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: Leeds
Drive + Fly:  31​h
1
Wellington
— 1 night
Fly + taxi:  4​h 15​min
2
Tongariro National Park
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
3
Taupo
— 3 nights
4
Paihia
— 3 nights
Fly:  5​h 15​min
5
Queenstown
— 5 nights
bus:  2​h 30​min
6
Te Anau
— 3 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  37​h
End: Leeds

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 15th (Sat): head outdoors with Great Alpine Highway, then look for gifts at The Weta Cave, and then examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Keep things going the next day: catch a ride on Wellington Cable Car, look for gifts at The Chocolate Story, and then take a stroll through Cuba Street District.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, read Wellington online travel route planner .

Leeds, UK to Wellington is an approximately 31-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Leeds to Wellington is 12 hours. Expect much hotter weather when traveling from Leeds in December: highs in Wellington hover around 22°C, while lows dip to 15°C. On the 16th (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Wellington

Outdoors Tours Classes

Side Trips

The Chocolate Story, Great Alpine Highway
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Great Alpine Highway ©
Great Alpine Highway
Wellington Cable Car ©
Wellington Cable Car

4
nights
Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park ©
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
Get a sense of the local culture at Tongariro Alpine Crossing and Mt Ruapehu. Escape the urban bustle at Ohakune Old Coach Road and Horsemtrails. Next up on the itinerary: hike along Tongariro Northern Circuit, admire the sheer force of Tawhai Falls, stroll through Whakapapa Nature Walk, and explore and take pictures at Te Porere Redoubt.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Tongariro National Park online sightseeing planner .

Getting from Wellington to Tongariro National Park by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of train and taxi. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Thu) so you can go by car to Taupo.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Parks Trails Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Horsemtrails ©
Horsemtrails
Ohakune Old Coach Road ©
Ohakune Old Coach Road

3
nights
Taupo

Taupo ©
The resort town of Taupo lies on the banks of Lake Taupo, the largest body of water in the whole of Australasia.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Fri): stop by Huka Honey Hive, look for gifts at Wairakei Golf and Sanctuary, and then admire the sheer force of Huka Falls tracks. Here are some ideas for day two: push the limits with an extreme tour, look for gifts at Lava Glass Blowing Studio, witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, then take in the natural beauty of Lady Knox Geyser, and finally take in the natural beauty of Waiotapu Boardwalk/ Mud Pool.

For maps, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, read Taupo trip planner .

You can drive from Tongariro National Park to Taupo in 2 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of car and shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sun) so you can travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Taupo

Outdoors Shopping Parks

Side Trips

Rotorua, Waiotapu Boardwalk/ Mud Pool
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours

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.
Step out of the city life by going to Paihia Harbour and Scuba & Snorkeling. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Waitangi Treaty Grounds and Pompallier Mission and Printery. There's still lots to do: stop by The Cabbage Tree Shop, get interesting insight from Tours, and get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To find traveler tips and tourist information, read our Paihia online day trip planner .

Do a combination of flight and taxi from Taupo to Paihia in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, flight, and taxi; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 26th (Wed) to allow time for travel to Queenstown.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife Tours Outdoors

Side Trip

Russell
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Scuba & Snorkeling
Nature & Wildlife Tours

5
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.
Step out of the city life by going to Hollyford Track and Kiwi Birdlife Park. For shopping fun, head to Vesta Design Store or The Remarkable Sweetshop - Queenstown. The adventure continues: have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown, take a memorable tour with Tours, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and push the limits with an extreme tour.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Queenstown day trip site .

Getting from Paihia to Queenstown by combination of taxi and flight takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus, ferry, and car. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Mon) to allow time to drive to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trip

Hollyford Track
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Hollyford Track ©
Hollyford Track
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Zipline

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 the city and head to Routeburn Track and Doubtful Sound. Spend the 2nd (Wed) exploring nature at Fiordland National Park (Te Wahipounamu). On the 31st (Mon), hike the day away at Kepler Track. It doesn't end there: Head underground at Te Anau Glowworm Caves and look for gifts at Kowhai Gifts & Souvenirs.

To see reviews, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Te Anau journey builder .

You can drive from Queenstown to Te Anau in 2.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Thu) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trip

Routeburn Track
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 3:
Highlights from your plan
Kepler Track ©
Kepler Track
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound
Routeburn Track ©
Routeburn Track

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