13 days in New Zealand Itinerary

13 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand trip itinerary maker

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Queenstown
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Lake Tekapo
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Mt. Cook Village
— 1 night
Drive
4
Arthur's Pass National Park
— 1 night
Drive
5
Kaikoura
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Christchurch
— 2 nights
Fly
7
Rotorua
— 2 nights
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.
Your list of things to see and do now includes Milford Sound Scenic Flights, Milford Track, QUEENSTOWN EXPEDITIONS, and other attractions. Start off your visit on the 2nd (Wed): get interesting insight from Million Dollar Cruise and then take a memorable drive along QUEENSTOWN EXPEDITIONS.

To find maps, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Queenstown road trip app.

Melbourne, Australia to Queenstown is an approximately 6-hour flight. You can also fly. The time zone difference moving from Australian Eastern Standard Time to New Zealand Standard Time is 2 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Fri) so you can drive to Lake Tekapo.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors · Trails · Parks · Scenic Drive

Side Trip

Lake Tekapo

— 2 nights
Located in a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo offers evenings of stargazing and days of long walks.
Your list of things to see and do now includes Lake Tekapo, The Church of the Good Shepherd, Mackenzie Alpine Horse Trekking, and other attractions. Start off your visit on the 4th (Fri): stroll through Roundhill Ski Area. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: test the waters at Tekapo Springs, see Tekapo Adventures, then take a pleasant ride with Mackenzie Alpine Horse Trekking, then pause for some serene contemplation at The Church of the Good Shepherd, and finally explore the activities along Lake Tekapo.

To see traveler tips, reviews, photos, and tourist information, use the Lake Tekapo trip builder app.

You can drive from Queenstown to Lake Tekapo in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sun) so you can drive to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Outdoors · Parks · Winter Sports · Tours

Mt. Cook Village

— 1 night
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
You've added Mueller Hut Route, Hooker Valley Track, Aoraki Mount Cook National Park Visitor Centre, and other attractions to your itinerary. On the 6th (Sun), get all the information you need at Aoraki Mount Cook National Park Visitor Centre, explore the activities along Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier walks, then hike along Hooker Valley Track, and finally trek along Mueller Hut Route.

For reviews, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Mt. Cook Village trip planning tool.

You can drive from Lake Tekapo to Mt. Cook Village in an hour. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Mon) early enough to travel to Arthur's Pass National Park.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Trails · Parks · Outdoors · Nature

Side Trip

Arthur's Pass National Park

— 1 night
Your day by day itinerary now includes Otira Viaduct Lookout, Arthur's Pass National Park Visitor Centre and Arthur's Pass Walking Track. On the 7th (Mon), get all the information you need at Arthur's Pass National Park Visitor Centre, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Arthur's Pass Walking Track, and then don't miss a visit to Otira Viaduct Lookout.

To see maps, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Arthur's Pass National Park planning app.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Mt. Cook Village to Arthur's Pass National Park. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Tue) early enough to travel to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Arthur's Pass National Park

Trails · Parks · Outdoors

Kaikoura

— 2 nights
Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Ohau Stream Walk, Scuba & Snorkeling, Seal Kayak Kaikoura, and other attractions you added. On the 8th (Tue), identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas, then don't miss a visit to Ohau Point Seal Colony, and then hike along Ohau Stream Walk. Here are some ideas for day two: surround yourself with nature on Seal Kayak Kaikoura, then get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, and then hike along Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway.

To find ratings, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Kaikoura trip itinerary app.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Arthur's Pass National Park to Kaikoura. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Christchurch.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Trails

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.
Your day by day itinerary now includes He Tangata - Experience Maori, Epicentre Cycling, Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, and other attractions you added. Start off your visit on the 10th (Thu): take in panoramic vistas at Christchurch Gondola, then take in nature's colorful creations at Christchurch Botanic Gardens, and then head outdoors with Epicentre Cycling. On your second day here, take a memorable tour with Ballooning Canterbury - Hot Air Balloon Rides, then learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Orana Wildlife Park, then get to know the resident critters at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, and finally stop by He Tangata - Experience Maori.

For photos, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Christchurch planning site.

Getting from Kaikoura to Christchurch by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a train. December in Christchurch sees daily highs of 24°C and lows of 12°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sat) so you can travel to Rotorua.

Things to do in Christchurch

Parks · Outdoors · Tours · Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

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.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Blue Lake Track, Volcanic Hills Winery, Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest, and other attractions you added. Kick off your visit on the 12th (Sat): witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, then test the waters at a local thermal spa, then delve into the lush surroundings at Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest, and finally take in the natural beauty of Te Puia. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take a memorable tour with Tours, then don't miss a visit to Hobbiton Movie Set, then learn about winemaking at Volcanic Hills Winery, and finally hike along Blue Lake Track.

For more things to do, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Rotorua tour site.

Traveling by flight from Christchurch to Rotorua takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Traveling from Christchurch in December, Rotorua is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 17°C. You'll set off for home on the 14th (Mon).

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Historic Sites

Side Trip

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.