21 days in New Zealand Itinerary

21 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand vacation maker

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Bus
2
Te Anau
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
— 2 nights
Fly
4
Wellington
— 1 night
Fly
5
Tongariro National Park
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Taupo
— 3 nights
Drive
7
Rotorua
— 2 nights
Drive
8
Auckland
— 1 night
Fly

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Queenstown

— 3 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.
Queenstown is known for fun & games, adventure, and wildlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, identify plant and animal life at Kiwi Birdlife Park, push the limits with an extreme tour, and savor the flavors at Food & Drink.

To find ratings, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Queenstown trip planning app.

Paris, France to Queenstown is an approximately 30-hour flight. The time zone changes from Central European Standard Time (CET) to New Zealand Standard Time (NZST), which is usually a 11 hour difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sun) so you can take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours · Outdoors · Parks · Breweries & Distilleries

Te Anau

— 3 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.
Spend the 4th (Tue) exploring at Doubtful Sound. The adventure continues: explore the activities along Milford Sound, identify plant and animal life at Ivan Wilson Park, trek along Lake Gunn, and take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To see photos, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Te Anau trip itinerary planning website.

Getting from Queenstown to Te Anau by bus takes about 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu).

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Outdoors

Side Trip

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

— 2 nights
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Thu): trek along Kea Point Track, then stroll through Sealy Tarns Track, then get outside with Aoraki/Mt. Cook, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Governors Bush Walk. Here are some ideas for day two: tour the pleasant surroundings at Minnehaha Walk, then take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, then stroll through Fox Glacier South Side Walk, and finally take in the pleasant sights at River Walk.

Take the guesswork out of planning a Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

Explore your travel options from Te Anau to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) with the Route module. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Fri) to allow enough time to fly to Wellington.

Things to do in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

Outdoors · Trails · Parks · Historic Sites

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 8th (Sat): take an in-depth tour of The Great War Exhibition, ponder the world of politics at New Zealand Parliament, then take a memorable ride with Wellington Cable Car, and finally see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

To find other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Wellington trip planner.

Getting from Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) to Wellington by flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: ride a ferry; or do a combination of bus, train, and ferry. In May, plan for daily highs up to 18°C, and evening lows to 12°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sat) so you can fly to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums · Transportation · Historic Sites

Tongariro National Park

— 3 nights
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
On the 9th (Sun), hike the day away at Tongariro Alpine Crossing. There's lots more to do: appreciate the extensive heritage of Ohakune Old Coach Road, admire the sheer force of Mangawhero Falls, explore the striking landscape of Te Porere Redoubt, and trek along Whakapapa Nature Walk.

To see where to stay, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, use the Tongariro National Park planning website.

You can fly from Wellington to Tongariro National Park in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and taxi. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Tue) to allow enough time to take a shuttle to Taupo.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Parks · Trails · Outdoors · Nature

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.
Taupo is known for nature, adventure, and theme parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: admire the sheer force of Huka Falls Walkway, make a trip to Maori Rock Carvings, push the limits with an extreme tour, and make a splash at Taupo DeBretts Spa Resort.

To find where to stay, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Taupo trip planner.

Take a shuttle from Tongariro National Park to Taupo in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Fri) so you can drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Taupo

Nature · Parks · Outdoors · 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 15th (Sat), kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks and then identify plant and animal life at Rainbow Springs Nature Park. Here are some ideas for day two: push the limits with an extreme tour, take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, then trot along with a tour on horseback, and finally admire all the interesting features of Government Gardens.

To see photos, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Rotorua trip planner.

You can drive from Taupo to Rotorua in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. In May, daily temperatures in Rotorua can reach 20°C, while at night they dip to 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Sun) to allow time to fly to Auckland.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife

Auckland

— 1 night

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 17th (Mon): take in panoramic vistas at SkyTower, tour the pleasant surroundings at Nelson Street Cycleway, then learn about all things military at Auckland Museum, and finally awaken your taste buds at some of the top wineries in the area.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Auckland using our trip planner.

Getting from Rotorua to Auckland by flight takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Rotorua in May, expect a bit warmer with lows of 18°C in Auckland. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Mon) so you can fly back home.

Things to do in Auckland

Museums · Wineries · Tours · Trails

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.