18 days in New Zealand Itinerary

18 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Brisbane
Fly:  4​h
1
Auckland
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
2
Rotorua
— 3 nights
bus:  1​h
3
Taupo
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
4
Whakapapa
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
5
Wellington
— 1 night
Fly + Drive:  6​h 15​min
6
Mt. Cook Village
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h 15​min
7
Te Anau
— 2 nights
bus:  3​h 15​min
8
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Fly:  6​h 30​min
End: Brisbane

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.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Fri): make a trip to SkyTower.

Plan trip to Auckland with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

Brisbane, Australia to Auckland is an approximately 7-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of train, bus, and flight. The time zone difference moving from Australian Eastern Standard Time (Queensland) (AEST) to New Zealand Standard Time (NZST) is 2 hours. Traveling from Brisbane in July, expect nights in Auckland to be about the same, around 13°C, while days are slightly colder, around 13°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sat) so you can go by car to Rotorua.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Museums
Find places to stay Jul 24 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Auckland War Memorial Museum ©
Auckland War Memorial Museum
Auckland Zoo ©
Auckland Zoo

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.
Step out of Rotorua with an excursion to Hobbiton Movie Set in Hinuera--about 1h 20 min away. The adventure continues: take a memorable tour with Tours, delve into the lush surroundings at Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest, take in the natural beauty of Te Puia, and get your game on at OGO Rotorua.

For reviews, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Rotorua day trip planning site .

Drive from Auckland to Rotorua in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. Traveling from Auckland in July, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be little chillier in Rotorua, with lows of 7°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Tue) so you can take a bus to Taupo.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Hobbiton Movie Set
Find places to stay Jul 25 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Hobbiton Movie Set ©
Hobbiton Movie Set
Zipline
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

2
nights
Taupo

The resort town of Taupo lies on the banks of Lake Taupo, the largest body of water in the whole of Australasia.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Wed): explore the striking landscape at Craters of the Moon, find something for the whole family at Huka Prawn Park, then get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, and finally admire the sheer force of Huka Falls Walkway. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: make a splash at Taupo DeBretts Spa Resort, then stop by Huka Honey Hive, then don't miss a visit to Aratiatia Rapids, and finally shop like a local with Lava Glass.

For ratings, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Taupo trip site .

Getting from Rotorua to Taupo by bus takes about an hour. Other options: drive. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Thu) so you can go by car to Whakapapa.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks Nature Theme Parks
Find places to stay Jul 28 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway
Huka Prawn Park ©
Huka Prawn Park

3
nights
Whakapapa

Whakapapa ©
Whakapapa is known for winter sports, nature, trails, and outdoors. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: trek along Horsemtrails, stroll through Whakapapa Nature Walk, go for a walk through Mead's Wall, and take in the dramatic scenery at Tawhai Falls.

To see other places to visit, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Whakapapa route builder app .

Traveling by car from Taupo to Whakapapa takes 1.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sun) early enough to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Whakapapa

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trip

Tongariro National Park
Find places to stay Jul 30 — Aug 2:
Highlights from your plan
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Horsemtrails ©
Horsemtrails
Tama Lakes ©
Tama Lakes

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 3rd (Mon): take an in-depth tour of The Great War Exhibition, then get great views at Wellington Cable Car, and then see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

To find ratings, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Wellington road trip planner.

Traveling by car from Whakapapa to Wellington takes 4.5 hours. August in Wellington sees daily highs of 15°C and lows of 9°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums Historic Sites Transportation
Find places to stay Aug 2 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
The Great War Exhibition ©
The Great War Exhibition
Wellington Cable Car ©
Wellington Cable Car

2
nights
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Tue): trek along Red Tarns Track, then get outside with Aoraki/Mt. Cook, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Hooker Valley Track. On your second day here, tour the pleasant surroundings at Governors Bush Walk, look and learn at Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, then trek along Glencoe Walk, and finally contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Tekapo.

To see other places to visit, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Mt. Cook Village route planner .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Wellington to Mt. Cook Village. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Wed) early enough to travel to Te Anau.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Lake Tekapo
Find places to stay Aug 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo

2
nights
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 6th (Thu), tour the pleasant surroundings at Gertrude Saddle and then explore the activities along Milford Sound. Keep things going the next day: explore the activities along Te Anau Glowworm Caves and then explore the activities along Doubtful Sound.

To see ratings, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Te Anau trip planner .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Mt. Cook Village to Te Anau. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Fri) early enough to catcht the bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay Aug 5 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound
Gertrude Saddle ©
Gertrude Saddle

3
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.
Queenstown is known for fun & games, adventure, wildlife, nature, and spas. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown, hit the slopes at Coronet Peak, identify plant and animal life at Kiwi Birdlife Park, and take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at The Remarkables Ski Area.

To find photos, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Queenstown trip itinerary website .

Traveling by bus from Te Anau to Queenstown takes 3.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Parks Winter Sports
Find places to stay Aug 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
The Remarkables Ski Area ©
The Remarkables Ski Area
Coronet Peak ©
Coronet Peak

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