18 days in New Zealand Itinerary

18 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand travel planner

Make it your trip
Fly to Queenstown International Airport, Drive to Te Anau
1
Te Anau
— 4 nights
Bus
2
Fox Glacier
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Queenstown
— 2 nights
Fly
4
Paihia
— 2 nights
Fly
5
Rotorua
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Taupo
— 1 night
Drive
7
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights
Drive to Auckland International Airport, Fly to Aalborg

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Te Anau

— 4 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.
Step out of the city life by going to Doubtful Sound and Gertrude Saddle. There's lots more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Lake Marian Track, hike along The Chasm Walk, and see what you can catch with a fishing tour.

For ratings, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, read our Te Anau trip planning site.

Aalborg, Denmark to Te Anau is an approximately 34-hour combination of flight and car. The time zone difference when traveling from Aalborg to Te Anau is 11 hours. On the 11th (Sat), you're off to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Nature

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 7 — 11:

Fox Glacier

— 3 nights
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Visiting Gillespies Beach and Franz Josef Glacier will get you outdoors. When in Fox Glacier, make a side trip to see Sealy Tarns Track in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), approximately Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) away. The adventure continues: hike along Fox Glacier South Side Walk, tour the pleasant surroundings at Mount Fox Route, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour.

To see ratings, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Fox Glacier journey planner.

You can take a bus from Te Anau to Fox Glacier in 10 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Tue) so you can go by car to Queenstown.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 11 — 14:

Queenstown

— 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.
On the 15th (Wed), whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks and then identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 16th (Thu): get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, push the limits with an extreme tour, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

To find other places to visit, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Queenstown itinerary planner.

You can drive from Fox Glacier to Queenstown in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) so you can fly to Paihia.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Fun & Games
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 16:

Paihia

— 2 nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 17th (Fri): contemplate the long history of Waitangi Treaty Grounds, look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Paihia Harbour. Here are some ideas for day two: tee off at Waitangi Golf Club and then see some colorful creatures with Phantom Sailing.

To find more things to do, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Paihia online attractions planner.

You can fly from Queenstown to Paihia in 5 hours. Another option is to do a combination of car and ferry. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Sat) early enough to fly to Rotorua.

Things to do in Paihia

Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Parks

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 16 — 18:

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 19th (Sun), take in the natural beauty of Te Puia, then take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, and then take in the dramatic natural features at Waimangu Volcanic Valley. Keep things going the next day: get outside with Outdoor Activities, then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and then take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback.

To see where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, read our Rotorua visit planning tool.

Traveling by flight from Paihia to Rotorua takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In December in Rotorua, expect temperatures between 25°C during the day and 17°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Mon) so you can go by car to Taupo.

Things to do in Rotorua

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Nature
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 20:

Taupo

— 1 night

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.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Tue): take in the dramatic natural features at Spa Thermal Park and Riverbank Recreational and Scenic Reserve, take in the dramatic scenery at Huka Falls Walkway, and then get outside with Outdoor Activities.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, read our Taupo trip planner.

You can drive from Rotorua to Taupo in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Tue) to allow time to drive to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Taupo

Outdoors · Parks · Nature · Tours
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 21:

Waitomo Caves

— 2 nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Wed): Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Spellbound Glowworm & Cave Tours.

To find maps, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Waitomo Caves route planner.

You can drive from Taupo to Waitomo Caves in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Adventure
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 23:

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.