22 days in New Zealand Itinerary

22 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand tour planner

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Route & dates

22 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Denver
Fly:  21​h 30​min
1
Rotorua
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
2
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
Fly + Bus:  7​h 30​min
3
Kaikoura
— 1 night
Drive:  6​h 45​min
4
Fox Glacier
— 3 nights
Bus:  4​h 45​min
5
Wanaka
— 2 nights
Bus:  2​h 30​min
6
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Bus:  3​h 15​min
7
Te Anau
— 2 nights
Bus + Fly:  8​h
8
Paihia
— 1 night
Fly:  21​h 30​min
End: Denver

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 Waimangu Volcanic Valley and River Rafting & Tubing. You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Mt Maunganui Main Beach and Papamoa Beach. Venture out of the city with trips to Mount Maunganui (Pilot Bay & Mount Maunganui Base Track) and Virtual Reality Experience (in Tauranga). The adventure continues: look for all kinds of wild species at Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre, whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, have some family-friendly fun at OGO Rotorua, and take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland.

For where to stay, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Rotorua trip tool .

Denver, USA to Rotorua is an approximately 21.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of car and flight; or do a combination of flight and bus. You'll lose 19 hours traveling from Denver to Rotorua due to the time zone difference. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Denver in November: highs in Rotorua hover around 68°F, while lows dip to 55°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Tauranga, Okere Falls, Papamoa Beach, Waiotapu Boardwalk/ Mud Pool
Find places to stay Nov 26 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Waimangu Volcanic Valley ©
Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Mt Maunganui Main Beach ©
Mt Maunganui Main Beach
Papamoa Beach ©
Papamoa Beach

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.
On the 1st (Tue), explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, then explore the fascinating underground world of Footwhistle Glowworm Cave, then take a memorable tour with Tours, and finally hike along Ruakuri Walk.

For photos, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Waitomo Caves trip planning website .

You can drive from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves in 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Nov 30 — Dec 1:
Highlights from your plan
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves

1
night
Kaikoura

Kaikoura ©
Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
On the 2nd (Wed), get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway, and then hike along Ohau Stream Walk. Keep things going the next day: Head underground at Maori Leap Cave, then take a memorable tour with Tours, and then take an in-depth tour of Kaikoura Museum.

Plan a Kaikoura trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Waitomo Caves to Kaikoura in 7.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of bus and flight. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Thu) early enough to drive to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Outdoors Parks Trails
Find places to stay Dec 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway ©
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway
Ohau Stream Walk ©
Ohau Stream Walk
Dolphin & Whale Watching

3
nights
Fox Glacier

A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Visiting Hooker Valley Track and Franz Josef Glacier will get you outdoors. Step off the beaten path and head to Helicopter Tours and Sentinel Rock Walk. There's lots more to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Fox Glacier, hike along Sealy Tarns Track, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Gillespies Beach.

To see ratings, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Fox Glacier trip planner .

You can drive from Kaikoura to Fox Glacier in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, bus, and flight; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sun) so you can take a bus to Wanaka.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Franz Josef, Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
Find places to stay Dec 3 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Helicopter Tours
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier

2
nights
Wanaka

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.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Mon): hike along Isthmus Peak Track, head outdoors with Oxbow The Adventure Co., and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Wanaka, then look for all kinds of wild species at Roys Bay Recreational Reserve, and then hike along Rob Roy Track.

To find other places to visit, photos, maps, and tourist information, read Wanaka online trip builder .

Traveling by bus from Fox Glacier to Wanaka takes 5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Tue) so you can catcht the bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Wanaka

Parks Outdoors Trails
Find places to stay Dec 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Wanaka ©
Lake Wanaka
Spas

3
nights
Queenstown

Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Get in touch with nature at Queenstown Trail and Fishing Charters & Tours. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Lake Hayes Walkway and Wooing Tree Vineyard. Change things up with these side-trips from Queenstown: Tobins Track (in Arrowtown) and Mt Difficulty Wines Cellar Door (in Bannockburn). Next up on the itinerary: indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, do a tasting at Mt Rosa Wines, trek along Mt Crichton Loop Track, and cruise along Crown Range Road.

To find reviews, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Queenstown tour builder app .

Traveling by bus from Wanaka to Queenstown takes 2.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Fri) early enough to catcht the bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Arrowtown, Cromwell, Crown Range Road
Find places to stay Dec 8 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Fishing Charters & Tours
Queenstown Trail ©
Queenstown Trail
Lake Hayes Walkway ©
Lake Hayes Walkway

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Sat): look for all kinds of wild species at Milford sound Hwy and then contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound. Here are some ideas for day two: look for all kinds of wild species at Te Anau Bird Sanctuary, then explore the fascinating underground world of Te Anau Glowworm Caves, and then take a memorable drive along Eglinton Valley.

Plan my trip to Te Anau with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.

Traveling by bus from Queenstown to Te Anau takes 3.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

Milford Sound
Find places to stay Dec 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Milford sound Hwy ©
Milford sound Hwy
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Te Anau Bird Sanctuary ©
Te Anau Bird Sanctuary

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 14th (Mon): get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour and then look for all kinds of wild species at Paihia Harbour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 15th (Tue): relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, then take a peaceful walk through Manginangina Kauri Walk, then surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, and finally glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour.

To see other places to visit, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Paihia day trip website .

Do a combination of bus and flight from Te Anau to Paihia in 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of ferry and car. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Tue) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Paihia

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trip

Kerikeri
Find places to stay Dec 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour
Nature & Wildlife Tours

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