18 days in North Island & South Island Itinerary

18 days in North Island & South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand sightseeing planner

Plan created by another user. Make it yours
1
Auckland
— 1 day
2
Paihia
— 1 night
3
Te Anau
— 3 nights
4
Queenstown
— 3 nights
5
Wellington
— 1 night
6
Tongariro National Park
— 3 nights
7
Taupo
— 2 nights
8
Rotorua
— 2 nights
9
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights

S M T W T F S
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19

1
day
Auckland

Auckland ©

City of Sails

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.
On the 26th (Thu), indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area, learn about all things military at Auckland Museum, and then make a trip to SkyTower.

To see other places to visit, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Auckland online vacation planner.

New Plymouth to Auckland is an approximately 3-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. In November in Auckland, expect temperatures between 20°C during the day and 20°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Thu) early enough to drive to Paihia.

Things to do in Auckland

Museums · Wineries · Tours
Find places to stay Nov 26 — 27:
Highlights from your trip
©
Must see
SkyTower
4.4
©
Military Museum
Auckland Museum
4.6

1
night
Paihia

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.
On the 27th (Fri), look for all kinds of wild species at Paihia Harbour and then steep yourself in history at Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

To see other places to visit, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, read our Paihia tour planner.

Traveling by car from Auckland to Paihia takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Te Anau.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks · Historic Sites · Wildlife
Find places to stay Nov 26 — 27:
Highlights from your trip
©
Historic Site
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
4.6
©
Wildlife Area
Paihia Harbour
4.6

3
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.
Change things up with a short trip to Boat Tours & Water Sports in Milford Sound (about 1 hour away). On the 29th (Sun), hike the day away at Hollyford Track. Spend the 30th (Mon) exploring at Doubtful Sound. Next up on the itinerary: explore the activities along Milford Sound.

For ratings, photos, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Te Anau online road trip planner.

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Paihia to Te Anau takes 8.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) to allow time to take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Side Trips

Find places to stay Nov 27 — 30:
Highlights from your trip
©
Must see
Hollyford Track
5.0
©
Water Body
Milford Sound
4.8
©
Water Body
Doubtful Sound
4.7

3
nights
Queenstown

Queenstown ©

Shallow Bay

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, and wildlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, admire the natural beauty at Queenstown Gardens, look for all kinds of wild species at Kiwi Birdlife Park, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

For more things to do, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Queenstown online visit planner.

You can take a bus from Te Anau to Queenstown in 4 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Thu) early enough to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours · Outdoors · Breweries & Distilleries · Parks
Find places to stay Nov 30 — Dec 3:
Highlights from your trip
©
Adrenaline / Extreme Tour
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
4.8
©
Spa
Spas
4.5

1
night
Wellington

Wellington

Harbour Capital

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.
On the 4th (Fri), take some stellar pictures from Mount Victoria, see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, then go from sight to sight with Wellington Cable Car, and finally admire the natural beauty at Wellington Botanic Garden.

For traveler tips, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Wellington trip planning app.

You can fly from Queenstown to Wellington in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus, train, and ferry. In December, plan for daily highs up to 22°C, and evening lows to 15°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Fri) so you can travel to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums · Parks · Historic Sites · Transportation

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 3 — 4:
Highlights from your trip

3
nights
Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park ©
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
On the 5th (Sat), hike the day away at Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Spend the 6th (Sun) exploring nature at Active Outdoor Adventures. And it doesn't end there: explore the activities along Tama Lakes, take in the dramatic scenery at Tawhai Falls, trek along Whakapapa Nature Walk, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Taranaki Falls.

For traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, use the Tongariro National Park day trip planning website.

Traveling by flight from Wellington to Tongariro National Park takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Mon) early enough to drive to Taupo.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Parks · Trails · Outdoors · Nature
Find places to stay Dec 4 — 7:
Highlights from your trip
©
Water Body
Tama Lakes
4.9
©
Waterfall
Taranaki Falls
4.7

2
nights
Taupo

Great Cloak of Tia

The resort town of Taupo lies on the banks of Lake Taupo, the largest body of water in the whole of Australasia.
On the 8th (Tue), look for gifts at Souvenir Outlet, then push the limits with an extreme tour, then make a trip to Maori Rock Carvings, and finally trek along Huka Falls Walkway. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 9th (Wed): don't miss a visit to Aratiatia Rapids, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and then witness a stunning natural landmark at Spa Thermal Park and Riverbank Recreational and Scenic Reserve.

To see maps, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Taupo sightseeing planning website.

You can drive from Tongariro National Park to Taupo in 2 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Rotorua.

Things to do in Taupo

Outdoors · Tours · Nature · Parks
Find places to stay Dec 7 — 9:
Highlights from your trip
Waterfall
Huka Falls Walkway
4.7

2
nights
Rotorua

Sulphur City

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 10th (Thu), let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, then trot along with a tour on horseback, and then get interesting insight from Tours. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: steep yourself in history at Te Puia, then take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, then look for all kinds of wild species at Redwoods Treewalk, and finally delve into the lush surroundings at Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest.

To see photos, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Rotorua trip maker site.

You can drive from Taupo to Rotorua in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 25°C, and evening lows to 17°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Fri) so you can go by car to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Rotorua

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Nature

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 9 — 11:
Highlights from your trip
©
Must see
Zipline
4.7

2
nights
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.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Sat): hike along Ruakuri Walk, explore the fascinating underground world of Ruakuri Cave, then Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves, and finally scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour. Keep things going the next day: take in the views from Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk, then head outdoors with Waitomo Clay Birds, then Head underground at Aranui Cave, and finally let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

To see reviews, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, read Waitomo Caves road trip planning app.

Getting from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Sun) to allow time to drive back home.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Nature

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 11 — 13:
Highlights from your trip
©
River Rafting / Tubing
River Rafting & Tubing
4.6

Similar trips

21 days in North Island BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular sights Preferences: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 60 days in North Island BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems Preferences: February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Slow & easy 20 days in South Island BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND November, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular sights Preferences: November, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 21 days in South Island BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND January, outdoors, beaches, wildlife, hidden gems Preferences: January, outdoors, beaches, wildlife Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Medium 32 days in North Island BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife, hidden gems Preferences: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Medium 16 days in North Island BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife, hidden gems Preferences: November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Medium 60 days in North Island BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife, extra slow, hidden gems Preferences: October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Extra slow 17 days in South Island BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND November, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems Preferences: November, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, museums, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 34 days in North Island BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife, hidden gems Preferences: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Medium 34 days in North Island BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife, hidden gems Preferences: November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Medium 17 days in South Island BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND October, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, wildlife, slow & easy, popular sights Preferences: October, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, wildlife Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Slow & easy 17 days in North Island BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND November, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife, hidden gems Preferences: November, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Medium
See more trips