19 days in New Zealand & Sydney Itinerary

19 days in New Zealand & Sydney Itinerary

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Route & dates

Start: Madison, United States
Bus + Fly:  22 h 30 min
1
Auckland, New Zealand
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h 30 min
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Queen Street, Mount Eden, Queens Wharf, and other attractions you added. Kick off your visit on the 12th (Sun): get a taste of the local shopping with Devonport, take in the views from Auckland Harbour Bridge, then don't miss a visit to Queen Street, and finally step off the mainland to explore Waiheke Island. Here are some ideas for day two: go for a stroll along the water at Viaduct Harbour, contemplate the geological forces at Rangitoto Island, enjoy breathtaking views from SkyTower, then get impressive views of Mount Eden, and finally take a stroll through Queens Wharf.

To see maps, photos, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Auckland road trip planner.

Madison, USA to Auckland is an approximately 22.5- hour combination of bus and flight. You can also fly; or do a combination of car and flight. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time to New Zealand Standard Time, which is usually a 18 hour difference. Traveling from Madison in January, expect Auckland to be warmer, temps between 66°F and 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
Waiheke Island
Waiheke Island
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Mount Eden ©
Mount Eden

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.
Kick off your visit on the 14th (Tue): Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves and then don't miss a visit to Hobbiton Movie Set.

To see more things to do, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Waitomo Caves holiday planner.

You can drive from Auckland to Waitomo Caves in 3 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks Nature

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, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, use the Rotorua online trip planner.

Traveling by car from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In January, daytime highs in Rotorua are 74°F, while nighttime lows are 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 Historic Sites
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. Kick off your visit on the 16th (Thu): get all the information you need at Arthur's Pass National Park Visitor Centre.

For other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Christchurch road trip website.

Getting from Rotorua to Christchurch by flight takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of car and ferry. Traveling from Rotorua in January, Christchurch is slightly colder at night with lows of 53°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Lake Tekapo.
Find places to stay Jan 16 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Arthur's Pass National Park Visitor Centre ©
Arthur's Pass National Park Visitor Centre

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.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Fri): explore the activities along Lake Tekapo.

To find maps, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Lake Tekapo online trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo in 3 hours. Another option is to 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

Parks Nature
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), cruise along Lindis Pass, head outdoors with Aoraki/Mt. Cook, explore the activities along Lake Pukaki, relax in the rural setting at New Zealand Alpine Lavender Farm, then stroll through Hooker Valley Track, and finally hike along Roys Peak Track.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, use the Mt. Cook Village route planning site.

Drive from Lake Tekapo to Mt. Cook Village in an hour. Wrap up 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), Lake Pukaki, New Zealand Alpine Lavender Farm, Lindis Pass
Find places to stay Jan 17 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook
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.
You've added Queenstown Hill, Glenorchy-Queenstown Road, Kawarau River, and other attractions to your itinerary. On the 18th (Sat), have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown and then explore the activities along Lake Wakatipu. On your second day here, get some thrills on the water with a speed boat tour, then explore the activities along Kawarau River, and then admire the natural beauty at Queenstown Gardens.

To find photos, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Queenstown travel route planning website.

Getting from Mt. Cook Village to Queenstown by car takes about 3 hours. On the 20th (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Parks Nature

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. Kick off your visit on the 20th (Mon): explore the activities along Te Anau Glowworm Caves and then don't miss a visit to Homer Tunnel.

For where to stay, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Te Anau road trip planning tool.

You can take a bus from Queenstown to Te Anau in 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Tue) early enough to take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature

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 ©
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Wed): explore the galleries of Silver Fern Gallery and then get your game on at Dark Ride.

To see maps, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Queenstown sightseeing planner.

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

Things to do in Queenstown

Museums Fun & Games Shopping
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. And it doesn't end there: snap pictures at Sydney Harbour Bridge, see the interesting displays at Australian National Maritime Museum, take a stroll through Darling Harbour, and stroll through Bondi to Coogee Walk.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Sydney journey planner.

Traveling by flight from Queenstown to Sydney takes 6 hours. You'll gain 2 hours traveling from Queenstown to Sydney due to the time zone difference. In January, daytime highs in Sydney are 82°F, while nighttime lows are 68°F. You will leave for home on the 28th (Tue).

Things to do in Sydney

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

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

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