11 days in New Zealand Itinerary

11 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Pacific travel route planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Christchurch
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Lake Tekapo
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
— 1 night
Drive
4
Te Anau
— 2 nights
Bus
5
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
1
2
3

Christchurch

— 2 nights

Garden City

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 19th (Sat): stroll around Christchurch Botanic Gardens and then pause for some serene contemplation at Cardboard Cathedral. Here are some ideas for day two: catch a ride on TranzAlpine Train.

To find traveler tips, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Christchurch trip planner.

Sydney, Australia to Christchurch is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Sydney to Christchurch is 2 hours. In June, Christchurch is a bit cooler than Sydney - with highs of 14°C and lows of 2°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Lake Tekapo.

Things to do in Christchurch

Transportation · Tours · Parks · Historic Sites

Lake Tekapo

— 2 nights
Located in a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo offers evenings of stargazing and days of long walks.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Mon): pause for some serene contemplation at The Church of the Good Shepherd, then go for a walk through Mount John University Observatory, and then boost your wellbeing at Tekapo Springs. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the activities along Lake Tekapo, see the world from above with a helicopter tour, then explore the activities along Lake Pukaki, and finally relax in the rural setting at New Zealand Alpine Lavender Farm.

For traveler tips, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Lake Tekapo trip builder.

Traveling by car from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Wed) so you can travel to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu).

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Spas

Side Trips

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

— 1 night
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Wed): tour the pleasant surroundings at Red Tarns Track, get outside with Aoraki/Mt. Cook, and then trek along Hooker Valley Track.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) holiday builder app.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Lake Tekapo to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Te Anau.

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

Outdoors · Trails · Parks

Te Anau

— 2 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.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Thu): explore the activities along Lake Gunn, then take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and then trek along The Chasm Walk. On the 25th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: identify plant and animal life at Doubtful Sound.

To see where to stay, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Te Anau trip itinerary planning site.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) to Te Anau. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sat) so you can catch the bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Outdoors

Side Trips

Queenstown

— 3 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.
On the 27th (Sun), dedicate a day to the elevated beauty of The Remarkables Ski Area. Next up on the itinerary: indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, learn about winemaking at Chard Farm Winery, learn the secrets of beer at a beer tour and tasting, and take in nature's colorful creations at Queenstown Gardens.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Queenstown trip planner.

Getting from Te Anau to Queenstown by bus takes about 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Tue) to allow time to fly back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Nature

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.

Fiordland National Park travel guide

4.4
World heritage site · Bodies of Water · Caves
Place of Greenstone
As the heart of World Heritage-listed Wahipounamu, Fiordland National Park makes a great base for those wanting an adventure holiday packed full of wildlife-spotting expeditions, alpine climbs, and chances to enjoy New Zealand's national pastime--hiking. Over 500 km (310 mi) of hiking trails lead you through the native forest, up to the snow-capped peaks of the mountains, and along verdant valleys. Sea kayaking also ranks among the top things to do in Fiordland National Park, letting you explore the waters and get close to some of the protected animals here, including penguins, bottlenose dolphins, and seals. Formed over a period of 100,000 years, the fiords offer fantastic viewpoints and photo opportunities.