16 days in New Zealand Itinerary

16 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand trip itinerary planner

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Route & dates

16 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  7​h 45​min
1
Paihia
— 1 night
+2
bus + taxi + Fly:  4​h 15​min
2
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
3
Rotorua
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
4
Tongariro National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
5
Wellington
— 1 night
+2
Fly + foot + bus:  7​h 30​min
6
Franz Josef
— 2 nights
Drive:  30​min
7
Fox Glacier
— 1 day
Drive:  4​h 15​min
8
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Fly:  6​h
End: Sydney

1
night
Paihia

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.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Tue): identify plant and animal life at Paihia Harbour, take in the architecture and atmosphere at St Paul's Anglican Church, then take in nature's colorful creations at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, then steep yourself in history at The Stone Store & Kemp House - Kerikeri Mission Station, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at St James Anglican Church. Here are some ideas for day two: fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour, then discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, and then get close to the beloved marine mammals with a swim-with-the-dolphins experience.

To see other places to visit, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Paihia day trip planning site .

Sydney, Australia to Paihia is an approximately 8-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also do a combination of flight and bus. You'll lose 2 hours traveling from Sydney to Paihia due to the time zone difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife Tours Outdoors

Side Trip

Kerikeri
Find places to stay Mar 19 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Scuba & Snorkeling
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour

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.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Thu): explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, then get outside with Waitomo Clay Birds, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Ruakuri Walk.

To see more things to do and other tourist information, go to the Waitomo Caves trip itinerary builder tool .

Traveling by combination of bus, flight, and taxi from Paihia to Waitomo Caves takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi, flight, and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Thu) early enough to go by car to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors Parks Nature
Find places to stay Mar 20 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Waitomo Clay Birds ©
Waitomo Clay Birds

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.
Take a break from the city and head to Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland and Rainbow Springs Nature Park. Go for a jaunt from Rotorua to Taupo to see Huka Falls tracks about 1h 20 min away. There's lots more to do: take in the natural beauty of Te Puia, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, look for all kinds of wild species at Redwoods Treewalk, and play a few rounds at Rotorua Golf Club - Arikikapakapa Course.

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

Drive from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. March in Rotorua sees daily highs of 26°C and lows of 18°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trip

Huka Falls Walkway
Find places to stay Mar 21 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Te Puia ©
Te Puia

2
nights
Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park ©
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
On the 25th (Mon), hike along Tongariro Alpine Crossing. On the 26th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: trek along Taranaki Falls, then take in the dramatic scenery at Tawhai Falls, then explore the landscape on two wheels at Ohakune Old Coach Road, and finally explore the striking landscape of Te Porere Redoubt.

For reviews, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Tongariro National Park trip planning tool .

Traveling by car from Rotorua to Tongariro National Park takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of bus and car. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Tue) so you can go by car to Wellington.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails
Find places to stay Mar 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Ohakune Old Coach Road ©
Ohakune Old Coach Road
Taranaki Falls ©
Taranaki Falls

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.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Wed): see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa), get engrossed in the history at The Great War Exhibition, then admire the natural beauty at Wellington Botanic Garden, and finally take some stellar pictures from Wellington Cable Car.

For ratings, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Wellington trip maker website .

You can drive from Tongariro National Park to Wellington in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of taxi and train. March in Wellington sees daily highs of 22°C and lows of 16°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums Parks Transportation

Side Trip

Wellington Botanic Garden
Find places to stay Mar 26 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
The Great War Exhibition ©
The Great War Exhibition
Wellington Cable Car ©
Wellington Cable Car

2
nights
Franz Josef

Franz Josef ©
Located in the World Heritage Site that is home to its eponymous glacier, the town of Franz Josef provides a comfortable and welcoming rest spot for adventurers after a long day out on the ice.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Thu): relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers, see the world from above with a helicopter tour, then trek along Franz Josef Glacier, then look for all kinds of wild species at West Coast Wildlife Centre, and finally go for a walk through Tatare Tunnels Walk. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: go for a walk through Callery Gorge Walk, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Peters Pool Walk, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Roberts Point Track.

To see photos, maps, reviews, and tourist information, use the Franz Josef trip planner .

Do a combination of flight and bus from Wellington to Franz Josef in 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car; or do a combination of ferry and car. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sat) so you can go by car to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Franz Josef

Parks Outdoors Trails
Find places to stay Mar 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier
Roberts Point Track ©
Roberts Point Track
Tatare Tunnels Walk ©
Tatare Tunnels Walk

1
day
Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier ©
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Start off your visit on the 30th (Sat): identify plant and animal life at Fox Glacier, then view the masterpieces at ReflectioNZ Gifts & Gallery, then make a trip to River Walk, and finally see the world from above with a helicopter tour.

To find where to stay, maps, and tourist information, use the Fox Glacier day trip planning app .

Fox Glacier is just a short distance from Franz Josef. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Queenstown.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Wildlife Nature Parks
Find places to stay Mar 29 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Fox Glacier ©
Fox Glacier
Helicopter Tours
ReflectioNZ Gifts & Gallery ©
ReflectioNZ Gifts & Gallery

3
nights
Queenstown

Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Get in touch with nature at Adrenaline & Extreme Tours and River Rafting & Tubing. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Peregrine Wines and Silver Fern Gallery. There's still lots to do: identify plant and animal life at Kiwi Birdlife Park, make a trip to St Peter's Anglican Church, get your game on at Dark Ride, and cross one thing off your bucket list with a skydiving experience.

Make your Queenstown itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.

Getting from Fox Glacier to Queenstown by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Tue) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours Outdoors Adventure
Find places to stay Mar 30 — Apr 2:
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Kiwi Birdlife Park ©
Kiwi Birdlife Park
Safaris

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