21 days in New Zealand Itinerary

21 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand trip maker

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Route & dates

21 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Melbourne
Fly:  6​h 15​min
1
Wellington
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h
2
Rotorua
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h
3
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
Fly:  7​h 15​min
4
Dunedin
— 1 night
Bus:  5​h 15​min
5
Te Anau
— 3 nights
Bus:  3​h 15​min
6
Queenstown
— 4 nights
Fly + Taxi:  9​h 15​min
7
Tongariro National Park
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  12​h 45​min
End: Melbourne

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 23rd (Mon): take an in-depth tour of Wellington Museum, then admire the striking features of Old St Paul's, then contemplate the waterfront views at Oriental Bay, and finally examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa). Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 24th (Tue): take a memorable ride with Wellington Cable Car, meet the residents at Wellington Zoo, and then identify plant and animal life at Staglands Wildlife Reserve.

To find other places to visit, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Wellington travel itinerary planner .

Melbourne, Australia to Wellington is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Australian Eastern Standard Time (Victoria) to New Zealand Standard Time is 2 hours. Traveling from Melbourne in September, you will find days in Wellington are a bit cooler (16°C), and nights are about the same (10°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Rotorua.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks Museums Wildlife
Find places to stay Sep 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Staglands Wildlife Reserve ©
Staglands Wildlife Reserve
Wellington Museum ©
Wellington Museum

4
nights
Rotorua

Rotorua ©
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.
3D Trick Art Gallery and Volcanic Hills Winery are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Take a break from the city and head to Papamoa Beach and Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Rotorua: Mount Maunganui (Mount Maunganui Base Track & Pilot Bay) and Huka Falls Walkway (in Taupo). There's still lots to do: witness a stunning natural landmark at Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park, identify plant and animal life at Redwoods Treewalk, get your game on at Zorb Rotorua, and contemplate the geological forces at Waimangu Volcanic Valley.

To see where to stay, maps, ratings, and tourist information, read Rotorua travel route planner.

Traveling by flight from Wellington to Rotorua takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. In September, plan for daily highs up to 19°C, and evening lows to 10°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Tauranga, River Rafting & Tubing, Huka Falls Walkway, Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave, Papamoa Beach
Find places to stay Sep 24 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Redwoods Treewalk ©
Redwoods Treewalk
River Rafting & Tubing
Waimangu Volcanic Valley ©
Waimangu Volcanic Valley

1
night
Waitomo Caves

Waitomo Caves ©
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 29th (Sun): look for all kinds of wild species at Otorohanga Kiwi House & Native Bird Park, Head underground at Waitomo Caves, then Head underground at Footwhistle Glowworm Cave, and finally explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves.

To find ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Waitomo Caves travel route planner.

Traveling by car from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Dunedin.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trip

Otorohanga Kiwi House & Native Bird Park
Find places to stay Sep 28 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves

1
night
Dunedin

Dunedin ©
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.
Start off your visit on the 30th (Mon): look and learn at Otago Museum, then steep yourself in history at Olveston Historic Home, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at First Church of Otago, and finally trek along Tunnel Beach Track. Here are some ideas for day two: look for all kinds of wild species at Orokonui Ecosanctuary, identify plant and animal life at Penguin Place, and then explore the historical opulence of Larnach Castle & Gardens.

Planning Dunedin trip won't be overwheling when you use's Insprock itinerary maker.

Fly from Waitomo Caves to Dunedin in 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Tue) so you can catcht the bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Dunedin

Parks Wildlife Childrens Museums
Find places to stay Sep 29 — Oct 1:
Highlights from your plan
Penguin Place ©
Penguin Place
Orokonui Ecosanctuary ©
Orokonui Ecosanctuary
Tunnel Beach Track ©
Tunnel Beach Track

3
nights
Te Anau

Te Anau ©
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.
Get outdoors at Kayaking & Canoeing and Milford Sound. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at The Chasm Walk and Quintin Mackinnon Monument. There's much more to do: contemplate the waterfront views at Doubtful Sound, trek along Lake Gunn, identify plant and animal life at Ivan Wilson Park, and take some stellar pictures from Te Anau Lion Lookout Point.

To see traveler tips, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Te Anau day trip planning tool .

Traveling by bus from Dunedin to Te Anau takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Fri) to allow time to take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Lake Gunn, Kayaking & Canoeing
Find places to stay Oct 1 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
The Chasm Walk ©
The Chasm Walk
Lake Te Anau ©
Lake Te Anau

4
nights
Queenstown

Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Step out of the city life by going to Mount Iron Track and Skydiving. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Safaris and Queenstown Hill. Venture out of the city with trips to Wanaka (Rippon Vineyard & Puzzling World). And it doesn't end there: head outdoors with Arrowtown Village, do a tasting at Peregrine Wines, make a trip to Fallen Soldiers Memorial, and get your game on at Dark Ride.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Queenstown online travel route builder .

Getting from Te Anau to Queenstown by bus takes about 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Tue) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Wanaka, Arrowtown
Find places to stay Oct 4 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Skydiving
Queenstown Hill ©
Queenstown Hill
Safaris

2
nights
Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park ©
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
Get some historical perspective at Te Porere Redoubt and Tangiwai Rail Disaster Memorial. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at National Army Museum and Mangawhero Falls. Change things up with these side-trips from Tongariro National Park: Tongariro National Trout Centre (in Turangi) and Waitonga Falls Walk Trailhead (in Ohakune). And it doesn't end there: tour the pleasant surroundings at Taranaki Falls, trek along Mounds Walk, take in the dramatic scenery at Tawhai Falls, and grab your bike and head to Ohakune Old Coach Road.

To find maps, photos, and other tourist information, read our Tongariro National Park trip planner .

You can do a combination of flight and car from Queenstown to Tongariro National Park in 9.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight, taxi, and train; or do a combination of flight, train, and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Ohakune, Tongariro National Trout Centre, National Army Museum
Find places to stay Oct 8 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
National Army Museum ©
National Army Museum
Ohakune Old Coach Road ©
Ohakune Old Coach Road
Tongariro National Trout Centre ©
Tongariro National Trout Centre

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