11 days in New Zealand Itinerary

11 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand journey planner

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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 in touch with nature at Scuba & Snorkeling and Swim with Dolphins. Your inner history buff will appreciate Waitangi Treaty Grounds and The Stone Store & Kemp House - Kerikeri Mission Station. Explore Paihia's surroundings by going to Russell (Pompallier Mission and Printery & Tapeka Point Track). Next up on the itinerary: identify plant and animal life at Paihia Harbour, do a tasting at Byrne Northland Wines, and fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Paihia trip planner.

Denver, USA to Paihia is an approximately 22.5-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Denver to Paihia is 19 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 19th (Thu) to allow time for travel to Rotorua.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife · Outdoors · Tours · Parks

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 16 — 19:


— 4 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.
Visiting Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland and Rainbow Springs Nature Park will get you outdoors. Do some cultural sightseeing at Te Puia and Volcanic Hills Winery. Step out of Rotorua with an excursion to Huka Falls Walkway in Taupo--about 1h 10 min away. Next up on the itinerary: boost your wellbeing at a local thermal spa, take a peaceful walk through Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest, get interesting insight from Tours, and witness a stunning natural landmark at Waimangu Volcanic Valley.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Rotorua vacation site.

You can fly from Paihia to Rotorua in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. December in Rotorua sees daily highs of 71°F and lows of 59°F at night. On the 23rd (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Queenstown.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Nature · Spas · Wildlife

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 19 — 23:


— 2 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.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Tue): look for all kinds of wild species at Kiwi Birdlife Park, then zoom along the surf with a waterskiing or jet-skiing adventure, and then race across the water with a speed boat tour. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the architecture and atmosphere at St Peter's Anglican Church, get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, and then learn about winemaking at Peregrine Wines.

To find other places to visit, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Queenstown trip itinerary maker app.

Fly from Rotorua to Queenstown in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Wed) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours · Outdoors · Parks · Wineries
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 25:

New Zealand travel guide

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.