13 days in New Zealand Itinerary

13 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

13 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  8​h 45​min
1
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
2
Rotorua
— 3 nights
Fly:  6​h 15​min
3
Dunedin
— 2 nights
bus:  5​h 30​min
4
Wanaka
— 3 nights
bus:  2​h 30​min
5
Queenstown
— 2 nights
Fly:  5​h 45​min
End: Sydney

2
nights
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): admire the sheer force of Marokopa Falls Walk, then surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, and then Head underground at Ruakuri Cave. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: step off the mainland to explore Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari, take in the dramatic natural features at Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk, then Head underground at Caveworld, and finally hike along Ruakuri Walk.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Waitomo Caves online travel planner .

Sydney, Australia to Waitomo Caves is an approximately 9-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Sydney to Waitomo Caves is 2 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Marakopa Falls ©
Marakopa Falls
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk
Ruakuri Cave
Ruakuri Cave

3
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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Waimangu Volcanic Valley and Waikite Valley Thermal Pools. Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Mt Maunganui Main Beach and Papamoa Beach. Go for a jaunt from Rotorua to Mount Maunganui to see Mount Maunganui Base Track about 1h 10 min away. Next up on the itinerary: push the limits with an extreme tour, tour the pleasant surroundings at Blue Lake Track, hike along Okere Falls Track, and identify plant and animal life at Redwoods Treewalk.

To see maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Rotorua trip itinerary builder tool .

Traveling by car from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. December in Rotorua sees daily highs of 25°C and lows of 17°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Thu) early enough to travel to Dunedin.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Tauranga, Waimangu Volcanic Valley, Papamoa Beach, Waiotapu Boardwalk/ Mud Pool, Okere Falls Track
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 2:
Highlights from your plan
Waimangu Volcanic Valley ©
Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Mt Maunganui Main Beach ©
Mt Maunganui Main Beach
Papamoa Beach ©
Papamoa Beach

2
nights
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.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Fri): examine the collection at Port Chalmers' Seafaring Museum, then kick back and relax at Aramoana Beach, then identify plant and animal life at Orokonui Ecosanctuary, and finally get interesting insight from Tours. On the next day, tour the pleasant surroundings at St Clair Beach, then get outside with Wild Angler - Day Trips, and then stroll through Karitane Beach.

Plan a trip to Dunedin easily and quickly by telling Inspirock to suggest an itinerary.

You can fly from Rotorua to Dunedin in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of flight and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sat) to allow enough time to take a bus to Wanaka.

Things to do in Dunedin

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

Port Chalmers' Seafaring Museum
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Orokonui Ecosanctuary ©
Orokonui Ecosanctuary
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Wild Angler ©
Wild Angler

3
nights
Wanaka

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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Blue Pools Track and Rob Roy Track. Step out of the city life by going to Oxbow The Adventure Co. and Fantail Falls. Go for a jaunt from Wanaka to Lake Hawea to see Lake Hawea about 42 minutes away. There's much more to do: admire the sheer force of Thunder Creek Falls, learn about winemaking at Aitken's Folly Vineyard, take a memorable drive along Haast Pass, and enjoy some diversion at Basecamp Wanaka Climbing Centre with Clip 'n Climb.

For reviews, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, use the Wanaka journey planner.

Getting from Dunedin to Wanaka by bus takes about 5.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) to allow enough time to take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Wanaka

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Haast Pass, Lake Hawea, Fantail Falls
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Fantail Falls ©
Fantail Falls
Thunder Creek Falls ©
Thunder Creek Falls
Lake Hawea ©
Lake Hawea

2
nights
Queenstown

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 8th (Wed): steep yourself in history at Vesta Design Boutique, have some family-friendly fun at Dark Ride, take in the exciting artwork at Silver Fern Gallery, trek along Tobins Track, then browse the exhibits of Lakes District Museum & Art Gallery, and finally get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports. On the 9th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: walk around Village Green, explore the activities along Moke Lake, then hike along Tiki Trail, and finally enjoy some diversion at Break One Clay Target Shooting.

To see other places to visit, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Queenstown travel planner.

Traveling by bus from Wanaka to Queenstown takes 2.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trip

Arrowtown
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Fishing Charters & Tours
Moke Lake ©
Moke Lake
Break One ©
Break One

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