22 days in New Zealand Itinerary

22 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand vacation planner

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Route & dates

22 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Manchester
Fly:  27​h
1
Auckland
— Few hours
Fly:  4​h 30​min
2
Nelson
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
3
Abel Tasman National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
4
Nelson
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
5
Blenheim
— Few hours
Drive:  1​h 45​min
6
Kaikoura
— 1 day
Drive:  5​h 30​min
7
Nelson
— 1 night
Fly + bus:  1​h 30​min
8
Christchurch
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
9
Lake Tekapo
— 1 day
Drive:  1​h
10
Mt. Cook Village
— 1 night
Drive:  30​min
11
Twizel
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
12
Wanaka
— 1 night
car:  1​h 30​min
13
Te Anau
— 1 night
bus:  3​h 15​min
14
Queenstown
— 1 night
Fly:  3​h 15​min
15
Wellington
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h
16
Taupo
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
17
Rotorua
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
18
Hamilton
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
19
Auckland
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
20
Waiheke Island
— 1 day
Drive:  1​h 45​min
21
Auckland
— 2 nights
Fly:  27​h
End: Manchester

few
hours
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.
For ratings, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Auckland itinerary builder .

Manchester, UK to Auckland is an approximately 27-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of bus and flight. You'll lose 12 hours traveling from Manchester to Auckland due to the time zone difference. When traveling from Manchester in December, plan for somewhat warmer days and much hotter nights in Auckland: temperatures range from 20°C by day to 20°C at night. You'll set off for Nelson on the 12th (Thu).

Things to do in Auckland

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Dec 11 — 12:

1
night
Nelson

Nelson ©
Put on your shades to enjoy the sights of Nelson, one of the sunniest cities in New Zealand.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Thu): kick back and relax at Tahunanui Beach, see the interesting displays at World of WearableArt & Classic Car Museum, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Christ Church Cathedral, and finally take in nature's colorful creations at Queen's Gardens.

To see ratings, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Nelson journey maker tool .

You can fly from Auckland to Nelson in 4.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of train, ferry, and bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Fri) so you can travel to Abel Tasman National Park.

Things to do in Nelson

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 12 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Tahunanui Beach ©
Tahunanui Beach
Christ Church Cathedral ©
Christ Church Cathedral

1
night
Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park ©
Pristine blue water, immaculate white sand, and a thick, temperate rainforest make Abel Tasman National Park a natural jewel on the northern coast of Tasmania's South Island.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Fri): Head underground at Rawhiti Cave Track, take in the dramatic scenery at Wainui Falls Track, then stroll through Abel Tasman Coast Track, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Kaiteriteri Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 14th (Sat): take in the local highlights with Walking tours, then take in the exciting artwork at Lollokiki, and then explore the activities along Te Waikoropupu Springs (Pupu Springs).

To find where to stay, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Abel Tasman National Park day trip planner .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Nelson to Abel Tasman National Park. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Nelson.

Things to do in Abel Tasman National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Kaiteriteri Beach, Rawhiti Cave Track, Lollokiki, Te Waikoropupu Springs (Pupu Springs)
Find places to stay Dec 13 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Abel Tasman Coast Track ©
Abel Tasman Coast Track
Wainui Falls Track ©
Wainui Falls Track
Te Waikoropupu Springs (Pupu Springs) ©

2
nights
Nelson

Nelson ©
On the 15th (Sun), look for all kinds of wild species at Brook Waimarama Sanctuary, take an in-depth tour of Nelson Provincial Museum, make a trip to Centre of New Zealand, then learn about winemaking at Rimu Grove Winery, and finally take in the dramatic natural features at The Boulder Bank.

To see maps, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Nelson holiday app .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Abel Tasman National Park to Nelson. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Blenheim.

Things to do in Nelson

Parks Wildlife Wineries

Side Trips

Rimu Grove Winery, The Boulder Bank
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Brook Waimarama Sanctuary ©
Brook Waimarama Sanctuary
Nelson Provincial Museum ©
Nelson Provincial Museum
Rimu Grove Winery ©
Rimu Grove Winery

few
hours
Blenheim

Blenheim
Enjoy a heady holiday in Blenheim, the most populous town in the wine-growing region of Marlborough.
To see reviews, other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Blenheim trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Nelson to Blenheim takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. December in Blenheim sees daily highs of 22°C and lows of 15°C at night. You'll set off for Kaikoura on the 16th (Mon).

Things to do in Blenheim

Tours Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 15 — 16:

1
day
Kaikoura

Kaikoura ©
Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Mon): hike along Ohau Stream Walk, stroll through Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway, then get engrossed in the history at Kaikoura Museum, then get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, and finally discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

For photos, ratings, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Kaikoura travel itinerary planner .

Drive from Blenheim to Kaikoura in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Mon) early enough to travel to Nelson.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Outdoors Trails Parks
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway ©
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Scuba & Snorkeling

1
night
Nelson

Nelson
To find traveler tips, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, read Nelson day trip planning app .

Getting from Kaikoura to Nelson by combination of train and bus takes about 5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or drive. You'll set off for Christchurch on the 17th (Tue).

Things to do in Nelson

Tours Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 17:

1
night
Christchurch

Christchurch ©
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Start off your visit on the 17th (Tue): learn about winemaking at Pegasus Bay Winery, then take an in-depth tour of Canterbury Museum, then examine the collection at Quake City, and finally don't miss a visit to Cardboard Cathedral.

Start your trip to Christchurch by creating a personalized itinerary on Inspirock.

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Nelson to Christchurch takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and flight. December in Christchurch sees daily highs of 24°C and lows of 12°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Lake Tekapo.

Things to do in Christchurch

Museums Wineries Historic Sites
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Canterbury Museum ©
Canterbury Museum
Pegasus Bay Winery ©
Pegasus Bay Winery
Quake City ©
Quake City

1
day
Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo ©
Located in a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo offers evenings of stargazing and days of long walks.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Wed): take in the pleasant sights at Mount John University Observatory, see Off-Road Tours, then look for all kinds of wild species at Gem Alpaca Stud, then pause for some serene contemplation at The Church of the Good Shepherd, and finally explore the activities along Lake Tekapo.

To find where to stay, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Lake Tekapo trip itinerary planner .

You can drive from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo in 3 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Wildlife Parks Tours

Side Trip

Gem Alpaca Stud
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Gem Alpaca Stud ©
Gem Alpaca Stud
The Church of the Good Shepherd ©
The Church of the Good Shepherd
Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo

1
night
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Thu): hike along Kea Point Track, look and learn at Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Glencoe Walk.

To see photos and tourist information, use the Mt. Cook Village online sightseeing planner .

Traveling by car from Lake Tekapo to Mt. Cook Village takes an hour. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 19th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Twizel.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Childrens Museums Museums Trails

Side Trip

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre ©
Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre
Kea Point Track ©
Kea Point Track

1
night
Twizel

Twizel ©
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Thu): stop by Big Rooster Antiques & Collectables, then browse the exhibits of Totara Peak Gallery, and then take in the dramatic natural features at Clay Cliff.

For other places to visit and tourist information, you can read our Twizel road trip planning app .

Twizel is very close to Mt. Cook Village. On the 20th (Fri), you'll travel to Wanaka.

Things to do in Twizel

Shopping Parks Nature

Side Trip

Omarama
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Totara Peak Gallery ©
Totara Peak Gallery
Clay Cliff ©
Clay Cliff
Big Rooster Antiques & Collectables ©

1
night
Wanaka

Situated on the shores of Lake Wanaka in the Otago region, Wanaka has become a popular ski and summer resort area, owing to its extensive views of the lake and its proximity to some of the best slopes in the country.
On the 20th (Fri), cast your line with a fishing tour, then learn about winemaking at Rippon Vineyard, and then examine the collection at National Transport and Toy Museum.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Wanaka online holiday planner .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Twizel to Wanaka. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) so you can catcht the bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Wanaka

Wildlife Museums Tours
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Fishing Charters & Tours
Rippon Vineyard ©
Rippon Vineyard
National Transport and Toy Museum ©
National Transport and Toy Museum

1
night
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 21st (Sat), play a few rounds at Te Anau Golf Club, see the interesting displays at Fiordland Vintage Machinery Museum, and then contemplate the waterfront views at Te Anau Glowworm Caves.

To see other places to visit, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Te Anau trip itinerary maker site .

You can take a bus from Wanaka to Te Anau in 6.5 hours. You'll set off for Queenstown on the 22nd (Sun).

Things to do in Te Anau

Golf Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Te Anau Golf Club ©
Te Anau Golf Club
Te Anau Glowworm Caves ©
Te Anau Glowworm Caves
Fiordland Vintage Machinery Museum ©

1
night
Queenstown

Queenstown
Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
For reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Queenstown trip itinerary builder .

You can take a bus from Te Anau to Queenstown in 3.5 hours. You'll set off for Wellington on the 23rd (Mon).

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 23:

1
night
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.
On the 23rd (Mon), identify plant and animal life at ZEALANDIA Sanctuary, admire the striking features of Old St Paul's, take a memorable ride with Wellington Cable Car, then wander the streets of Cuba Street, and finally examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

To see traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Wellington trip maker website .

You can fly from Queenstown to Wellington in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of car and ferry. In December, plan for daily highs up to 22°C, and evening lows to 15°C. On the 24th (Tue), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Taupo.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks Wildlife Shopping
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
ZEALANDIA Sanctuary ©
ZEALANDIA Sanctuary
Wellington Cable Car ©
Wellington Cable Car

1
night
Taupo

Taupo ©
The resort town of Taupo lies on the banks of Lake Taupo, the largest body of water in the whole of Australasia.
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Tue): stop by Souvenir Outlet and then admire the sheer force of Huka Falls Walkway.

To find other places to visit, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Taupo road trip site .

Fly from Wellington to Taupo in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) to allow time to take a bus to Rotorua.

Things to do in Taupo

Trails Parks Shopping
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway

1
night
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.
On the 25th (Wed), identify plant and animal life at Redwoods Treewalk, get impressive views of Waimangu Volcanic Valley, then take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, and finally look for all kinds of wild species at Rainbow Springs Nature Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 26th (Thu): kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, do a tasting at Volcanic Hills Winery, then identify plant and animal life at Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park, then steep yourself in history at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, and finally boost your wellbeing at a local thermal spa.

To see traveler tips, photos, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Rotorua online trip maker .

Getting from Taupo to Rotorua by bus takes about an hour. Other options: drive. In December, daily temperatures in Rotorua can reach 25°C, while at night they dip to 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Hamilton.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trip

Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Zipline
Rainbow Springs Nature Park ©
Rainbow Springs Nature Park

1
night
Hamilton

Hamilton ©
On the banks of the Waikato River lies Hamilton, a pretty, active city on North Island.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Fri): see the interesting displays at Classics Museum, meet the residents at Hamilton Zoo, then admire the natural beauty at Hamilton Gardens, and finally see the interesting displays at Waikato Museum.

To find maps, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, read Hamilton itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Rotorua to Hamilton takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Auckland.

Things to do in Hamilton

Parks Museums Zoos & Aquariums
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Hamilton Gardens ©
Hamilton Gardens
Waikato Museum ©
Waikato Museum
Classics Museum ©
Classics Museum

1
night
Auckland

Auckland
To see more things to do, photos, ratings, and tourist information, read our Auckland trip site .

Traveling by car from Hamilton to Auckland takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. You will leave for Waiheke Island on the 28th (Sat).

Things to do in Auckland

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 28:

1
day
Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island ©
Head to Waiheke Island, a place of white sandy beaches, palm trees, great wine, and relaxation, just 35 minutes off the coast of Auckland.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Sat): look for all kinds of wild species at Stony Batter, do a tasting at Kennedy Point Vineyard, do a tasting at Stonyridge Vineyard, learn about winemaking at Obsidian Vineyard, then explore the world behind art at Connells Bay Sculpture Park, and finally learn about winemaking at Man O' War Vineyards.

To see other places to visit, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Waiheke Island holiday planner.

You can drive from Auckland to Waiheke Island in 2 hours. While traveling from Auckland, expect a bit warmer days and slightly colder nights in Waiheke Island, ranging from highs of 24°C to lows of 17°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sat) so you can go by car to Auckland.

Things to do in Waiheke Island

Wineries Parks Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Stonyridge Vineyard ©
Stonyridge Vineyard
Connells Bay Sculpture Park ©
Connells Bay Sculpture Park
Obsidian Vineyard ©
Obsidian Vineyard

2
nights
Auckland

Auckland ©
On the 29th (Sun), get impressive views of Rangitoto Island, then enjoy the thrill of live dance at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium, then learn about all things military at Auckland War Memorial Museum, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Piha Beach.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Auckland day trip planning website .

You can drive from Waiheke Island to Auckland in 2 hours. Traveling from Waiheke Island in December, you will find days in Auckland are slightly colder (20°C), and nights are about the same (20°C). You'll have a few hours on the 30th (Mon) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trip

Piha Beach
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium ©
SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium
Auckland War Memorial Museum ©
Auckland War Memorial Museum
Piha Beach ©
Piha Beach

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