21 days in New Zealand Itinerary

21 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand sightseeing planner

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Route & dates

21 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Rome
Fly:  32​h
1
Te Anau
— 3 nights
bus:  3​h 15​min
2
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h 15​min
3
Wellington
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h
4
Rotorua
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
5
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights
+2
taxi + Fly + taxi:  3​h
6
Paihia
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
7
Auckland
— 2 nights
Fly:  30​h
End: Rome

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.
When in Te Anau, make a side trip to see Milford Foreshore Walk in Milford, approximately 1h 15 min away. The adventure continues: explore the activities along Milford Sound, look for all kinds of wild species at Ivan Wilson Park, stroll through Hollyford Track, and explore the fascinating underground world of Te Anau Glowworm Caves.

For maps, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Te Anau trip planner.

Rome, Italy to Te Anau is an approximately 32-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of flight and bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 11 hours traveling from Rome to Te Anau. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Thu) so you can catcht the bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Fiordland National Park, Milford Foreshore Walk
Find places to stay Nov 18 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound
Hollyford Track ©
Hollyford Track

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, do a tasting at Chard Farm Winery, whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and see Off-Road Tours.

For other places to visit, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Queenstown trip itinerary builder .

Take a bus from Te Anau to Queenstown in 3.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Sun) so you can travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours Outdoors Fun & Games
Find places to stay Nov 21 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Spas

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.
Start off your visit on the 25th (Mon): take an in-depth tour of The Great War Exhibition, then head outdoors with Great Alpine Highway, and then examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 26th (Tue): take in the pleasant sights at Hapuka Estuary Walk, go from sight to sight with Wellington Cable Car, then take in nature's colorful creations at Wellington Botanic Garden, and finally look for all kinds of wild species at ZEALANDIA Sanctuary.

To find traveler tips, photos, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Wellington trip planner .

Traveling by flight from Queenstown to Wellington takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of car and ferry. Expect a daytime high around 20°C in November, and nighttime lows around 13°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Tue) so you can travel to Rotorua.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks Museums Wildlife

Side Trips

Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Wellington Botanic Garden
Find places to stay Nov 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
The Great War Exhibition ©
The Great War Exhibition
Wellington Botanic Garden ©
Wellington Botanic Garden

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 Rotorua's surroundings by going to Taupo (Adrenaline & Extreme Tours, Huka Falls Walkway, & more) and Hobbiton Movie Set (in Hinuera). Next up on the itinerary: take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, admire all the interesting features of Te Puia, and learn about winemaking at Volcanic Hills Winery.

Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your Rotorua trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.

Traveling by flight from Wellington to Rotorua takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 23°C in November, and nighttime lows around 15°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Fri) so you can go by car to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Rotorua

Outdoors Parks Nature

Side Trips

Taupo, Hobbiton Movie Set
Find places to stay Nov 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway

2
nights
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 30th (Sat): Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves, get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, then explore the fascinating underground world of Ruakuri Cave, and finally hike along Ruakuri Walk. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: head outdoors with Waitomo Clay Birds, then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and then Head underground at Caveworld.

To find ratings, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Waitomo Caves route planning website .

Drive from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Sun) early enough to travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Nov 29 — Dec 1:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk

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.
Change things up with a short trip to Pompallier Mission and Printery in Russell (about 42 minutes away). There's still lots to do: steep yourself in history at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, admire the sheer force of Haruru Falls, and admire the striking features of The Stone Store & Kemp House - Kerikeri Mission Station.

For more things to do, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Paihia online tour planner .

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Waitomo Caves to Paihia in 3 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of bus and flight. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Wed) so you can drive to Auckland.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

The Stone Store & Kemp House - Kerikeri Mission Station, Pompallier Mission and Printery
Find places to stay Dec 1 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Dolphin & Whale Watching

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.
On the 5th (Thu), awaken your taste buds at some of the top wineries in the area, then brush up on your military savvy at Auckland War Memorial Museum, and then enjoy breathtaking views from SkyTower.

To find photos, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Auckland visit planner .

You can drive from Paihia to Auckland in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. In December, daytime highs in Auckland are 20°C, while nighttime lows are 20°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Auckland

Tours Museums
Find places to stay Dec 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Auckland War Memorial Museum ©
Auckland War Memorial Museum
Wine Tours & Tastings

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