15 days in New Zealand Itinerary

15 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand trip itinerary planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Queenstown
— 2 nights
Bus
2
Te Anau
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
— 3 nights
Fly
4
Taupo
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Rotorua
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
Drive
7
Auckland
— 1 night
Fly

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Queenstown

— 2 nights

Shallow Bay

Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Get in touch with nature at Snow Farm NZ and Ben Lomond Track. Explore hidden gems such as Off-Road Tours and Lakes District Museum & Art Gallery. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Queenstown: UnderDog Sled Dog Tours (in Cardrona), Cromwell (Roaring Wine Tours & Wooing Tree Vineyard) and Mt Difficulty Wines Cellar Door (in Bannockburn). Next up on the itinerary: cast your line with a fishing tour, grab your bike and head to Lake Hayes Walkway, do a tasting at Mt Rosa Wines, and hike along Queenstown Trail.

To find more things to do, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Queenstown trip itinerary planner.

Sydney, Australia to Queenstown is an approximately 6-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) to New Zealand Standard Time (NZST) is 2 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Trails

Side Trips

Te Anau

— 3 nights
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Lake Te Anau and The Chasm Walk. Escape the urban bustle at Mirror Lakes Walk and Milford sound Hwy. Change things up with these side-trips from Te Anau: Manapouri Lake (in Manapouri) and Milford Sound (Boat Tours & Water Sports & Southern Discoveries - Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory). There's much more to do: explore the activities along Milford Sound, explore the fascinating underground world of Te Anau Glowworm Caves, identify plant and animal life at Ivan Wilson Park, and trek along Lake Gunn.

For traveler tips, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Te Anau trip itinerary planning website.

You can take a bus from Queenstown to Te Anau in 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Thu) so you can travel to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu).

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Side Trips

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

— 3 nights
Take a break from the city and head to Aoraki/Mt. Cook and Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier walks. Discover out-of-the-way places like Glacier Explorers and Tasman Glacier. Venture out of the city with trips to Fox Glacier (Minnehaha Walk, Helicopter Tours, &more) and Franz Josef (Franz Josef Clay Target Shooting & Spas).

For where to stay, maps, photos, and more tourist information, use the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) trip app.

Explore your travel options from Te Anau to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) with the Route module. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sun) so you can travel to Taupo.

Things to do in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Nature

Side Trips

Taupo

— 2 nights

Great Cloak of Tia

The resort town of Taupo lies on the banks of Lake Taupo, the largest body of water in the whole of Australasia.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Mon): explore the landscape on two wheels at Great Lake Trail, tour the pleasant surroundings at Kinloch Beach, hike along Huka Falls Walkway, then examine the collection at Taupo Museum, then take in nature's colorful creations at Waipahihi Botanical Gardens, and finally get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour. Here are some ideas for day two: make a trip to Spa Thermal Park and Riverbank Recreational and Scenic Reserve, admire the sheer force of Huka Falls, get all the equipment you need at Souvenir Outlet & Mountain Bike Hire, see what you can catch with a fishing tour, then take in the exciting artwork at L'Arte, and finally explore the activities along Lake Taupo.

To find ratings, photos, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Taupo route planner.

You can fly from Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) to Taupo in 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Tours

Side Trips

Rotorua

— 2 nights

Sulphur City

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.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Wed): stop by Eat Street, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, then admire all the interesting features of Te Puia, then witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Papamoa Beach. On your second day here, trek along Okere Falls Track, hike along Blue Lake Track, explore the striking landscape of Waiotapu Boardwalk/ Mud Pool, then get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, then identify plant and animal life at Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre, and finally experience the excitement of 3D Trick Art Gallery.

To find more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Rotorua trip planner.

Getting from Taupo to Rotorua by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. September in Rotorua sees daily highs of 19°C and lows of 10°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) so you can drive to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Wildlife

Side Trips

Waitomo Caves

— 1 night
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 17th (Fri), explore the fascinating underground world of Footwhistle Glowworm Cave, Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves, push the limits with an extreme tour, then Head underground at Aranui Cave, then examine the collection at The Gallagher Meads Brothers Exhibition, and finally appreciate the history behind Statue of shearer.

Make your Waitomo Caves itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.

Traveling by car from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Fri) so you can drive to Auckland.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Parks

Side Trips

Auckland

— 1 night

City of Sails

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.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Sat): look for all kinds of wild species at Tuff Crater Reserve, look for all kinds of wild species at Smiths Bush Reserve, enjoy the sand and surf at Browns Bay Beach, then enjoy the sand and surf at Takapuna Beach, and finally brush up on your military savvy at Auckland Museum.

For maps, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Auckland trip planning site.

You can drive from Waitomo Caves to Auckland in 3 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. September in Auckland sees daily highs of 15°C and lows of 15°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Wildlife

Side Trips

New Zealand travel guide

4.5
Specialty Museums · Hiking Trails · Landmarks
Land of the Long White Cloud
Far-flung New Zealand has become known for its astounding topography, singular biodiversity, varied climate, and for marrying native Maori and post-colonial European cultures on its two main islands and the multitude of smaller landmasses dotted around them. Free-spirited New Zealanders cultivate a love of sports, sustainability, and the outdoors. Far from other landmasses, the islands existed for millions of years before being inhabited by humans, so an abundance of species have come to thrive in the thick, wild rainforest, vast and rugged backland, and extensive surrounding marine areas. While much of New Zealand tourism centers around adventures through this spectacular scenery, take time to explore the nation's rich cultural heritage as well. The traditions and history of the Maoris, and the industry and internationalism of the descendents of the first European settlers endure in fascinating attractions, ranging from museums, to farms, to places of worship.