16 days in New Zealand Itinerary

16 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand trip planner

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Route & dates

16 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Melbourne
Fly:  6​h 15​min
1
Wellington
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 15​min
2
Tongariro National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
Rotorua
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
4
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
5
Auckland
— 1 night
Fly + bus:  7​h
6
Te Anau
— 2 nights
bus:  2​h 30​min
7
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Fly:  6​h
End: Melbourne

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.
To see reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Wellington day trip planning tool .

Melbourne, Australia to Wellington is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Melbourne to Wellington is 2 hours. Traveling from Melbourne in September, expect nights in Wellington to be about the same, around 10°C, while days are slightly colder, around 16°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sun) so you can drive to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums Outdoors

Side Trip

Great Alpine Highway
Find places to stay Sep 15 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
The Great War Exhibition ©
The Great War Exhibition

3
nights
Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park ©
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
On the 17th (Mon), hike the day away at Tongariro Alpine Crossing. On the 18th (Tue), hike the day away at Horsemtrails. There's still lots to do: stroll through Tongariro Northern Circuit, admire the sheer force of Taranaki Falls, and hike along Whakapapa Nature Walk.

To see more things to do, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, read our Tongariro National Park online trip builder .

You can drive from Wellington to Tongariro National Park in 4.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of train and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Parks Trails Outdoors
Find places to stay Sep 16 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Horsemtrails ©
Horsemtrails
Tongariro Northern Circuit ©
Tongariro Northern Circuit

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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Rotorua: Taupo (Huka Falls tracks & Adrenaline & Extreme Tours). And it doesn't end there: witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, admire all the interesting features of Te Puia, stroll through Lake Okareka Walkway, and look for all kinds of wild species at Redwoods Treewalk.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Rotorua trip maker app .

Drive from Tongariro National Park to Rotorua in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of car and bus. In September, daily temperatures in Rotorua can reach 19°C, while at night they dip to 10°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Taupo, Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Find places to stay Sep 19 — 22:
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
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.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Sun): trek along Ruakuri Walk, then head outdoors with Waitomo Clay Birds, then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and finally explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves.

For other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, use the Waitomo Caves holiday builder .

Drive from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Auckland Central.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors Tours Adventure
Find places to stay Sep 22 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk

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.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Mon): stop by Pauanesia, brush up on your military savvy at Auckland Museum, and then enjoy breathtaking views from Sky Tower.

For ratings, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Auckland Central road trip planning tool .

Getting from Waitomo Caves to Auckland Central by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. Expect a daytime high around 15°C in September, and nighttime lows around 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Te Anau.

Things to do in Auckland

Museums Shopping
Find places to stay Sep 23 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Sky Tower ©
Sky Tower
Auckland War Memorial Museum ©
Auckland War Memorial Museum
Pauanesia ©
Pauanesia

2
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.
Spend the 27th (Thu) on the water with a fishing tour. Next up on the itinerary: explore the activities along Milford Sound, look for all kinds of wild species at Doubtful Sound, trek along Gertrude Saddle, and stroll through The Chasm Walk.

For ratings, maps, photos, and more tourist information, read Te Anau online attractions planner .

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Auckland Central to Te Anau takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Trails
Find places to stay Sep 24 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound
Gertrude Saddle ©
Gertrude Saddle

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, spas, parks, and winter sports. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, have fun at Break One Clay Target Shooting, relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers, and get some thrills on the water with a speed boat tour.

For reviews, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Queenstown trip itinerary tool .

Drive from Te Anau to Queenstown in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sun) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Tours Fun & Games
Find places to stay Sep 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Speed Boats Tours
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours

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