15 days in New Zealand Itinerary

15 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

15 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: New York City
Fly:  25​h
1
Taupo
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
Whakapapa
— 2 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  9​h 15​min
3
Te Anau
— 2 nights
bus:  3​h 15​min
4
Queenstown
— 2 nights
Fly:  5​h 15​min
5
Paihia
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
6
Auckland
— 1 night
Fly:  22​h
End: New York City

2
nights
Taupo

The resort town of Taupo lies on the banks of Lake Taupo, the largest body of water in the whole of Australasia.
Change things up with these side-trips from Taupo: Rotorua (Redwoods Treewalk, Te Puia, & more). There's much more to do: push the limits with an extreme tour, stop by Huka Honey Hive, and trek along Huka Falls Walkway.

To see maps, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Taupo trip itinerary planner.

New York City, USA to Taupo is an approximately 25-hour flight. You can also fly; or do a combination of flight and bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 17 hours traveling from New York City to Taupo. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Whakapapa.

Things to do in Taupo

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trip

Rotorua
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway

2
nights
Whakapapa

Whakapapa ©
On the 20th (Fri), stroll through Taranaki Falls, admire the sheer force of Tawhai Falls, and then stroll through Tongariro Alpine Crossing. On the 21st (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: go from sight to sight with Tongariro Crossing Shuttles and then trek along Horsemtrails.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Whakapapa travel route planner .

You can drive from Taupo to Whakapapa in 1.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Te Anau.

Things to do in Whakapapa

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trip

Tongariro National Park
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Horsemtrails ©
Horsemtrails
Taranaki Falls ©
Taranaki Falls

2
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.
When in Te Anau, make a side trip to see Milford Foreshore Walk in Milford, approximately 1h 15 min away. There's still lots to do: explore the activities along Milford Sound, trek along Lake Gunn, stroll through Hollyford Track, and look for all kinds of wild species at Doubtful Sound.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Te Anau planning website .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Whakapapa to Te Anau. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Tue) so you can catcht the bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Fiordland National Park, Milford Foreshore Walk
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound
Hollyford Track ©
Hollyford Track

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Wed): look for all kinds of wild species at Kiwi Birdlife Park, then have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown, then get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, and finally do a tasting at Chard Farm Winery. On the 26th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take a memorable tour with Tours, then learn about winemaking at Peregrine Wines, then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and finally browse the exhibits of Queenstown Arts Centre.

For where to stay, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Queenstown sightseeing planner.

You can take a bus from Te Anau to Queenstown in 3.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Tours Fun & Games
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Zipline

2
nights
Paihia

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.
On the 27th (Fri), surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, then steep yourself in history at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, and then discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Here are some ideas for day two: look for all kinds of wild species at Paihia Harbour and then take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To see more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, use the Paihia online itinerary builder .

Getting from Queenstown to Paihia by flight takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of car and ferry. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Auckland.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife Outdoors Tours
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Dolphin & Whale Watching

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.
On the 29th (Sun), indulge your taste buds at Food & Drink, then learn about all things military at Auckland War Memorial Museum, and then don't miss a visit to SkyTower.

For traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Auckland trip itinerary tool .

Traveling by car from Paihia to Auckland takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. In December in Auckland, expect temperatures between 64°F during the day and 64°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Auckland

Tours Museums
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Auckland War Memorial Museum ©
Auckland War Memorial Museum
Wine Tours & Tastings

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