18 days in New Zealand Itinerary

18 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand trip planner

Make it your trip
1
Wellington
— 1 day
Unknown
2
Stewart Island
— 1 night
Unknown
3
Dunedin
— 1 night
Drive
4
Queenstown
— 4 nights
Fly
5
Whangarei
— 1 night
Drive
6
Auckland
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
Drive
8
Rotorua
— 2 nights
Drive
9
Taupo
— 2 nights
Drive
10
Tauranga
— 2 nights
Fly

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Wellington

— 1 day

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.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Thu): look for all kinds of wild species at ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary, then pause for some photo ops at John Plimmer Statue, then contemplate the long history of Wellington Cable Car, and finally see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

You can plan Wellington trip in no time by asking Inspirock to help create your itinerary.

Use the Route module to find travel options from your starting location to Wellington. Expect a daytime high around 22°C in March, and nighttime lows around 16°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Stewart Island.

Things to do in Wellington

Wildlife · Parks · Museums · Historic Sites

Stewart Island

— 1 night
On the 5th (Fri), take a memorable tour with Tours. On the next day, see the interesting displays at Rakiura Museum and then step off the mainland to explore Ulva Island.

To find maps, photos, and tourist information, use the Stewart Island day trip planning tool.

Explore your travel options from Wellington to Stewart Island with the Route module. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 6th (Sat) to allow time for travel to Dunedin.

Things to do in Stewart Island

Tours · Adventure · Outdoors · Nature

Dunedin

— 1 night

Edinburgh of the South

With its history proudly stemming from the Scottish settlers who came here during the colonial era, Dunedin's streets are lined with well-preserved examples of Victorian and Edwardian architecture, while a new culture of nightlife and fine dining takes hold around them.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Sun): examine the collection at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, then identify plant and animal life at The Royal Albatross Centre, and then tee off at Port Chalmers Golf Club.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Dunedin online vacation planner.

Explore your travel options from Stewart Island to Dunedin with the Route module. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Queenstown.

Things to do in Dunedin

Wildlife · Parks · Golf · Museums

Side Trip

Queenstown

— 4 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.
Get in touch with nature at Lake Marian Track and Zipline. Change things up with a short trip to Gertrude Saddle in Te Anau (about 1h 25 min away). There's still lots to do: relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, get interesting insight from Tours, look for all kinds of wild species at Kiwi Birdlife Park, and have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown.

To find ratings, photos, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Queenstown tour planning app.

Getting from Dunedin to Queenstown by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Whangarei.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Trails

Side Trips

Whangarei

— 1 night
Whangarei is the northernmost city in New Zealand and the regional capital of Northland Region. Kick off your visit on the 11th (Thu): trek along Bream Head Coast Walks, look for gifts at The Bach, and then stop by Town Basin.

To find ratings, maps, photos, and more tourist information, read our Whangarei trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Queenstown to Whangarei takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry. You will have some time to spend on the 12th (Fri) before leaving for Auckland.

Things to do in Whangarei

Trails · Neighborhoods · Parks · Outdoors

Auckland

— 2 nights

City of Sails

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.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Fri): enjoy the thrill of live dance at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium and then step off the mainland to explore Rangitoto Island. On the next day, contemplate the geological forces at Mount Eden, then stop by The Fantail House, then get engrossed in the history at Auckland Museum, and finally take in panoramic vistas at SkyTower.

For more things to do, maps, reviews, and tourist information, read Auckland tour planner.

Traveling by car from Whangarei to Auckland takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. In March, plan for daily highs up to 22°C, and evening lows to 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 14th (Sun) to allow time for the car ride to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks · Nature · Museums · Shopping

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.
To find maps, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, read Waitomo Caves road trip site.

Traveling by car from Auckland to Waitomo Caves takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Adventure

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.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Tue): get impressive views of Waimangu Volcanic Valley, witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, then get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, and finally take a peaceful walk through Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest. Keep things going the next day: trot along with a tour on horseback, then take in the natural beauty of Te Puia, and then whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Rotorua online attractions planner.

Traveling by car from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In March, daily temperatures in Rotorua can reach 26°C, while at night they dip to 18°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Taupo.

Things to do in Rotorua

Nature · Parks · Tours · Outdoors

Taupo

— 2 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.
On the 18th (Thu), take a memorable tour with Tours, witness a stunning natural landmark at Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley, and then take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports. On your second day here, see the world from above with a helicopter tour, then tee off at Wairakei Golf and Sanctuary, and then take in the dramatic scenery at Huka Falls Walkway.

To see other places to visit, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Taupo road trip planner.

Getting from Rotorua to Taupo by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Fri) early enough to drive to Tauranga.

Things to do in Taupo

Outdoors · Tours · Golf · Nature

Tauranga

— 2 nights
The largest city in the Bay of Plenty, Tauranga features extensive sandy beaches, well-maintained hiking paths, and a good range of accommodations.
On the 20th (Sat), get up close to creatures of the deep with Bay Explorer Island & Wildlife Cruise. Here are some ideas for day two: trek along Mount Maunganui Summit Track, then trek along Mount Maunganui Base Track, then kick back and relax at Mt Maunganui Main Beach, and finally kick back and relax at Papamoa Beach.

Find out how to plan Tauranga trip without stress by asking Inspirock to help create an itinerary.

Getting from Taupo to Tauranga by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 26°C in March, and nighttime lows around 18°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Tauranga

Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Parks

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.