8 days in New Zealand & North Island Itinerary

8 days in New Zealand & North Island Itinerary

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Route & dates

8 days in New Zealand & North Island Itinerary

Start: Melbourne
Fly:  6​h
1
Queenstown
— 2 nights
+2
Fly + Bus + Train:  7​h
2
Kaikoura
— 1 day
Bus + Fly:  8​h 45​min
3
Waitomo Caves
— 1 day
Drive:  2​h
4
Rotorua
— 3 nights
Fly:  8​h 30​min
End: Melbourne

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Sat): learn about winemaking at Chard Farm Winery. Here are some ideas for day two: hike along Queenstown Hill, then take the plunge with a skydiving experience, then view the masterpieces at Silver Fern Gallery, and finally get your game on at Dark Ride.

To see reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Queenstown trip itinerary maker tool .

Melbourne, Australia to Queenstown is an approximately 6-hour flight. You'll lose 2 hours traveling from Melbourne to Queenstown due to the time zone difference. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Mon) so you can travel to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Parks Nature

Side Trip

Wanaka
Find places to stay Jul 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Queenstown Hill ©
Queenstown Hill
Wanaka ©
Wanaka
Skydiving

1
day
Kaikoura

Kaikoura ©
Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
On the 9th (Tue), get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway, then hike along Ohau Stream Walk, and finally make a trip to Ohau Point Seal Colony.

For traveler tips, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Kaikoura trip maker website .

Traveling by combination of flight, bus, and train from Queenstown to Kaikoura takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and train; or drive. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Tue) early enough to travel to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Outdoors Trails Parks
Find places to stay Jul 8 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Ohau Stream Walk ©
Ohau Stream Walk
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway ©
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway
Dolphin & Whale Watching

1
day
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.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Wed): snap pictures at Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk, trek along Ruakuri Walk, then Head underground at Ruakuri Cave, then explore the fascinating underground world of Caveworld, and finally explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves.

To see maps, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Waitomo Caves itinerary planner.

You can do a combination of train, bus, and flight from Kaikoura to Waitomo Caves in 9 hours. Other options are to do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of train, bus, and flight. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Wed) early enough to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay Jul 9 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Ruakuri Cave
Ruakuri Cave
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk
Caveworld ©
Caveworld

3
nights
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Mount Maunganui Base Track and River Rafting & Tubing. Escape the urban bustle at Waikite Valley Thermal Pools and Blue Lake Track. Step out of Rotorua to go to Taupo and see Huka Falls Walkway, which is approximately 1h 25 min away. Next up on the itinerary: get impressive views of Waimangu Volcanic Valley, take in the natural beauty of Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park, look for all kinds of wild species at Redwoods Treewalk, and trot along with a tour on horseback.

For ratings, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, read our Rotorua holiday planner.

Traveling by car from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. July in Rotorua sees daily highs of 17°C and lows of 7°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Sat) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave, Huka Falls Walkway, Mount Maunganui Base Track
Find places to stay Jul 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Horseback Riding Tours
Waimangu Volcanic Valley ©
Waimangu Volcanic Valley
River Rafting & Tubing

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