16 days in New Zealand & South Korea Itinerary

16 days in New Zealand & South Korea Itinerary

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Route & dates

Start: Chicago, United States
Fly:  20 h 15 min
1
Auckland, New Zealand
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h 45 min
2
Rotorua, New Zealand
— 3 nights
Fly + Taxi:  4 h 15 min
3
Paihia, New Zealand
— 2 nights
Fly + Bus:  8 h
4
Te Anau, New Zealand
— 1 night
Bus:  3 h 15 min
5
Queenstown, New Zealand
— 2 nights
Fly + Train:  18 h
6
Seoul, South Korea
— 3 nights
Train + Fly:  16 h 45 min
End: Chicago, United States

1
night
Auckland, New Zealand

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.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Wed): awaken your taste buds at some of the top wineries in the area, then get engrossed in the history at Auckland Museum, and then take in panoramic vistas at SkyTower.

To find where to stay, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Auckland tour builder site.

Chicago, USA to Auckland is an approximately 20.5- hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of flight, shuttle, and bus. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time to New Zealand Standard Time, which is usually a 18 hour difference. Traveling from Chicago in September, expect nights in Auckland to be little chillier, around 55°F, while days are colder, around 55°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Wed) early enough to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Auckland

Tours Museums
Highlights from your plan
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Auckland Museum ©
Auckland Museum
Wine Tours & Tastings

3
nights
Rotorua, New Zealand

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.
Get out of town with these interesting Rotorua side-trips: Taupo (Souvenir Outlet, Huka Falls Walkway, &more) and Hobbiton Movie Set (in Hinuera). There's still lots to do: kick your exploration up a notch at categoryPhrases.alias.some_of_the_top_local_zipline_courses_and_adventure_parks, look for all kinds of wild species at Redwoods Treewalk, witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, and steep yourself in history at Te Puia.

To find reviews, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Rotorua travel planner.

You can drive from Auckland to Rotorua in 3 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or do a combination of flight and bus. Traveling from Auckland in September, you will find days in Rotorua are a bit warmer (61°F), and nights are little chillier (48°F). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Sat) early enough to travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Rotorua

Outdoors Parks Nature

Side Trips

Taupo, Hobbiton Movie Set
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Zipline
Huka Falls Walkway
Huka Falls Walkway

2
nights
Paihia, New Zealand

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.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Sun): steep yourself in history at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and then contemplate the long history of KeriKeri New Zealand. Here are some ideas for day two: surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, identify plant and animal life at Paihia Harbour, then look for gifts at Paihia Bookshop, and finally indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

To find where to stay, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Paihia online journey planner.

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from Rotorua to Paihia in 4.5 hours. Other options are to fly; or drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Te Anau.

Things to do in Paihia

Tours Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trip

KeriKeri New Zealand
Highlights from your plan
Boat Tours & Water Sports
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour

1
night
Te Anau, New Zealand

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.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Tue): contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 16th (Wed): take some stellar pictures from Te Anau Lion Lookout Point, then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Te Anau, and then explore the activities along Doubtful Sound.

To find where to stay, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Te Anau route builder tool.

Getting from Paihia to Te Anau by combination of flight and bus takes about 8 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus, shuttle, and flight; or do a combination of car and ferry. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Wed) early enough to take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Nature Parks Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound
Lake Te Anau ©
Lake Te Anau

2
nights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown ©
Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Thu): get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, then identify plant and animal life at Kiwi Birdlife Park, then have some family-friendly fun at iFLY Queenstown, and finally indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the activities along Lake Wakatipu, fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour, and then push the limits with an extreme tour.

For reviews, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Queenstown visit site.

You can take a bus from Te Anau to Queenstown in 3.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Fri) early enough to travel to Seoul.

Things to do in Queenstown

Parks Fun & Games Nature
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Spas
Lake Wakatipu
Lake Wakatipu

3
nights
Seoul, South Korea

Seoul ©
One of east Asia's major cultural and financial centers, Seoul boasts five World Heritage Sites and a huge selection of museums, temples, shrines, palaces, parks, gardens, and glass-and-steel skyscrapers.
Seoul is known for shopping, museums, and historic sites. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: get engrossed in the history at Gyeongbokgung Palace, wander the streets of Bukchon Hanok Village, stop by Insadong, and admire the striking features of Changdeokgung Palace.

To see photos, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Seoul online travel route builder.

Getting from Queenstown to Seoul by combination of flight and train takes about 18 hours. Other options: fly; or do a combination of bus, flight, and train. Traveling from Queenstown to Seoul, you'll gain 3 hours due to the time zone difference. In September, daily temperatures in Seoul can reach 72°F, while at night they dip to 71°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Tue) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Seoul

Neighborhoods Parks Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Insadong ©
Insadong
Gyeongbokgung Palace ©
Gyeongbokgung Palace
N Seoul Tower ©
N Seoul Tower

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