​h
2
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
3
Rotorua
— 5 nights
+2
Fly + bus + train:  8​h
4
Kaikoura
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
5
Akaroa
— 2 nights
bus + Fly:  6​h 45​min
6
Queenstown
— 4 nights
Fly:  20​h 15​min
End: Buenos Aires

3
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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Paihia Harbour and Christ Church. Pompallier Mission and Printery and Waro Limestone Scenic Reserve Walk will appeal to history buffs. Change things up with a short trip to Whangarei Falls in Whangarei (about 1h 05 min away). There's lots more to do: take a memorable tour with Tours, see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas, and brush up on your military savvy at Kawakawa Memorial Library Centre.

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

Buenos Aires, Argentina to Paihia is an approximately 15.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus. Traveling from Buenos Aires to Paihia, you'll lose 15 hours due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Russell, Kawakawa Memorial Library Centre, Waro Limestone Scenic Reserve Walk, Whangarei Falls
Find places to stay Oct 30 — Nov 2:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour
Scuba & Snorkeling

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 3rd (Sun): admire the sheer force of Marakopa Falls, then surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, and then Head underground at Ruakuri Cave. Here are some ideas for day two: head off the coast to Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari, take in the dramatic natural features at Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk, then explore the fascinating underground world of Caveworld, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Ruakuri Walk.

To find ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Waitomo Caves travel route site .

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Paihia to Waitomo Caves takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Mon) early enough to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari
Find places to stay Nov 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Ruakuri Cave
Ruakuri Cave
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk
Caveworld ©
Caveworld

5
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.
Explore hidden gems such as Waimangu Volcanic Valley and River Rafting & Tubing. Popular historic sites such as Government Gardens and Buried Village of Te Wairoa are in your itinerary. Get out of town with these interesting Rotorua side-trips: Papamoa Beach (in Papamoa), Mount Maunganui (Mt Maunganui Main Beach & Mount Maunganui Base Track) and Monmouth Redoubt (in Tauranga). And it doesn't end there: look for all kinds of wild species at Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre, witness a stunning natural landmark at Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Rotorua, and explore the striking landscape of Waiotapu Boardwalk/ Mud Pool.

For where to stay, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Rotorua trip planner .

You can drive from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua in 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus. In November, daytime highs in Rotorua are 23°C, while nighttime lows are 15°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Sat) early enough to travel to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Tauranga, Waiotapu Boardwalk/ Mud Pool, Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave, Waimangu Volcanic Valley, River Rafting & Tubing
Find places to stay Nov 4 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Papamoa Beach ©
Papamoa Beach
Mt Maunganui Main Beach ©
Mt Maunganui Main Beach
River Rafting & Tubing

1
night
Kaikoura

Kaikoura ©
Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Sun): look for gifts at Kaikoura Cheese, then hike along Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway, and then trek along Ohau Stream Walk. On your second day here, discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, then look for all kinds of wild species at Peninsula Seal Colony, and then make a trip to Ohau Point Seal Colony.

For more things to do, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Kaikoura online trip itinerary maker .

You can do a combination of flight and train from Rotorua to Kaikoura in 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight, bus, and train; or do a combination of bus, flight, and train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Mon) early enough to drive to Akaroa.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Outdoors Parks Trails
Find places to stay Nov 9 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway ©
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway
Scuba & Snorkeling
Peninsula Seal Colony ©
Peninsula Seal Colony

2
nights
Akaroa

The French heritage and colonial architecture of Akaroa has broad appeal to anthropologists, historians, architects--and just about anyone with an eye for beautiful, historical buildings and a palate for fine dining.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Tue): get interesting insight from Tours, then identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas, and then take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports. Keep things going the next day: visit a coastal fixture at Akaroa Lighthouse, get engrossed in the history at Akaroa Museum, and then admire the natural beauty at The Giants House.

To find maps, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Akaroa online trip maker .

Traveling by car from Kaikoura to Akaroa takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and taxi; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 21°C in November, and nighttime lows around 8°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Wed) early enough to travel to Queenstown.

Things to do in Akaroa

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Nov 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Swim with Dolphins
Kayaking & Canoeing
Dolphin & Whale Watching

4
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.
Visiting Queenstown Hill and Off-Road Tours will get you outdoors. Discover out-of-the-way places like Coronet Peak and Skydiving. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Queenstown: Wanaka (Horseback Riding Tours & Wanaka). Next up on the itinerary: hike along Ben Lomond Track, get outside with Arrowtown Village, play a few rounds at Jacks Point Golf Course Queenstown, and get your game on at Fear Factory Queenstown.

For where to stay, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, read Queenstown road trip planner .

Getting from Akaroa to Queenstown by combination of bus and flight takes about 7 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Wanaka, Arrowtown Village
Find places to stay Nov 13 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Queenstown Hill ©
Queenstown Hill
Wanaka ©
Wanaka
Ben Lomond Track ©
Ben Lomond Track

Similar Plans

21 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA September, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 22 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM November, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: November, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 21 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA December, teens, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 24 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA December, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 21 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA May, slow & easy, popular sights PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Slow & easy 21 days in New Zealand & Singapore BY A USER FROM CANADA September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 24 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, popular sights PREFERENCES: June, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 21 days in New Zealand & Singapore BY A USER FROM CANADA September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 21 days in New Zealand & Singapore BY A USER FROM CANADA September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 22 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA April, popular sights PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 22 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA January, popular sights PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 22 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA January, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans