22 days in New Zealand Itinerary

22 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand trip itinerary planner

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Route & dates

22 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Geneva
Fly:  29​h
1
Auckland
— 1 day
Drive:  3​h
2
Paihia
— 3 nights
+2
taxi + Fly + taxi:  3​h
3
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
4
Whakapapa
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
5
Rotorua
— 3 nights
Fly:  5​h 30​min
6
Queenstown
— 3 nights
bus:  3​h 15​min
7
Te Anau
— 4 nights
bus + Fly:  34​h
End: Geneva

1
day
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.
Start off your visit on the 20th (Sun): get engrossed in the history at Auckland War Memorial Museum, stop by Pauanesia, and then don't miss a visit to SkyTower.

For reviews, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Auckland trip maker app .

Geneva, Switzerland to Auckland is an approximately 29-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of train, tram, and flight. The time zone changes from Central European Time to New Zealand Standard Time, which is usually a 11 hour difference. Plan for much warmer temperatures traveling from Geneva in December, with highs in Auckland at 20°C and lows at 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Paihia.

Things to do in Auckland

Museums Shopping
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Auckland War Memorial Museum ©
Auckland War Memorial Museum
Pauanesia ©
Pauanesia

3
nights
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.
Go for a jaunt from Paihia to Russell to see Pompallier Mission and Printery about 42 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: admire the natural beauty at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, get in on the family fun at Action World, get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, and discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, read Paihia trip planner.

Getting from Auckland to Paihia by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Wed) early enough to travel to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife Tours Outdoors

Side Trip

Pompallier Mission and Printery
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Nature & Wildlife Tours

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.
On the 24th (Thu), Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves, get interesting insight from Tours, then explore the fascinating underground world of Ruakuri Cave, and finally trek along Ruakuri Walk. Keep things going the next day: Head underground at Caveworld, get interesting insight from Tours, and then get outside with Waitomo Clay Birds.

For maps, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Waitomo Caves day trip tool .

Getting from Paihia to Waitomo Caves by combination of taxi and flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of flight and bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Fri) so you can travel to Whakapapa.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk

3
nights
Whakapapa

When in Whakapapa, make a side trip to see River Rafting & Tubing in Turangi, approximately 34 minutes away.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Whakapapa travel planner.

Drive from Waitomo Caves to Whakapapa in 2.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Mon) so you can travel to Rotorua.

Things to do in Whakapapa

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Tongariro National Park, River Rafting & Tubing
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Horsemtrails ©
Horsemtrails

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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Rotorua: Taupo (Huka Honey Hive, Huka Falls Walkway, & more). The adventure continues: take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, delve into the lush surroundings at Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest, don't miss a visit to Te Puia, and take a memorable tour with Tours.

For other places to visit, maps, reviews, and tourist information, use the Rotorua online trip itinerary maker .

Drive from Whakapapa to Rotorua in 2.5 hours. In December, daytime highs in Rotorua are 25°C, while nighttime lows are 17°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 31st (Thu) so you can travel to Queenstown.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Outdoors Tours

Side Trip

Taupo
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

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, see Off-Road Tours, stroll through PowderPak Parks, and identify plant and animal life at Kiwi Birdlife Park.

To see maps, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Queenstown trip maker app .

Traveling by flight from Rotorua to Queenstown takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of car and ferry. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Sun) to allow enough time to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Tours Fun & Games
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 3:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Zipline
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours

4
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. And it doesn't end there: contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound, look for all kinds of wild species at Doubtful Sound, get great views at Te Anau Lion Lookout Point, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Hollyford Track.

To find photos, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Te Anau day trip planner .

Take a bus from Queenstown to Te Anau in 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Thu) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trips

Fiordland National Park, Milford Foreshore Walk
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound
Hollyford Track ©
Hollyford Track

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