19 days in New Zealand & Sydney Itinerary

19 days in New Zealand & Sydney Itinerary

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Route & dates

19 days in New Zealand & Sydney Itinerary

Start: Madison, United States
bus + Fly:  22​h 30​min
1
Auckland, New Zealand
— 2 nights
2
Waitomo Caves, New Zealand
— 1 day
Drive:  2​h
3
Rotorua, New Zealand
— 2 nights
Fly:  2​h
4
Christchurch, New Zealand
— Few hours
Drive:  3​h
5
Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h
6
Mt. Cook Village, New Zealand
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
7
Queenstown, New Zealand
— 2 nights
bus:  3​h 30​min
8
Te Anau, New Zealand
— 1 night
bus:  3​h 30​min
9
Queenstown, New Zealand
— 2 nights
Fly:  6​h
10
Sydney, Australia
— 5 nights
Fly:  9​h
End: Madison, United States

2
nights
Auckland, New Zealand

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.
You've added Queen Street, Mount Eden, Queens Wharf, and other attractions to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 12th (Sun): explore the activities along Devonport, then snap pictures at Auckland Harbour Bridge, then make a trip to Queen Street, and finally step off the mainland to explore Waiheke Island. Keep things going the next day: explore and take pictures at Viaduct Harbour, get impressive views of Rangitoto Island, enjoy breathtaking views from Sky Tower, then contemplate the geological forces at Mount Eden, and finally take a stroll through Queens Wharf.

Before you visit Auckland, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

Madison, USA to Auckland is an approximately 24-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time to New Zealand Standard Time is 18 hours. Plan for much warmer temperatures traveling from Madison in January, with highs in Auckland at 66°F and lows at 66°F. You will have some time to spend on the 14th (Tue) before leaving for Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Nature Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Devonport ©
Devonport
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Rangitoto Island ©
Rangitoto Island

1
day
Waitomo Caves, New Zealand

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.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Tue): Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves and then make a trip to Hobbiton Movie Set.

For ratings, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, read our Waitomo Caves trip maker app .

You can drive from Auckland to Waitomo Caves in 3 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a train. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Tue) so you can go by car to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Nature Parks

Side Trip

Hobbiton Movie Set
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Hobbiton Movie Set ©
Hobbiton Movie Set

2
nights
Rotorua, New Zealand

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 Redwoods Treewalk as well as Tamaki Maori Village. On the 14th (Tue), look for all kinds of wild species at Redwoods Treewalk.

For more things to do, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Rotorua trip itinerary app .

You can drive from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In January, daily temperatures in Rotorua can reach 74°F, while at night they dip to 61°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Nature Nightlife
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Te Puia ©
Te Puia
Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest ©
Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest

few
hours
Christchurch, New Zealand

Christchurch ©
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
You've now added Arthur's Pass National Park Visitor Centre to your itinerary. On the 16th (Thu), get answers to all your questions at Arthur's Pass National Park Visitor Centre.

To find ratings, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Christchurch trip planning website .

Traveling by flight from Rotorua to Christchurch takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of car and ferry. Plan for little chillier nights when traveling from Rotorua in January since evenings lows in Christchurch dip to 53°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) so you can drive to Lake Tekapo.
Find places to stay Jan 16 — 17:
Highlights from your plan

1
night
Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

Lake Tekapo
Located in a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo offers evenings of stargazing and days of long walks.
Start off your visit on the 17th (Fri): contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Tekapo.

To find other places to visit, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Lake Tekapo trip builder website .

Traveling by car from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. You will have some time to spend on the 17th (Fri) before leaving for Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Nature Parks
Find places to stay Jan 16 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo

1
night
Mt. Cook Village, New Zealand

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Lindis Pass, New Zealand Alpine Lavender Farm and Lake Pukaki. On the 17th (Fri), take a memorable drive along Lindis Pass, head outdoors with Aoraki/Mt. Cook, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Pukaki, then experience rural life at New Zealand Alpine Lavender Farm, then hike along Hooker Valley Track, and finally stroll through Roys Peak Track.

To find traveler tips, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Mt. Cook Village online holiday planner .

Traveling by car from Lake Tekapo to Mt. Cook Village takes an hour. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Sat) early enough to travel to Queenstown.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Wanaka, Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), New Zealand Alpine Lavender Farm, Lindis Pass, Lake Pukaki
Find places to stay Jan 17 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Lake Wanaka ©
Lake Wanaka

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.
Your list of things to see and do now includes Queenstown Hill, Glenorchy-Queenstown Road, Kawarau River, and other attractions. On the 18th (Sat), get your game on at Skyline Queenstown and then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Wakatipu. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 19th (Sun): take a memorable tour with Tours, then explore the activities along Kawarau River, and then take in nature's colorful creations at Queenstown Garden.

For other places to visit, maps, reviews, and tourist information, read our Queenstown trip itinerary builder app .

You can drive from Mt. Cook Village to Queenstown in 3 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 20th (Mon) to allow time for the bus ride to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trip

Kawarau River
Find places to stay Jan 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Speed Boats Tours
Lake Wakatipu
Lake Wakatipu

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Te Anau Glowworm Caves, Homer Tunnel and Milford Sound. On the 20th (Mon), explore the fascinating underground world of Te Anau Glowworm Caves and then don't miss a visit to Homer Tunnel.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, use the Te Anau online trip maker .

Getting from Queenstown to Te Anau by bus takes about 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Tue) to allow time to take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Nature Parks

Side Trip

Homer Tunnel
Find places to stay Jan 20 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Te Anau Glowworm Caves ©
Te Anau Glowworm Caves
Homer Tunnel ©
Homer Tunnel

2
nights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown ©
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Wed): view the masterpieces at Silver Fern Gallery and then have some family-friendly fun at Dark Ride.

For traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, read our Queenstown tour planner.

You can take a bus from Te Anau to Queenstown in 3.5 hours. On the 23rd (Thu), you'll travel to Sydney.

Things to do in Queenstown

Shopping Museums Fun & Games
Find places to stay Jan 21 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Silver Fern Gallery ©
Silver Fern Gallery

5
nights
Sydney, Australia

Sydney ©
Lent iconic status as a result of its famous bridge and opera house, Sydney has a down-to-earth charm that enhances its spectacular setting and functional efficiency.
Blue Mountains has been added to your itinerary. There's much more to do: catch a live performance at Sydney Opera House, explore the world behind art at Art Gallery of New South Wales, take in nature's colorful creations at Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, and stroll through Manly Beach.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, use the Sydney attractions planner.

You can fly from Queenstown to Sydney in 6 hours. The time zone difference moving from New Zealand Standard Time (NZST) to Australian Eastern Standard Time (New South Wales) (AEST) is minus 2 hours. In January, daily temperatures in Sydney can reach 82°F, while at night they dip to 68°F. You will leave for home on the 28th (Tue).

Things to do in Sydney

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trip

Blue Mountains
Find places to stay Jan 23 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Sydney Opera House ©
Sydney Opera House
Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk ©
Sydney Harbour Bridge ©
Sydney Harbour Bridge

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