12 days in New Zealand & Brisbane Itinerary

12 days in New Zealand & Brisbane Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in New Zealand & Brisbane Itinerary

Start: Mackay, Australia
Fly:  1​h 30​min
1
Brisbane, Australia
— Few hours
Fly:  3​h 30​min
2
Queenstown, New Zealand
— 2 nights
drive:  3​h 30​min
3
Te Anau, New Zealand
— 1 night
drive:  3​h 30​min
4
Invercargill, New Zealand
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
5
Dunedin, New Zealand
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
6
Christchurch, New Zealand
— 3 nights
Fly:  4​h
7
Brisbane, Australia
— 1 night
Fly:  2​h
End: Mackay, Australia

few
hours
Brisbane, Australia

Brisbane
Queensland’s biggest town and state capital, Brisbane has an attractive, manicured image based around its riverside aesthetic as well as the contrast between its high-rise center and extensive urban greenery.
To see other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, use the Brisbane planning tool .

Mackay to Brisbane is an approximately 4-hour flight. You can also drive. Prepare for slightly colder weather when traveling from Mackay in December: high temperatures in Brisbane hover around 32°C and lows are around 23°C. You will leave for Queenstown on the 19th (Thu).

Things to do in Brisbane

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 20:

2
nights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown ©
Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
On your second day here, have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

To find more things to do, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Queenstown trip planner .

Getting from Brisbane to Queenstown by flight takes about 6.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and flight. The time zone changes from Australian Eastern Standard Time (Queensland) (AEST) to New Zealand Standard Time (NZST), which is usually a 2 hour difference. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 21st (Sat) to allow time for the bus ride to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Fun & Games Spas Shopping
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Spas
Fear Factory Queenstown ©
Fear Factory Queenstown

1
night
Te Anau, New Zealand

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.
To find photos, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Te Anau trip planning site .

Take a bus from Queenstown to Te Anau in 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 22nd (Sun) to allow enough time to take a bus to Invercargill.

Things to do in Te Anau

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 22:

1
night
Invercargill, New Zealand

Invercargill
Invercargill is the southernmost and westernmost city in New Zealand, and one of the southernmost cities in the world. To see where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, read our Invercargill trip website .

Traveling by bus from Te Anau to Invercargill takes 4 hours. You'll have a few hours on the 23rd (Mon) to wrap things up before traveling to Dunedin.

Things to do in Invercargill

Outdoors Parks Tours
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 23:

3
nights
Dunedin, New Zealand

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.
Change things up with a short trip to Moeraki Boulders Beach in Oamaru (about 1h 30 min away). And it doesn't end there: see the interesting displays at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, get great views at Flagstaff lookout and Hotere Garden, tour in style with a train tour, and explore the striking landscape at Otago Peninsula.

To see ratings, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Dunedin driving holiday planner .

You can drive from Invercargill to Dunedin in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. On the 26th (Thu), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Christchurch.

Things to do in Dunedin

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trip

Moeraki Boulders Beach
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
The Royal Albatross Centre ©
The Royal Albatross Centre
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum ©
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum
Larnach Castle & Gardens ©
Larnach Castle & Gardens

3
nights
Christchurch, New Zealand

Christchurch ©
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Step out of Christchurch with an excursion to Dolphin & Whale Watching in Akaroa--about 1h 25 min away. And it doesn't end there: walk around Christchurch Botanic Gardens, don't miss a visit to Diminish and Ascend, see the interesting displays at International Antarctic Centre, and let the kids burn off some steam at Margaret Mahy Family Playground.

To see photos, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Christchurch day trip app .

Getting from Dunedin to Christchurch by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: fly; or take a bus. December in Christchurch sees daily highs of 24°C and lows of 12°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Brisbane.

Things to do in Christchurch

Tours Transportation Museums

Side Trip

Dolphin & Whale Watching
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Christchurch Botanic Gardens ©
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
TranzAlpine Train ©
TranzAlpine Train
Dolphin & Whale Watching

1
night
Brisbane, Australia

Brisbane
To find photos, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Brisbane trip itinerary site .

You can fly from Christchurch to Brisbane in 7 hours. Another option is to do a combination of flight and bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Christchurch to Brisbane is minus 2 hours. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Christchurch in December, with highs in Brisbane at 32°C and lows at 23°C. You'll have a few hours on the 30th (Mon) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in Brisbane

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 30:

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