23 days in New Zealand Itinerary

23 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand trip itinerary planner

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Route & dates

23 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Auckland
1
Auckland
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
2
Paihia
— 2 nights
taxi + Fly:  4​h 30​min
3
Rotorua
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h
4
Wellington
— 2 nights
+2
Fly + bus + train:  6​h
5
Kaikoura
— 2 nights
bus:  3​h
6
Christchurch
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h
7
Fox Glacier
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 15​min
8
Queenstown
— 2 nights
Fly + Drive:  13​h 45​min
9
Stewart Island
— 2 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  16​h
10
Taupo
— 3 nights
Fly + bus:  4​h 30​min
End: Auckland

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Auckland Harbour Bridge, SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium and Sylvia Park Shopping Centre. Start off your visit on the 4th (Sat): take in the views from Auckland Harbour Bridge, contemplate the geological forces at Rangitoto Island, then observe the fascinating underwater world at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium, then browse the different shops at Sylvia Park Shopping Centre, and finally enjoy breathtaking views from Sky Tower.

To find more things to do, photos, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Auckland day trip site .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from your home destination to Auckland. January in Auckland sees daily highs of 22°C and lows of 22°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sun) so you can go by car to Paihia.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Nature Zoos & Aquariums
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Rangitoto Island ©
Rangitoto Island
SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium ©

2
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Paihia Dive, Bay of Islands Kayaking and Tango Jet Ski Tours. Escape the urban bustle at Parasailing & Paragliding and Paihia Harbour. There's much more to do: take in nature's colorful creations at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, take in the dramatic scenery at Rainbow Falls, and see what you can catch with a fishing tour.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, use the Paihia tour itinerary builder app .

You can 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 by early afternoon on the 7th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Rotorua.

Things to do in Paihia

Tours Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trip

Rainbow Falls
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Paihia Dive ©
Paihia Dive
Bay of Islands Kayaking ©
Bay of Islands Kayaking

2
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Stand-Up Paddleboarding as well as Adrenaline & Extreme Tours. On the 8th (Wed), take a memorable tour with Tours, then experience the excitement of 3D Trick Art Gallery, then find your balance on the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, and finally admire the natural beauty at Government Gardens. Keep things going the next day: take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, steep yourself in history at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, and then take a peaceful walk through Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest.

For photos, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, read Rotorua trip itinerary builder .

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Paihia to Rotorua takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. In January, plan for daily highs up to 27°C, and evening lows to 19°C. On the 9th (Thu), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Historic Sites Nature
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest ©
Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours

2
nights
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.
For photos, maps, and tourist information, go to the Wellington online attractions planner .

Traveling by flight from Rotorua to Wellington takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 24°C in January, and nighttime lows around 17°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sat) so you can travel to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks Wildlife Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
ZEALANDIA Sanctuary ©
ZEALANDIA Sanctuary
Wellington Cable Car ©
Wellington Cable Car

2
nights
Kaikoura

Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Sat): make a trip to Ohau Point Seal Colony and then see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour. On the next day, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway.

For reviews, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Kaikoura trip planner .

Traveling by combination of flight and train from Wellington to Kaikoura takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus; or do a combination of ferry and train. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Mon) so you can catcht the bus to Christchurch.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway ©
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway
Scuba & Snorkeling

3
nights
Christchurch

Christchurch ©
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Christchurch Adventure Park, International Antarctic Centre and Horseback Riding Tours. We've included these beaches for you: Corsair Bay and Sumner Beach (Cave Rock). Go for a jaunt from Christchurch to Akaroa to see Swim with Dolphins about 1h 30 min away. There's much more to do: stroll around Christchurch Botanic Gardens, let little ones run wild at Margaret Mahy Family Playground, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at Cardboard Cathedral.

To see ratings, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Christchurch road trip planning site .

You can take a bus from Kaikoura to Christchurch in 3 hours. Other options are to take a train; or drive. In January, daily temperatures in Christchurch can reach 26°C, while at night they dip to 13°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) so you can go by car to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Christchurch

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trip

Swim with Dolphins
Find places to stay Jan 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Sumner Beach (Cave Rock) ©
Sumner Beach (Cave Rock)
Christchurch Botanic Gardens ©
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
Swim with Dolphins

1
night
Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier ©
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Thu): take in the pleasant sights at River Walk, then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Matheson Walk, then take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, and finally take in the dramatic natural features at Franz Josef Glacier.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, read Fox Glacier vacation maker app .

Drive from Christchurch to Fox Glacier in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Fri) early enough to drive to Queenstown.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks Nature Tours

Side Trip

Franz Josef Glacier
Find places to stay Jan 16 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier
Helicopter Tours
Lake Matheson Walk ©
Lake Matheson Walk

2
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.
Take a break from the city and head to Speed Boats Tours and Ben Lomond Track. Next up on the itinerary: have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown, look for all kinds of wild species at Kiwi Birdlife Park, stop by Outside Sports, and get interesting insight from Tours.

To see maps, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Queenstown trip itinerary maker tool .

Traveling by car from Fox Glacier to Queenstown takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sun) so you can travel to Stewart Island.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Tours Adventure
Find places to stay Jan 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Zipline
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours

2
nights
Stewart Island

Stewart Island ©
Start off your visit on the 20th (Mon): see the interesting displays at Rakiura Museum, step off the mainland to explore Ulva Island, and then trek along Rakiura Track. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 21st (Tue): add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, and then cast your line with a fishing tour.

For maps, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Stewart Island online tour itinerary builder .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Queenstown to Stewart Island. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Wed) to allow time to travel to Taupo.

Things to do in Stewart Island

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Jan 19 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Rakiura Track ©
Rakiura Track
Ulva Island ©
Ulva Island
Nature & Wildlife Tours

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.
Get in touch with nature at Huka Falls Walkway and Kayaking & Canoeing. Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Huka Honey Hive and Lava Glass. Change things up with a short trip to River Rafting & Tubing in Turangi (about 42 minutes away). The adventure continues: trek along Tongariro Alpine Crossing, get around town with Tongariro Crossing Shuttles, find something for the whole family at Huka Prawn Park, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Taranaki Falls.

For reviews, maps, and more tourist information, use the Taupo attractions planning site .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Stewart Island to Taupo. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Taupo

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Tongariro National Park, River Rafting & Tubing
Find places to stay Jan 22 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Taranaki Falls ©
Taranaki Falls

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