12 days in New Zealand Itinerary

12 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand journey builder

This plan was created by another user. Make it your plan

Route & dates

Start: Melbourne
Fly:  8 h 30 min
1
Paihia
— 2 nights
Taxi + Fly:  4 h 15 min
2
Rotorua
— 3 nights
Drive:  2 h
3
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
+2
Fly + Foot + Bus:  8 h 45 min
4
Fox Glacier
— 1 day
Bus:  4 h 45 min
5
Wanaka
— 2 nights
Bus:  2 h 30 min
6
Queenstown
— 2 nights
Fly:  6 h
End: Melbourne

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.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Sat): relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, get great views at Opua Forest Lookout Track, then fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour, and finally identify plant and animal life at Paihia Harbour. Keep things going the next day: identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas, then take in nature's colorful creations at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, and then steep yourself in history at Waitangi National Trust & Treaty House.

For reviews, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Paihia road trip planning website.

Melbourne, Australia to Paihia is an approximately 8.5- hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight, shuttle, and bus. The time zone changes from Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) to New Zealand Standard Time (NZST), which is usually a 2 hour difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sun) so you can travel to Rotorua.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife Parks Historic Sites

Side Trip

Waitangi National Trust & Treaty House
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Spas
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour
Nature & Wildlife Tours

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.
Get in touch with nature at Zipline and Mt Maunganui Main Beach. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Redwoods Treewalk and Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park. Get out of town with these interesting Rotorua side-trips: Papamoa Beach (in Papamoa) and Mount Maunganui Base Track (in Mount Maunganui). The adventure continues: learn about winemaking at Volcanic Hills Winery, stop by Eat Street, take in the natural beauty of Kuirau Park, and trek along Okere Falls Track.

For reviews, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, go to the Rotorua road trip planning app.

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Paihia to Rotorua takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 27°C in January, and nighttime lows around 19°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Wed) so you can go by car to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Tauranga, Papamoa Beach, Okere Falls Track
Find places to stay Jan 17 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Eat Street ©
Eat Street
Mt Maunganui Main Beach ©
Mt Maunganui Main Beach
Papamoa Beach ©
Papamoa Beach

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.
On the 21st (Thu), Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves, explore the fascinating underground world of Footwhistle Glowworm Cave, then Head underground at Ruakuri Cave, and finally get interesting insight from Tours.

To find photos, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Waitomo Caves driving holiday planner.

You can drive from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Thu) to allow time to travel to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Nature Parks Tours
Find places to stay Jan 20 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Ruakuri Cave
Ruakuri Cave
River Rafting & Tubing

1
day
Fox Glacier

A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Fri): hike along Fox Glacier Hiking Trails, stroll through Minnehaha Walk, steep yourself in history at River Walk, then hike along Fox Glacier South Side Walk, and finally take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour.

Plan a trip to Fox Glacier easily and quickly by telling Inspirock to suggest an itinerary.

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Waitomo Caves to Fox Glacier takes 9 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Fri) early enough to take a bus to Wanaka.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Trails Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Jan 21 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Helicopter Tours
Fox Glacier South Side Walk ©
Fox Glacier South Side Walk
Fox Glacier Hiking Trails ©
Fox Glacier Hiking Trails

2
nights
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.
On the 23rd (Sat), look for gifts at Outside Sports Wanaka, see the interesting displays at The World of Deer Museum & Speciality Shop, then do a tasting at Aitken's Folly Vineyard, then head outdoors with Oxbow The Adventure Co., and finally look for all kinds of wild species at Roys Bay Recreational Reserve. On your second day here, view the masterpieces at Wanaka Fine Art Gallery, explore the activities along Lake Wanaka, then learn about winemaking at Rippon Vineyard, and finally get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To find maps, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Wanaka tour itinerary maker site.

Traveling by bus from Fox Glacier to Wanaka takes 5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Sun) early enough to take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors Wildlife Parks
Find places to stay Jan 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Fishing Charters & Tours
Rippon Vineyard ©
Rippon Vineyard
Lake Wanaka ©
Lake Wanaka

2
nights
Queenstown

Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Start off your visit on the 25th (Mon): get interesting insight from Tours, identify plant and animal life at Kiwi Birdlife Park, then hike along Ben Lomond Track, and finally indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the landscape on two wheels at Lake Hayes Walkway, do a tasting at Mt Rosa Wines, do a tasting at Brennan Wines, then learn about winemaking at Mt Difficulty Wines Cellar Door, then do a tasting at Wooing Tree Vineyard, and finally steep yourself in history at Kawarau Suspension Bridge.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Queenstown day trip planning app.

You can take a bus from Wanaka to Queenstown in 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Tue) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Cromwell, Lake Hayes Walkway, Kawarau Suspension Bridge
Find places to stay Jan 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Boat Tours & Water Sports
Lake Hayes Walkway ©
Lake Hayes Walkway
Ben Lomond Track ©
Ben Lomond Track

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