18 days in New Zealand Itinerary

18 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand trip itinerary planner

Plan created by another user. Make it yours

Route & dates

1
Palmerston North
— 1 night
2
Wellington
— 2 nights
3
Kaikoura
— 1 night
4
Westport
— 1 night
5
Fox Glacier
— 1 night
6
Wanaka
— 2 nights
7
Gore
— 1 night
8
Moeraki
— 2 nights
9
Twizel
— 1 night
10
Christchurch
— 3 nights
11
Picton
— 1 night
12
Taihape
— 1 night

1
night
Palmerston North

Palmerston North ©
Palmerston North is a city in the North Island of New Zealand and the seat of the Manawatu-Wanganui region. Start off your visit on the 27th (Sun): see the interesting displays at Te Manawa, examine the collection at New Zealand Rugby Museum, and then admire the natural beauty at Victoria Esplanade Gardens.

To find traveler tips, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Palmerston North visit planner.

Hamilton to Palmerston North is an approximately 5-hour car ride. In December, daily temperatures in Palmerston North can reach 19°C, while at night they dip to 19°C. You will leave for Wellington on the 28th (Mon).

Things to do in Palmerston North

Museums · Parks
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Te Manawa ©
Te Manawa
New Zealand Rugby Museum ©
New Zealand Rugby Museum

2
nights
Wellington

Wellington
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 28th (Mon): look for all kinds of wild species at ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary and then admire the natural beauty at Wellington Botanic Garden. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 29th (Tue): admire the landmark architecture of Old St Paul's, ponder the world of politics at New Zealand Parliament, then catch a ride on Wellington Cable Car, then take an in-depth tour of Wellington Museum, and finally examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

To find where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, read Wellington attractions planning site.

You can drive from Palmerston North to Wellington in 2 hours. Traveling from Palmerston North in December, expect nights in Wellington to be little chillier, around 15°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Wed) early enough to travel to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks · Museums · Wildlife

Side Trip

Wellington Botanic Garden
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Wellington Botanic Garden ©
Wellington Botanic Garden
Wellington Cable Car ©
Wellington Cable Car

1
night
Kaikoura

Kaikoura ©
Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Wed): trek along Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway.

For photos, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Kaikoura trip planning tool.

You can fly from Wellington to Kaikoura in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus; or do a combination of ferry and train. You'll have a few hours on the 31st (Thu) to wrap things up before traveling to Westport.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Parks · Outdoors · Trails
Find places to stay Dec 30 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway ©
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway
Ohau Stream Walk ©
Ohau Stream Walk

1
night
Westport

Westport ©
Westport is a town in the West Coast region of the South Island of New Zealand. Kick off your visit on the 31st (Thu): tour the pleasant surroundings at Cape Foulwind Walkway.

To find other places to visit, photos, ratings, and tourist information, use the Westport attractions planner.

Getting from Kaikoura to Westport by car takes about 4.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Fri) early enough to travel to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Westport

Parks · Outdoors · Trails
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Cape Foulwind Walkway ©
Cape Foulwind Walkway

1
night
Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier ©
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Fri): trek along Fox Glacier South Side Walk, then hike along Moraine Walk, then hike along Minnehaha Walk, and finally see the world from above with a helicopter tour.

To find where to stay, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Fox Glacier online tour itinerary planner.

Getting from Westport to Fox Glacier by car takes about 4.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sat) early enough to take a bus to Wanaka.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks · Outdoors · Trails
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 2:
Highlights from your plan
Fox Glacier South Side Walk ©
Fox Glacier South Side Walk
Helicopter Tours
Minnehaha Walk ©
Minnehaha Walk

2
nights
Wanaka

Situated on the shores of Lake Wanaka in the Otago region, Wanaka has become a popular ski and summer resort area, owing to its extensive views of the lake and its proximity to some of the best slopes in the country.
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Sat): contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Wanaka. On the 3rd (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: get some thrills on the water with a speed boat tour, then skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and then learn about winemaking at Rippon Vineyard.

To find photos, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Wanaka trip maker tool.

You can take a bus from Fox Glacier to Wanaka in 5.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Mon) early enough to travel to Gore.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors · Tours · Parks
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours
Lake Wanaka ©
Lake Wanaka
Rippon Vineyard ©
Rippon Vineyard

1
night
Gore

Gore ©
Gore is a town and district in the Southland region of the South Island of New Zealand.GeographyThe town of Gore is 64 kilometres northeast of Invercargill and 70 km west of Balclutha - Dunedin and Invercargill are the nearest cities. Start off your visit on the 4th (Mon): examine the collection at Hokonui Moonshine Museum, explore the galleries of Eastern Southland Gallery, and then cast your line with a fishing tour.

For ratings, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Gore itinerary planner.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Wanaka to Gore. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Tue) early enough to travel to Moeraki.

Things to do in Gore

Museums · Wildlife · Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Hokonui Moonshine Museum ©
Hokonui Moonshine Museum
Fishing Charters & Tours
Eastern Southland Gallery ©
Eastern Southland Gallery

2
nights
Moeraki

Moeraki ©
Moeraki is a small fishing village on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Moeraki: Waikouaiti (Matanaka Farm Building, Huriawa Pa Walk, &more). There's much more to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Shag Point Nature Reserve, enjoy the sea views from Katiki Point Lighthouse, browse for treasures at Hampden Stores, and cast your line with Moeraki Fishing Charters.

For photos, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Moeraki trip planner.

You can drive from Gore to Moeraki in 3 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Twizel.

Things to do in Moeraki

Wildlife · Parks · Outdoors

Side Trips

Waikouaiti, Shag Point Nature Reserve, Hampden Stores
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Trotters Gorge Scenic Reserve ©
Trotters Gorge Scenic Reserve
Shag Point Nature Reserve ©
Shag Point Nature Reserve
Waikouaiti Beach ©
Waikouaiti Beach

1
night
Twizel

Twizel ©
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Thu): relax in the rural setting at High Country Salmon, then relax in the rural setting at Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon Shop, and then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Pukaki.

To find photos, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Twizel driving holiday planning site.

You can drive from Moeraki to Twizel in 2.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Fri) early enough to travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Twizel

Parks · Nature

Side Trip

Lake Pukaki
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Pukaki ©
Lake Pukaki
Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon Shop ©
Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon Shop
High Country Salmon ©
High Country Salmon

3
nights
Christchurch

Christchurch ©
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
On the 9th (Sat), spend the day riding on TranzAlpine Train. Next up on the itinerary: admire the natural beauty at Christchurch Botanic Gardens, let little ones run wild at Margaret Mahy Family Playground, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Cardboard Cathedral, and get engrossed in the history at Canterbury Museum.

To see ratings, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Christchurch vacation planning website.

Traveling by car from Twizel to Christchurch takes 4 hours. In January, plan for daily highs up to 26°C, and evening lows to 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Mon) early enough to travel to Picton.

Things to do in Christchurch

Transportation · Tours · Museums
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Christchurch Botanic Gardens ©
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
TranzAlpine Train ©
TranzAlpine Train
Christchurch Gondola ©
Christchurch Gondola

1
night
Picton

Picton ©
Take photo after stunning photo in Picton, the gateway to South Island.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Mon): explore the activities along Queen Charlotte Sound, see the interesting displays at The National Whale Centre, and then get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To find photos, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Picton planning tool.

Traveling by flight from Christchurch to Picton takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Christchurch in January since evenings lows in Picton dip to 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Tue) so you can travel to Taihape.

Things to do in Picton

Parks · Outdoors · Tours
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Queen Charlotte Sound ©
Queen Charlotte Sound
Boat Tours & Water Sports

1
night
Taihape

Taihape ©
Taihape is located near the middle of the North Island in the Rangitikei District of New Zealand. Start off your visit on the 12th (Tue): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ad-Deen Mosque, then examine the collection at National Army Museum, then delve into the lush surroundings at Mount Stewart Reserve, and finally appreciate the history behind Gumboot Statue.

For maps, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, read Taihape itinerary planner.

Getting from Picton to Taihape by car takes about 7 hours. Traveling from Picton in January, plan for somewhat warmer nights in Taihape, with lows around 22°C. On the 13th (Wed), you'll travel back home.

Things to do in Taihape

Museums · Parks · Historic Sites

Side Trip

National Army Museum
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
National Army Museum ©
National Army Museum
Mount Stewart Reserve ©
Mount Stewart Reserve

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