13 days in New Zealand Itinerary

13 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand visit planner

Make it your trip
Drive
1
Paihia
— 1 night
Fly
2
Queenstown
— 2 nights
Bus
3
Te Anau
— 2 nights
Bus to Queenstown, Fly to Wellington
4
Wellington
— 1 night
Fly
5
Taupo
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Rotorua
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
Drive

S M T W T F S
3
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Paihia

— 1 night
The main tourist town in the Bay of Islands area, Paihia gives visitors a good range of accommodations, a convenient town center, long sandy beaches, and interesting architecture.
On the 3rd (Sun), get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour. Here are some ideas for day two: get in on the family fun at Action World, contemplate the long history of Waitangi Treaty Grounds, and then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

For ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Paihia trip maker website.

Auckland to Paihia is an approximately 2.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Mon) to allow time to fly to Queenstown.

Things to do in Paihia

Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks

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.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Tue): kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, then look for all kinds of wild species at Kiwi Birdlife Park, and then get your game on at Skyline Queenstown. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, then see the world from above with a helicopter tour, and finally push the limits with an extreme tour.

To see photos, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Queenstown online road trip planner.

You can fly from Paihia to Queenstown in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Wed) so you can take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours · Outdoors · Fun & Games · Adventure

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 7th (Thu): hike along The Chasm Walk, contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound, and then stroll through Lake Gunn. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 8th (Fri): explore the activities along Lake Te Anau and then Head underground at Te Anau Glowworm Caves.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Te Anau vacation builder tool.

Getting from Queenstown to Te Anau by bus takes about 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Nature · Trails · Outdoors

Side Trip

Wellington

— 1 night

Harbour Capital

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.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Sat): get engrossed in the history at The Great War Exhibition, then ponder the world of politics at New Zealand Parliament, then get around town with Wellington Cable Car, and finally examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

For where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, read our Wellington online visit planner.

Traveling by combination of bus and flight from Te Anau to Wellington takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can ride a ferry; or do a combination of bus, train, and ferry. In October in Wellington, expect temperatures between 19°C during the day and 11°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sat) so you can catch the flight to Taupo.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums · Historic Sites · Transportation

Taupo

— 3 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.
Bring the kids along to Huka Falls Walkway and Boat Tours & Water Sports. The adventure continues: get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, make a trip to Aratiatia Rapids, find something for the whole family at Huka Prawn Park, and cool off at Taupo DeBretts Spa Resort.

For where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Taupo tour website.

You can fly from Wellington to Taupo in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Tours

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.
On the 13th (Wed), take a peaceful walk through Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest, take in the natural beauty of Te Puia, and then get interesting insight from Tours. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 14th (Thu): take in the dramatic natural features at Waimangu Volcanic Valley, take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, then push the limits with an extreme tour, and finally take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback.

For traveler tips, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Rotorua trip planner.

Traveling by car from Taupo to Rotorua takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. October in Rotorua sees daily highs of 21°C and lows of 13°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Thu) so you can drive to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Nature · Tours · Outdoors

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.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Fri): Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves, Head underground at Ruakuri Cave, then trek along Ruakuri Walk, and finally surround yourself with nature on Spellbound Glowworm & Cave Tours.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Waitomo Caves trip planning site.

Traveling by car from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Fri) to allow time to drive back home.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks

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.