23 days in New Zealand Itinerary

23 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

23 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Melbourne
Fly:  7 h
1
Auckland
— 1 night
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
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h 30 min
5
Taupo
— 3 nights
Fly:  2 h 45 min
6
Wellington
— 1 night
Fly + Drive:  6 h 15 min
7
Mt. Cook Village
— 3 nights
Drive:  5 h 15 min
8
Te Anau
— 3 nights
Bus:  3 h 15 min
9
Queenstown
— 4 nights
Fly:  6 h
End: Melbourne

1
night
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.
On the 7th (Sun), indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area, brush up on your military savvy at Auckland War Memorial Museum, and then enjoy breathtaking views from SkyTower.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Auckland sightseeing site .

Melbourne, Australia to Auckland is an approximately 7-hour flight. Traveling from Melbourne to Auckland, you'll lose 2 hours due to the time zone difference. When traveling from Melbourne in March, plan for a bit cooler days in Auckland, with highs around 22°C, while nights are a bit warmer with lows around 22°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Paihia.

Things to do in Auckland

Tours Museums
Find places to stay Mar 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Auckland Museum ©
Auckland Museum
Wine Tours & Tastings

3
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 Paihia with a short trip to Tapeka Point Track in Russell, about 36 minutes away. There's lots more to do: admire all the interesting features of Waitangi Treaty Grounds, see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, get interesting insight from Tours, and head off the coast to Urupukapuka Island.

To see maps, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Paihia route maker site .

Drive from Auckland to Paihia in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Tapeka Point Track, KeriKeri New Zealand
Find places to stay Mar 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Urupukapuka Island ©
Urupukapuka Island
Scuba & Snorkeling

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 11th (Thu), explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, then surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, then Head underground at Ruakuri Cave, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Ruakuri Walk. On the next day, explore the fascinating underground world of Caveworld, then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and then head outdoors with Waitomo Clay Birds.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, read Waitomo Caves road trip tool .

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Paihia to Waitomo Caves takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Whakapapa.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Mar 10 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk

2
nights
Whakapapa

Whakapapa ©
On the 13th (Sat), explore the striking landscape of Tongariro Crossing Shuttles, then hike along Tongariro Alpine Crossing, and then take in the dramatic scenery at Tawhai Falls. On your second day here, admire the sheer force of Taranaki Falls, take in the pleasant sights at Mead's Wall, and then explore the landscape on two wheels at Ohakune Old Coach Road.

To find photos, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Whakapapa trip planner .

Traveling by car from Waitomo Caves to Whakapapa takes 2.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Taupo.

Things to do in Whakapapa

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trip

Tongariro National Park
Find places to stay Mar 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Ohakune Old Coach Road ©
Ohakune Old Coach Road
Taranaki Falls ©
Taranaki Falls

3
nights
Taupo

The resort town of Taupo lies on the banks of Lake Taupo, the largest body of water in the whole of Australasia.
Explore Taupo's surroundings by going to Rotorua (Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, Lady Knox Geyser, & more). There's still lots to do: take in the dramatic scenery at Huka Falls Walkway, see the world from above with a helicopter tour, look for gifts at Huka Honey Hive, and get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour.

To see ratings, other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Taupo road trip app .

Drive from Whakapapa to Taupo in 1.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Wed) so you can travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks Nature Tours

Side Trip

Rotorua
Find places to stay Mar 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

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.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Thu): take in nature's colorful creations at Wellington Botanic Garden, take a memorable ride with Wellington Cable Car, then go for a walk through Hapuka Estuary Walk, and finally examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

To see maps, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Wellington trip planning app .

Traveling by flight from Taupo to Wellington takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and flight. In March in Wellington, expect temperatures between 22°C during the day and 16°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Thu) early enough to travel to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Wellington Botanic Garden, Hapuka Estuary Walk
Find places to stay Mar 17 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Wellington Cable Car ©
Wellington Cable Car
Wellington Botanic Garden ©
Wellington Botanic Garden

3
nights
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
Explore Mt. Cook Village's surroundings by going to Fox Glacier (Moraine Walk, Fox Glacier, & more) and Franz Josef Glacier (in Franz Josef). There's still lots to do: trek along Hooker Valley Track, stroll through Kea Point Track, and get outside with Aoraki/Mt. Cook.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Mt. Cook Village tour itinerary planner.

Explore your travel options from Wellington to Mt. Cook Village with the Route module. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sun) early enough to travel to Te Anau.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Fox Glacier, Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Franz Josef Glacier
Find places to stay Mar 18 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook

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.
Take a break from Te Anau with a short trip to Milford Foreshore Walk in Milford, about 1h 15 min away. There's much more to do: contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound, trek along The Chasm Walk, look for all kinds of wild species at Doubtful Sound, and take some stellar pictures from Te Anau Lion Lookout Point.

To find where to stay, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, read Te Anau online visit planner .

Explore your travel options from Mt. Cook Village to Te Anau with the Route module. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Wed) early enough to catcht the bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trips

Fiordland National Park, Milford Foreshore Walk
Find places to stay Mar 21 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound
Hollyford Track ©
Hollyford Track

4
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, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, cruise along Glenorchy-Queenstown Road, and contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Wakatipu.

To see maps, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Queenstown vacation planner .

Take a bus from Te Anau to Queenstown in 3.5 hours. On the 28th (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Parks Outdoors Tours
Find places to stay Mar 24 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Lake Wakatipu
Lake Wakatipu

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