22 days in New Zealand Itinerary

22 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

22 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Auckland
Drive:  2​h 30​min
1
Waitomo Caves
— 1 day
Drive:  2​h
2
Rotorua
— 3 nights
+2
Fly + bus + train:  7​h 15​min
3
Kaikoura
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
4
Punakaiki
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
5
Fox Glacier
— 3 nights
bus:  6​h 15​min
6
Te Anau
— 5 nights
bus:  2​h 30​min
7
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Fly:  4​h
End: Auckland

1
day
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.
Kiwi Cave Rafting has been added to your itinerary. Start off your visit on the 23rd (Thu): hike along Ruakuri Walk, relax and float downstream with Kiwi Cave Rafting, and then relax in the rural setting at Roselands Farm Park.

To find ratings, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, read our Waitomo Caves trip planner

Auckland Central to Waitomo Caves is an approximately 2.5-hour car ride. You can also take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors Adventure Tours
Find places to stay Nov 22 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk
Kiwi Cave Rafting ©
Kiwi Cave Rafting

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.
Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 24th (Fri): witness a stunning natural landmark at Waimangu Volcanic Valley, witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, and then identify plant and animal life at Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park.

To find other places to visit, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Rotorua sightseeing planner

Traveling by car from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In November, daytime highs in Rotorua are 23°C, while nighttime lows are 15°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Sun) early enough to travel to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trips

Waimangu Volcanic Valley, River Rafting & Tubing
Find places to stay Nov 23 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Waimangu Volcanic Valley ©
Waimangu Volcanic Valley
River Rafting & Tubing
Redwoods Treewalk ©
Redwoods Treewalk

3
nights
Kaikoura

Kaikoura ©
Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway and Lavendyl Lavender Farm. Get in touch with nature at Dolphin & Whale Watching and Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa. Next up on the itinerary: get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, experience rural life at The Point Sheep Shearing Show, and stop by Kaikoura Cheese Localvore Store.

To find ratings, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Kaikoura sightseeing planner

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Rotorua to Kaikoura takes 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of flight and train. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 29th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Punakaiki.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trip

Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa
Find places to stay Nov 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway ©
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Nature & Wildlife Tours

3
nights
Punakaiki

Punakaiki ©
Punakaiki is a small community on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand, between Westport and Greymouth. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Truman Track and Charming Creek Walkway. Take a break from the city and head to Pancake Rocks and Blowholes Walk and Coalbrookdale Walk. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Punakaiki: Mitchells Gully Gold Mine (in Charleston) and Coal Creek Track (in Runanga). And it doesn't end there: stroll through Fox River Cave Walk, Head underground at Punakaiki Cavern, and trek along Pororari River Track.

For traveler tips, photos, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Punakaiki online vacation planner

Traveling by car from Kaikoura to Punakaiki takes 5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Punakaiki

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Coal Creek Track, Coalbrookdale Walk, Charming Creek Walkway, Mitchells Gully Gold Mine
Find places to stay Nov 29 — Dec 2:
Highlights from your plan
Truman Track ©
Truman Track
Charming Creek Walkway ©
Charming Creek Walkway
Pancake Rocks and Blowholes Walk ©
Pancake Rocks and Blowholes Walk

3
nights
Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier ©
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Take a break from the city and head to Fox Glacier and Fox Glacier Hiking Trails. Step off the beaten path and head to West Coast Wildlife Centre and Kea Point Track. Get out of town with these interesting Fox Glacier side-trips: Franz Josef (Sentinel Rock Walk & Franz Josef Glacier).

To find photos, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Fox Glacier day trip planning app

Traveling by car from Punakaiki to Fox Glacier takes 3.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Tue) so you can go by car to Te Anau.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Franz Josef, Kea Point Track
Find places to stay Dec 2 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Kea Point Track ©
Kea Point Track
Helicopter Tours
Fox Glacier ©
Fox Glacier

5
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.
Get in touch with nature at Fiordland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) and Te Anau Glowworm Caves. Step out of Te Anau to go to Milford Sound and see Southern Discoveries - Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory, which is approximately 1h 15 min away. Spend the 10th (Sun) on the water with a fishing tour. There's still lots to do: contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound, trek along Lake Gunn, stroll through Mirror Lakes Walk, and identify plant and animal life at Te Anau Bird Sanctuary.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Te Anau trip itinerary planning tool

Traveling by car from Fox Glacier to Te Anau takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sun) so you can drive to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Fiordland National Park, Southern Discoveries - Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory
Find places to stay Dec 5 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Mirror Lakes Walk ©
Mirror Lakes Walk
Kayaking & Canoeing

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.
Escape the urban bustle at Adrenaline & Extreme Tours and Deep Canyon. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Arrowtown Chinese Settlement and Lake Hayes Walkway. Step out of Queenstown to go to Wanaka and see Horseback Riding Tours, which is approximately 58 minutes away. There's still lots to do: soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and identify plant and animal life at Kiwi Birdlife Park.

To find photos, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Queenstown day trip planning website

Getting from Te Anau to Queenstown by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Arrowtown, Wanaka
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Hayes Walkway ©
Lake Hayes Walkway
Deep Canyon ©
Deep Canyon
Horseback Riding Tours

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