21 days in New Zealand Itinerary

21 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
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Auckland
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
Drive
8
Rotorua
— 2 nights
Drive
9
Taupo
— 3 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.
Start off your visit on the 4th (Thu): see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, then visit Cuba Street, and then get around town with Wellington Cable Car.

To see maps, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Wellington trip itinerary builder website.

The Route module shows you travel options from your home to Wellington. Expect a daytime high around 22°C in March, and nighttime lows around 16°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Stewart Island.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums · Neighborhoods · Shopping · Historic Sites

Stewart Island

— 1 night
On the 5th (Fri), step off the mainland to explore Ulva Island. On your second day here, look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas.

For other places to visit, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Stewart Island journey builder app.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Wellington to Stewart Island. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sat) so you can travel to Dunedin.

Things to do in Stewart Island

Wildlife · Tours · 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.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Sun): explore the historical opulence of Larnach Castle & Gardens, make a trip to The Royal Albatross Centre, and then play a few rounds at Port Chalmers Golf Club.

To find more things to do, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Dunedin travel route planner.

Explore your travel options from Stewart Island to Dunedin with the Route module. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sun) so you can go by car to Queenstown.

Things to do in Dunedin

Wildlife · Parks · Golf · Historic Sites

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.
Visiting Queenstown Golf Club and Waterskiing & Jetskiing will get you outdoors. There's still lots to do: indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, look for all kinds of wild species at Kiwi Birdlife Park, play a few rounds at Millbrook Resort Golf Course, and learn about winemaking at Peregrine Wines.

To plan Queenstown vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

Traveling by car from Dunedin to Queenstown takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Thu) early enough to travel to Whangarei.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors · Golf · Tours · Breweries & Distilleries

Side Trip

Whangarei

— 3 nights
Whangarei is the northernmost city in New Zealand and the regional capital of Northland Region. Get outdoors at Waitangi Golf Club and Swim with Dolphins. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Whangarei: Ocean Beach (in Whangarei Heads), Tapeka Point Track (in Russell) and Byrne Northland Wines (in Kerikeri). It doesn't end there: look for all kinds of wild species at Paihia Harbour and see the vivid underwater world at Poor Knights Island Marine Reserve.

Before you visit Whangarei, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

Fly from Queenstown to Whangarei in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry. On the 14th (Sun), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Auckland.

Things to do in Whangarei

Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks · Golf

Side Trips

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 14th (Sun): steep yourself in history at Howick Historical Village, enjoy some music at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium, and then enjoy breathtaking views from SkyTower. Here are some ideas for day two: examine the collection at Auckland Museum, then indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area, and then contemplate the geological forces at Mount Eden.

Plan my trip to Auckland with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.

Traveling by car from Whangarei to Auckland takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 22°C in March, and nighttime lows around 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Tue) early enough to drive to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks · Nature · Museums · Neighborhoods

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.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Wed): explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and then surround yourself with nature on Spellbound Glowworm & Cave Tours.

To find photos, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Waitomo Caves trip planner.

Getting from Auckland to Waitomo Caves by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Wed) so you can go by car 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.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Thu): kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, then take in the natural beauty of Te Puia, and then take a peaceful walk through Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest. On your second day here, get impressive views of Waimangu Volcanic Valley, then witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, and then get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To see maps, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Rotorua trip itinerary planning tool.

Traveling by car from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In March in Rotorua, expect temperatures between 26°C during the day and 18°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Taupo.

Things to do in Rotorua

Nature · Parks · Tours · Adventure

Side Trip

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.
Take a break from the city and head to Tongariro Alpine Crossing and Tongariro Northern Circuit. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Taupo: Te Porere Redoubt (in Tongariro National Park) and Ridge Track (in Whakapapa). The adventure continues: admire the sheer force of Huka Falls Walkway, take a memorable tour with Tours, and tee off at 9 Hole Golf Course.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Taupo trip itinerary planning tool.

You can drive from Rotorua to Taupo in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Mon) so you can go by car to Tauranga.

Things to do in Taupo

Outdoors · Trails · Parks · Tours

Side Trip

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.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Tue): get up close to creatures of the deep with Bay Explorer Island & Wildlife Cruise. Here are some ideas for day two: stroll through Mount Maunganui Summit Track, enjoy the sand and surf at Mt Maunganui Main Beach, and then kick back and relax at Papamoa Beach.

For more things to do, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Tauranga trip maker.

Traveling by car from Taupo to Tauranga takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. March in Tauranga sees daily highs of 26°C and lows of 18°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Wed) 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.