16 days in New Zealand Itinerary

16 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand route builder

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Paihia
— 2 nights
+2
Taxi to Whangarei Airport, Fly to Hamilton Airport, Taxi to Waitomo Caves
2
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
Drive
3
Rotorua
— 5 nights
Fly
4
Wellington
— 2 nights
Fly
5
Christchurch
— 4 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13

Paihia

— 2 nights
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.
Get outdoors at Paihia Harbour and The Parrot Place. Discover out-of-the-way places like Rainbow Falls and Skydive Bay of Islands. There's still lots to do: surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, get close to the beloved marine mammals with a swim-with-the-dolphins experience, and admire the striking features of The Stone Store & Kemp House - Kerikeri Mission Station.

To see where to stay, reviews, photos, and tourist information, read our Paihia trip planner.

New Delhi, India to Paihia is an approximately 23-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from New Delhi to Paihia is 6.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Tue) so you can travel to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Paihia

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks

Side Trip

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 27th (Wed): Head underground at Ruakuri Cave, explore the fascinating underground world of Caveworld, and then surround yourself with nature on Spellbound Glowworm & Cave Tours.

For where to stay, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Waitomo Caves day trip planning website.

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Paihia to Waitomo Caves takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Nature

Rotorua

— 5 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.
Government Gardens and Buried Village of Te Wairoa are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Kuirau Park and Waikite Valley Thermal Pools. Venture out of the city with trips to Mount Maunganui (Mount Maunganui Base Track & Pilot Bay) and Papamoa Beach (in Papamoa). Next up on the itinerary: look for all kinds of wild species at Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park, head outdoors with Kerosene Creek, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Rotorua, and take a memorable tour with Tours.

To find where to stay and more tourist information, read Rotorua route planner.

You can drive from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua in 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 27°C in January, and nighttime lows around 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Mon) to allow time to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Wildlife

Side Trips

Wellington

— 2 nights

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 2nd (Tue): get engrossed in the history at Wellington Museum, get a sense of history and politics at New Zealand Parliament, then steep yourself in history at Old St Paul's, then examine the collection at Cable Car Museum, and finally look and learn at Space Place at Carter Observatory. On the next day, delve into the lush surroundings at Otari-Wilton's Bush Native Botanic Garden, get to know the resident critters at Wellington Zoo, then brush up on your military savvy at National War Memorial, and finally explore the activities along Oriental Bay.

To see where to stay and other tourist information, read our Wellington trip itinerary builder.

Fly from Rotorua to Wellington in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. When traveling from Rotorua in February, plan for slightly colder days and about the same nights in Wellington: temperatures range from 24°C by day to 17°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Wed) so you can travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks · Museums · Nature · Childrens Museums

Christchurch

— 4 nights

Garden City

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Family-friendly places like Banks Peninsula and Air Force Museum of New Zealand will thrill your kids. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Margaret Mahy Family Playground and Quake City. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Christchurch: Akaroa (Barrys Bay Cheese & Swim with Dolphins). There's lots more to do: get to know the resident critters at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, get around town with Christchurch Gondola, explore the galleries of CoCa, and don't miss a visit to 185 Empty White Chairs - Earthquake Memorial.

To find photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Christchurch road trip planning app.

You can fly from Wellington to Christchurch in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Traveling from Wellington in February, Christchurch is little chillier at night with lows of 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Sun) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Christchurch

Museums · Parks · Outdoors · Tours

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.