21 days in New Zealand Itinerary

21 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand holiday maker

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Route & dates

21 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Queenstown
drive:  3​h 30​min
1
Te Anau
— 3 nights
drive:  3​h 30​min
2
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
3
Fox Glacier
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  11​h
4
Rotorua
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
5
Whakapapa
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
6
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
+2
taxi + Fly + taxi:  3​h
7
Paihia
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h
End: Auckland

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.
Visiting Milford Sound and Te Anau Golf Club will get you outdoors. Step out of Te Anau to go to Milford and see Milford Foreshore Walk, which is approximately 1h 15 min away. There's much more to do: identify plant and animal life at Doubtful Sound, meet the residents at Trout Observatory, explore the activities along Lake Gunn, and hike along The Chasm Walk.

To find reviews, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Te Anau road trip website .

Queenstown to Te Anau is an approximately 3.5-hour bus ride. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Sun) early enough to take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Fiordland National Park, Milford Foreshore Walk
Find places to stay Nov 27 — Dec 1:
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.
Step out of the city life by going to Zipline and Queenstown Golf Club. The adventure continues: relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, fly down the slopes at Coronet Peak, get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, and get your game on at Skyline Queenstown.

For maps, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Queenstown trip planner .

Traveling by bus from Te Anau to Queenstown takes 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Wed) early enough to drive to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Parks Nature
Find places to stay Dec 1 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Coronet Peak ©
Coronet Peak
Kiwi Birdlife Park ©
Kiwi Birdlife Park

2
nights
Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier ©
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Thu): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Fox Glacier and then stroll through Gillespies Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: hike along Moraine Walk, trek along Franz Josef Glacier, and then trek along Hooker Valley Track.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Fox Glacier road trip planning tool .

Drive from Queenstown to Fox Glacier in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Rotorua.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Hooker Valley Track, Franz Josef Glacier
Find places to stay Dec 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Gillespies Beach ©
Gillespies Beach
Fox Glacier ©
Fox Glacier
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier

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.
Take a break from the city and head to Huka Falls Walkway and Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. Kids will appreciate attractions like Rainbow Springs Nature Park and Kinloch Beach. Change things up with these side-trips from Rotorua: Taupo (Mind Junction, Adrenaline & Extreme Tours, & more). Next up on the itinerary: whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, admire all the interesting features of Te Puia, learn about winemaking at Volcanic Hills Winery, and delve into the lush surroundings at Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest.

To see where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Rotorua trip tool .

Do a combination of car and flight from Fox Glacier to Rotorua in 11 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight. Expect a daytime high around 25°C in December, and nighttime lows around 17°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Tue) early enough to travel to Whakapapa.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trip

Taupo
Find places to stay Dec 6 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

2
nights
Whakapapa

Whakapapa ©
Start off your visit on the 11th (Wed): stroll through Whakapapa Nature Walk, admire the sheer force of Tawhai Falls, then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Te Porere Redoubt, and finally hike along Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Here are some ideas for day two: hike along Taranaki Falls and then hike along Horsemtrails.

For where to stay, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, read Whakapapa travel itinerary planner .

You can drive from Rotorua to Whakapapa in 2.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Whakapapa

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trip

Tongariro National Park
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Horsemtrails ©
Horsemtrails
Taranaki Falls ©
Taranaki Falls

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Fri): Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves, then surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, then Head underground at Ruakuri Cave, and finally hike along Ruakuri Walk.

To see traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Waitomo Caves route website .

Traveling by car from Whakapapa to Waitomo Caves takes 2.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Fri) so you can travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors Wildlife Tours
Find places to stay Dec 12 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Ruakuri Cave
Ruakuri Cave

4
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.
Take a break from the city and head to Dolphin & Whale Watching and Taupo Bay. Visit Waitangi Treaty Grounds and KeriKeri New Zealand for their historical value. There's lots more to do: surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, admire the landmark architecture of The Stone Store & Kemp House - Kerikeri Mission Station, identify plant and animal life at Paihia Harbour, and do a tasting at Byrne Northland Wines.

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

Do a combination of taxi and flight from Waitomo Caves to Paihia in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and flight. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 17th (Tue) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Paihia

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Kerikeri, Taupo Bay Beach
Find places to stay Dec 13 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Scuba & Snorkeling

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