16 days in New Zealand Itinerary

16 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

Start: Boston
Fly:  21 h
1
Auckland
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h 30 min
2
Hinuera
— Few hours
Drive:  1 h 30 min
3
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h
4
Rotorua
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h 30 min
5
Whakapapa
— 2 nights
Drive:  4 h
6
Wellington
— 1 night
Fly + Taxi:  1 h
7
Nelson
— Few hours
Taxi + Fly:  1 h
8
Wellington
— 2 nights
drive:  1 h 30 min
9
Te Anau
— 1 night
Bus:  2 h 30 min
10
Queenstown
— 4 nights
Fly:  26 h
End: Boston

1
night
Auckland

Auckland ©
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Rangitoto Island as well as Mount Eden. On the 1st (Sun), get impressive views of Mount Eden and then contemplate the geological forces at Rangitoto Island.

To find photos, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, read Auckland road trip planning website.

Boston, USA to Auckland is an approximately 23- hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of bus and flight. You'll lose 17 hours traveling from Boston to Auckland due to the time zone difference. Expect much warmer temperatures when traveling from Boston in December; daily highs in Auckland reach 64°F and lows reach 64°F. You'll have a few hours on the 2nd (Mon) to wrap things up before traveling to Hinuera.

Things to do in Auckland

Nature Parks
Find places to stay Dec 1 — 2:
Highlights from your plan
Mount Eden ©
Mount Eden
Rangitoto Island ©
Rangitoto Island

few
hours
Hinuera

Hinuera ©
Hinuera's claim to fame is Hobbiton, the setting for the shires in the "Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" trilogies by New Zealand director Peter Jackson.
Hobbiton Movie Set has been added to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Mon): don't miss a visit to Hobbiton Movie Set.

To see maps, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Hinuera journey planning website.

You can drive from Auckland to Hinuera in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. When traveling from Auckland in December, plan for somewhat warmer days and slightly colder nights in Hinuera: temperatures range from 71°F by day to 59°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 2nd (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Waitomo Caves.
Find places to stay Dec 2 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Hobbiton Movie Set ©
Hobbiton Movie Set

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Marakopa Falls, The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co. and Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Start off your visit on the 2nd (Mon): Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves, take in the views from Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk, and then admire the sheer force of Marakopa Falls.

To find more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Waitomo Caves road trip planning app.

Traveling by car from Hinuera to Waitomo Caves takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Tours Adventure Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 2 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co. ©
The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co.
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Marakopa Falls ©
Marakopa Falls

1
night
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Tamaki Maori Village, Polynesian Spa and Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest. On the 3rd (Tue), contemplate the long history of Tamaki Maori Village.

To see traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Rotorua route planning tool.

Drive from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 71°F, and evening lows to 59°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Wed) so you can travel to Whakapapa.

Things to do in Rotorua

Nature Parks Nightlife
Find places to stay Dec 3 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Polynesian Spa ©
Polynesian Spa
Tamaki Maori Village ©
Tamaki Maori Village

2
nights
Whakapapa

Whakapapa ©
The country's largest ski resort brings winter sports enthusiasts from all over New Zealand, while a series of short volcano walks as well as numerous alpine crossings make it easy to hike on your Whakapapa trip throughout the year.
To find where to stay, other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Whakapapa travel route planner.

You can drive from Rotorua to Whakapapa in 2.5 hours. On the 6th (Fri), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Wellington.

Things to do in Whakapapa

Outdoors Trails Parks

Side Trip

Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Find places to stay Dec 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing

1
night
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.
Pinnacles Track has been added to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 6th (Fri): explore the striking landscape at Pinnacles Track.

For maps, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Wellington itinerary planning website.

Drive from Whakapapa to Wellington in 4.5 hours. In December, daily temperatures in Wellington can reach 67°F, while at night they dip to 56°F. You'll have a few hours on the 7th (Sat) to wrap things up before traveling to Nelson.

Things to do in Wellington

Outdoors Nature Trails
Find places to stay Dec 6 — 7:

few
hours
Nelson

Nelson ©
Put on your shades to enjoy the sights of Nelson, one of the sunniest cities in New Zealand.
Jens Hansen Gold and Silversmith has been added to your itinerary. Start off your visit on the 7th (Sat): stop by Jens Hansen Gold and Silversmith and then examine the collection at World of WearableArt & Classic Car Museum.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Nelson trip itinerary planning site.

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from Wellington to Nelson in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of ferry and car. On the 7th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Nelson

Museums Shopping
Find places to stay Dec 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
World of WearableArt & Classic Car Museum ©
World of WearableArt & Classic Car Museum
Jens Hansen Gold and Silversmith ©
Jens Hansen Gold and Silversmith

2
nights
Wellington

Wellington ©
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Rover Rings. Start off your visit on the 7th (Sat): get great views at Wellington Cable Car. Here are some ideas for day two: squeeze the most out of the city with Rover Rings.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Wellington online trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Nelson to Wellington takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of car and ferry. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Te Anau.

Things to do in Wellington

Tours Historic Sites Transportation
Find places to stay Dec 7 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Rover Rings ©
Rover Rings
Wellington Cable Car ©
Wellington Cable Car

1
night
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Mavora Lakes Park as well as Real Journeys. On the 9th (Mon), explore the activities along Mavora Lakes Park.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Te Anau visit planning website.

Do a combination of flight and bus from Wellington to Te Anau in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can ride a ferry; or do a combination of ferry, train, and bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Tue) so you can catch the bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Tours Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Real Journeys, Mavora Lakes Park
Find places to stay Dec 9 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Mavora Lakes Park ©
Mavora Lakes Park

4
nights
Queenstown

Queenstown ©
Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
You've added That Wanaka Tree, Rippon Vineyard, Puzzling World, and other attractions to your itinerary. It doesn't end there: relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas and have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown.

For traveler tips, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Queenstown itinerary planner.

Getting from Te Anau to Queenstown by bus takes about 3.5 hours. On the 14th (Sat), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trips

Wanaka, Kawarau River, High Country Horses
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Shotover Jet ©
Shotover Jet
Spas

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