17 days in New Zealand Itinerary

17 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  6​h 45​min
1
Auckland
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
2
Rotorua
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h
3
Wellington
— 1 night
+2
Fly + Bus + Train:  6​h
4
Kaikoura
— 1 night
Bus:  3​h
5
Christchurch
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
6
Dunedin
— 1 night
Bus:  5​h 30​min
7
Wanaka
— 2 nights
Bus:  2​h 30​min
8
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Fly:  5​h 45​min
End: Sydney

2
nights
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 29th (Wed): look for all kinds of wild species at Tiritiri Matangi Visitor Centre, then look for gifts at Pauanesia, and then make a trip to SkyTower. Here are some ideas for day two: walk around Cornwall Park, test your problem-solving skills at popular escape rooms, then brush up on your military savvy at Auckland War Memorial Museum, and finally stroll through Cheltenham Beach.

For maps, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Auckland trip planner .

Sydney, Australia to Auckland is an approximately 7-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Sydney to Auckland is 2 hours. When traveling from Sydney in July, plan for slightly colder days and somewhat warmer nights in Auckland: temperatures range from 13°C by day to 13°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trip

Cheltenham Beach
Find places to stay Jul 28 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Tiritiri Matangi Visitor Centre ©
Tiritiri Matangi Visitor Centre
Room Escape Games

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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Horseback Riding Tours and River Rafting & Tubing. Explore Rotorua's surroundings by going to Mt Maunganui Main Beach (in Mount Maunganui) and Huka Falls Walkway (in Taupo). And it doesn't end there: get your game on at OGO Rotorua, look for all kinds of wild species at Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park, make a trip to Fancy Meow Cat Cafe, and experience rural life at Agrodome.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Rotorua trip itinerary planning tool .

You can drive from Auckland to Rotorua in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. Plan for slightly colder nights when traveling from Auckland in July since evenings lows in Rotorua dip to 7°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sun) early enough to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Rotorua

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

River Rafting & Tubing, Huka Falls Walkway, Mt Maunganui Main Beach, Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave
Find places to stay Jul 30 — Aug 2:
Highlights from your plan
Horseback Riding Tours
Mt Maunganui Main Beach ©
Mt Maunganui Main Beach
River Rafting & Tubing

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.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Mon): get engrossed in the history at Wellington Museum, then admire the striking features of Old St Paul's, then learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Wellington Zoo, and finally examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

To find more things to do, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, read Wellington driving holiday planner .

Traveling by flight from Rotorua to Wellington takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. August in Wellington sees daily highs of 15°C and lows of 9°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Mon) to allow time to travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums Zoos & Aquariums Parks
Find places to stay Aug 2 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Old St Paul's ©
Old St Paul's
Wellington Museum ©
Wellington Museum

1
night
Kaikoura

Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
On the 4th (Tue), identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas, look for gifts at Kaikoura Cheese, then get engrossed in the history at Kaikoura Museum, and finally experience rural life at The Point Sheep Shearing Show. On your second day here, explore the fascinating underground world of Maori Leap Cave, then get interesting insight from Tours, then browse the exhibits of Art & Design Gallery, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Ohau Stream Walk.

To find reviews, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Kaikoura day trip planning tool .

Do a combination of flight and train from Wellington to Kaikoura in 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 5th (Wed) so you can catcht the bus to Christchurch.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Aug 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Ohau Stream Walk ©
Ohau Stream Walk
Kaikoura Museum ©
Kaikoura Museum

2
nights
Christchurch

Christchurch ©
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Thu): catch a ride on TranzAlpine Train, then get your game on at Velocity Karts, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas. On the 7th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: have fun at Newzengland Ltd - Clay Shooting & Archery Services, get engrossed in the history at Canterbury Museum, and then steep yourself in history at Riccarton House & Bush.

To find ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Christchurch trip planner .

Getting from Kaikoura to Christchurch by bus takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a train; or drive. In August, plan for daily highs up to 14°C, and evening lows to 2°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Fri) so you can go by car to Dunedin.

Things to do in Christchurch

Transportation Tours Museums
Find places to stay Aug 5 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Velocity Karts ©
Velocity Karts
Riccarton House & Bush ©
Riccarton House & Bush
TranzAlpine Train ©
TranzAlpine Train

1
night
Dunedin

Dunedin ©
With its history proudly stemming from the Scottish settlers who came here during the colonial era, Dunedin's streets are lined with well-preserved examples of Victorian and Edwardian architecture, while a new culture of nightlife and fine dining takes hold around them.
On the 8th (Sat), steep yourself in history at Olveston Historic Home, identify plant and animal life at Orokonui Ecosanctuary, then take some stellar pictures from Signal Hill, and finally hike along Sandfly Bay Track.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, read our Dunedin trip planner .

You can drive from Christchurch to Dunedin in 4.5 hours. Other options are to fly; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Sat) early enough to take a bus to Wanaka.

Things to do in Dunedin

Parks Wildlife Outdoors
Find places to stay Aug 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Orokonui Ecosanctuary ©
Orokonui Ecosanctuary
Signal Hill ©
Signal Hill
Olveston Historic Home ©
Olveston Historic Home

2
nights
Wanaka

Situated on the shores of Lake Wanaka in the Otago region, Wanaka has become a popular ski and summer resort area, owing to its extensive views of the lake and its proximity to some of the best slopes in the country.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Sun): relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, head outdoors with Oxbow The Adventure Co., and then go for a walk through Beacon Point Walk. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 10th (Mon): tour the pleasant surroundings at Isthmus Peak Track, examine the collection at The World of Deer Museum & Speciality Shop, and then trek along Rob Roy Track.

To see where to stay, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Wanaka trip builder app .

Getting from Dunedin to Wanaka by bus takes about 5.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Mon) early enough to catcht the bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors Trails Parks
Find places to stay Aug 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Spas

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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like The Remarkables Ski Area and Break One. Take a break from Queenstown with a short trip to Glenorchy Animal Experience in Glenorchy, about 48 minutes away. There's lots more to do: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Coronet Peak, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, get your game on at Dark Ride, and make a trip to Fallen Soldiers Memorial.

To see reviews, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Queenstown trip itinerary builder website .

You can take a bus from Wanaka to Queenstown in 2.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Winter Sports Outdoors Parks

Side Trip

Glenorchy Animal Experience
Find places to stay Aug 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Break One ©
Break One
The Remarkables Ski Area ©
The Remarkables Ski Area
Coronet Peak ©
Coronet Peak

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