16 days in New Zealand Itinerary

16 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

16 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Boston
Fly:  21​h 30​min
1
Auckland
— 1 night
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:  1​h
7
Nelson
— Few hours
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. Kick off your visit on the 1st (Sun): get impressive views of Mount Eden and then get impressive views of Rangitoto Island.

To find maps, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Auckland day trip planning site .

Boston, USA to Auckland is an approximately 23.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of flight, bus, and train. Traveling from Boston to Auckland, you'll lose 17 hours due to the time zone difference. Plan for much warmer temperatures traveling from Boston in December, with highs in Auckland at 64°F and lows at 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

Parks Nature
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Hobbiton Movie Set. Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Mon): don't miss a visit to Hobbiton Movie Set.

For more things to do, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Hinuera trip planner .

Getting from Auckland to Hinuera by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: fly; or take a bus. While traveling from Auckland, expect a bit warmer days and little chillier nights in Hinuera, ranging from highs of 71°F to lows of 59°F. 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 The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co., Waitomo Glowworm Caves and Marokopa Falls Walk. Start off your visit on the 2nd (Mon): explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, then snap pictures at Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk, and then take in the dramatic scenery at Marokopa Falls Walk.

For reviews, maps, photos, and tourist information, go to the Waitomo Caves trip itinerary maker tool .

You can drive from Hinuera to Waitomo Caves in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Tue) to allow 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. ©
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 find photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Rotorua journey builder website .

You can drive from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In December, daily temperatures in Rotorua can reach 71°F, while at night they dip to 59°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Whakapapa.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Nature 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
Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest ©
Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest

2
nights
Whakapapa

Whakapapa ©
To see ratings, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Whakapapa travel planner.

Drive from Rotorua to Whakapapa in 2.5 hours. You'll have a few hours on the 6th (Fri) to wrap things up before traveling to Wellington.

Things to do in Whakapapa

Trails Parks Outdoors

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.
You've now added Pinnacles Track to your itinerary. Start off your visit on the 6th (Fri): take in the dramatic natural features at Pinnacles Track.

For other places to visit, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Wellington trip planning app .

Traveling by car from Whakapapa to Wellington takes 4.5 hours. In December in Wellington, expect temperatures between 67°F during the day and 56°F at night. You will have some time to spend on the 7th (Sat) before leaving for Nelson.

Things to do in Wellington

Trails Parks Outdoors
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Jens Hansen Gold and Silversmith. Start off your visit on the 7th (Sat): look for gifts at Jens Hansen Gold and Silversmith and then examine the collection at World of WearableArt & Classic Car Museum.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Nelson holiday planning tool .

You can fly from Wellington to Nelson in 2.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of ferry and car. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 7th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Nelson

Museums Shopping
Find places to stay Dec 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Jens Hansen Gold and Silversmith ©
Jens Hansen Gold and Silversmith

2
nights
Wellington

Wellington ©
You've now added Rover Rings to your itinerary. On the 7th (Sat), catch a ride on Wellington Cable Car. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: squeeze the most out of the city with Rover Rings.

To see more things to do, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Wellington holiday planner .

Getting from Nelson to Wellington by flight takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of car and ferry. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Mon) early enough to travel to Te Anau.

Things to do in Wellington

Tours Transportation Historic Sites
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), contemplate the waterfront views at Mavora Lakes Park.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Te Anau trip maker tool .

Getting from Wellington to Te Anau by combination of flight and bus takes about 7 hours. Other options: ride a ferry; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Tue) so you can take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Tours Outdoors Parks

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes GForce Paragliding, Amisfield Winery, Kawarau River, and other attractions you added. There's more to do: relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas and have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown.

To find traveler tips, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Queenstown tour itinerary planning app .

Traveling by bus from Te Anau to Queenstown takes 3.5 hours. You'll have a few hours on the 14th (Sat) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours Outdoors Adventure

Side Trips

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

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