17 days in New Zealand Itinerary

17 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Auckland
Drive:  2​h 30​min
1
Whitianga
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
2
Rotorua
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
3
Napier
— 1 night
Fly:  3​h 30​min
4
Wellington
— 1 night
+2
Fly + foot + bus:  6​h
5
Wanaka
— 1 night
bus:  6​h 30​min
6
Te Anau
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
7
Invercargill
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 15​min
8
Dunedin
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h 15​min
9
Akaroa
— 1 day
Drive + Fly:  11​h 15​min
10
Kaitaia
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h
End: Auckland

2
nights
Whitianga

Whitianga ©
Whitianga is a town on the Coromandel Peninsula, in the Waikato Region of New Zealand's North Island. Discover out-of-the-way places like Opoutere Surf Beach and The Lost Spring. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Purangi Estate Limited and Mercury Bay Museum Whitianga. Venture out of the city with trips to Pauanui Beach (in Pauanui), Whangamata Beach (in Whangamata) and Tairua (The Little Gallery & Heaven & Earth). There's still lots to do: kick back and relax at Matarangi Beach and stroll through Otama Beach.

To see ratings, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Whitianga trip itinerary builder site .

Auckland Central to Whitianga is an approximately 2.5-hour car ride. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or take a shuttle. Traveling from Auckland Central in January, expect nights in Whitianga to be little chillier, around 19°C, while days are a bit warmer, around 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Whitianga

Beaches Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Tairua, Hahei Beach Walk, Opoutere Surf Beach, Pauanui Beach, Matarangi Beach
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Whangamata Beach ©
Whangamata Beach
Hahei Beach Walk ©
Hahei Beach Walk
Mercury Bay Museum Whitianga ©
Mercury Bay Museum Whitianga

2
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.
On the 14th (Mon), take in the natural beauty of Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park, then witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, then contemplate the geological forces at Waimangu Volcanic Valley, and finally admire all the interesting features of Government Gardens. On the next day, enjoy the sand and surf at Papamoa Beach, then trot along with a tour on horseback, then steep yourself in history at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, and finally wander the streets of Eat Street.

To see maps, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Rotorua travel planning site .

You can drive from Whitianga to Rotorua in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of shuttle and flight. January in Rotorua sees daily highs of 27°C and lows of 19°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Napier.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Waimangu Volcanic Valley, Papamoa Beach, Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave
Find places to stay Jan 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Papamoa Beach ©
Papamoa Beach
Eat Street ©
Eat Street
Waimangu Volcanic Valley ©
Waimangu Volcanic Valley

1
night
Napier

Napier ©
Enjoy the atmosphere and architecture of 1930s design in Napier, one of the best-preserved Art Deco cities in the world.
On the 16th (Wed), make a trip to Marine Parade, take in the exciting artwork at Birdwoods Gallery, then learn about winemaking at Mission Estate Winery, and finally indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area.

To find photos, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Napier trip itinerary planning tool .

Getting from Rotorua to Napier by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Wed) so you can travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Napier

Tours Museums Shopping

Side Trip

Birdwoods Gallery
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Birdwoods Gallery ©
Birdwoods Gallery
Wine Tours & Tastings
Mission Estate Winery ©
Mission Estate Winery

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 17th (Thu): get a sense of history and politics at Parliament Buildings, admire the landmark architecture of Old St Paul's, get engrossed in the history at Wellington Museum, then stroll through Oriental Bay, and finally see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa).

To find photos, maps, reviews, and tourist information, use the Wellington road trip app .

Getting from Napier to Wellington by flight takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. In January, daily temperatures in Wellington can reach 24°C, while at night they dip to 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Wanaka.

Things to do in Wellington

Beaches Museums Nature
Find places to stay Jan 16 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Wellington Museum ©
Wellington Museum
Old St Paul's ©
Old St Paul's

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Fri): fly down the slopes at Wanaka, then hike along Mount Iron Track, and then take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour. Here are some ideas for day two: trek along Rob Roy Track and then trek along Roys Peak Track.

For other places to visit, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Wanaka visit planner.

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Wellington to Wanaka takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of flight and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sat) to allow time to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors Parks Trails
Find places to stay Jan 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Roys Peak Track ©
Roys Peak Track
Wanaka ©
Wanaka
Helicopter Tours

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.
On the 20th (Sun), trek along The Chasm Walk, explore the activities along Milford Sound, and then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Te Anau. Keep things going the next day: examine the collection at Fiord vintage machinery museum, look for gifts at Kowhai Gifts & Souvenirs, then go for a walk through Punanga Manu o Te Anau, and finally add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour.

To see more things to do, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Te Anau trip itinerary site .

Take a bus from Wanaka to Te Anau in 6.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Mon) early enough to travel to Invercargill.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Kayaking & Canoeing
Find places to stay Jan 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
The Chasm Walk ©
The Chasm Walk
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Lake Te Anau ©
Lake Te Anau

1
night
Invercargill

Invercargill ©
Invercargill is the southernmost and westernmost city in New Zealand, and one of the southernmost cities in the world. Start off your visit on the 22nd (Tue): admire the masterpieces at Southland Museum and Art Gallery, then examine the collection at Bill Richardson Transport World, then view the masterpieces at City Gallery, and finally get engrossed in the history at E Hayes and Sons - The World's Fastest Indian.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Invercargill day trip website .

Explore your travel options from Te Anau to Invercargill with the Route module. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Tue) so you can travel to Dunedin.

Things to do in Invercargill

Museums Shopping
Find places to stay Jan 21 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Bill Richardson Transport World ©
Bill Richardson Transport World
Southland Museum and Art Gallery ©
Southland Museum and Art Gallery

2
nights
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.
On the 23rd (Wed), steep yourself in history at Olveston Historic Home, get a new perspective on nature at Otago Museum, then tour in style with a train tour, then examine the collection at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, and finally hike along Tunnel Beach Track. On your second day here, surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour.

To see maps, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Dunedin visit planner.

Traveling by car from Invercargill to Dunedin takes 3 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Thu) early enough to drive to Akaroa.

Things to do in Dunedin

Tours Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay Jan 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Otago Museum ©
Otago Museum
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum ©
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum

1
day
Akaroa

Akaroa ©
The French heritage and colonial architecture of Akaroa has broad appeal to anthropologists, historians, architects--and just about anyone with an eye for beautiful, historical buildings and a palate for fine dining.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Fri): take in the architecture and atmosphere at Saint Peter's Anglican Church, make a trip to The Giant's House, view the masterpieces at Lava gallery, then see the top attractions with Sightseeing Tours, and finally get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To find where to stay, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Akaroa trip planner .

You can drive from Dunedin to Akaroa in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of train, bus, and taxi. January in Akaroa sees daily highs of 25°C and lows of 13°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Fri) early enough to travel to Kaitaia.

Things to do in Akaroa

Tours Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay Jan 24 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
The Giant's House ©
The Giant's House
Swim with Dolphins
Dolphin & Whale Watching

1
night
Kaitaia

Kaitaia ©
Kaitaia is a town in the Far North District of New Zealand, at the base of the Aupouri Peninsula, about 160 km northwest of Whangarei. Start off your visit on the 26th (Sat): take a stroll around Te Ahu Center, stop by Kotare Krafts, then kick back and relax at Rarawa Beach, then enjoy the sand and surf at Ninety Mile Beach, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Tapotupotu Beach. On your second day here, view the masterpieces at Village Arts Gallery, take in the exciting artwork at Exhibit A Gallery, kick back and relax at Coopers Beach, then kick back and relax at Taipa Beach, and finally browse the exhibits of Taute Gallery.

For other places to visit, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Kaitaia trip itinerary website .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Akaroa to Kaitaia. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Kaitaia

Beaches Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Mangonui, Taipa, Tapotupotu Beach, Village Arts Gallery
Find places to stay Jan 26 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Ninety Mile Beach ©
Ninety Mile Beach
Rarawa Beach ©
Rarawa Beach
Kotare Krafts ©
Kotare Krafts

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