21 days in New Zealand Itinerary

21 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Singapore
Fly:  15​h 30​min
1
Paihia
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
2
Auckland
— 2 nights
3
Rotorua
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
4
Tongariro National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
5
Wellington
— 2 nights
Fly + bus:  6​h 15​min
6
Te Anau
— 3 nights
bus:  2​h 30​min
7
Queenstown
— 4 nights
Fly:  14​h 45​min
End: Singapore

2
nights
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.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Waitangi Treaty Grounds and Flagstaff Hill Historic Reserve. Change things up with these side-trips from Paihia: Russell (Pompallier Mission and Printery, Christ Church, & more). And it doesn't end there: identify plant and animal life at Paihia Harbour, look for gifts at Bay Of Islands Honey Shop, fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour, and take in the dramatic scenery at Haruru Falls.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Paihia sightseeing planner .

Singapore, Singapore to Paihia is an approximately 15.5-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also do a combination of flight and bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Singapore to Paihia is 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Fri) early enough to drive to Auckland Central.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks Historic Sites Nature

Side Trips

Russell, Kerikeri
Find places to stay Dec 5 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Pompallier Mission and Printery ©
Pompallier Mission and Printery
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour

2
nights
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.
On the 9th (Sat), admire the masterpieces at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, then learn about all things military at Auckland Museum, then take in panoramic vistas at Sky Tower, and finally explore and take pictures at Viaduct Harbour. On your second day here, indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area.

To find maps, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Auckland Central road trip planner.

Getting from Paihia to Auckland Central by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi, flight, and bus; or take a bus. In December, daily temperatures in Auckland Central can reach 19°C, while at night they dip to 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Auckland

Tours Museums Parks
Find places to stay Dec 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Sky Tower ©
Sky Tower
Auckland Museum ©
Auckland Museum
Wine Tours & Tastings

4
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.
Rotorua Museum and Tamaki Maori Village (Office Only) are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Take a break from Rotorua with a short trip to Huka Falls tracks in Taupo, about 1h 20 min away. Spend the 12th (Tue) immersed in therapeutic waters at a local thermal spa. There's much more to do: witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, admire all the interesting features of Te Puia, trot along with a tour on horseback, and identify plant and animal life at Redwoods Treewalk.

For reviews, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Rotorua sightseeing planner .

Traveling by car from Auckland Central to Rotorua takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. While traveling from Auckland Central, expect somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Rotorua, ranging from highs of 25°C to lows of 17°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Thu) so you can go by car to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Rotorua

Spas Parks Nature

Side Trip

Huka Falls tracks
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Thermal Spas
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Rotorua Museum ©
Rotorua Museum

2
nights
Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park ©
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Thu): go for a walk through Mead's Wall, admire the sheer force of Taranaki Falls, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Tongariro Northern Circuit. Keep things going the next day: hike along Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

To see where to stay, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Tongariro National Park trip planner .

You can drive from Rotorua to Tongariro National Park in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 16th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Wellington.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Parks Trails Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Taranaki Falls ©
Taranaki Falls
Tawhai Falls ©
Tawhai Falls

2
nights
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.
On the 17th (Sun), catch a ride on Wellington Cable Car, get engrossed in the history at Wellington Museum, then admire the natural beauty at Wellington Botanic Garden, then take an in-depth tour of The Great War Exhibition, and finally see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

To see reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Wellington travel planner.

You can drive from Tongariro National Park to Wellington in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of taxi and train. In December in Wellington, expect temperatures between 22°C during the day and 15°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Mon) so you can travel to Te Anau.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums Parks Historic Sites

Side Trip

Wellington Botanic Garden
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
The Great War Exhibition ©
The Great War Exhibition
Wellington Cable Car ©
Wellington Cable Car

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 Southern Discoveries - Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory in Milford Sound (about 1h 15 min away). Spend the 21st (Thu) exploring nature at Fiordland National Park (Te Wahipounamu). Next up on the itinerary: identify plant and animal life at Doubtful Sound, contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound, tour the pleasant surroundings at The Chasm Walk, and look for gifts at Kowhai Gifts & Souvenirs.

To see traveler tips, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, read our Te Anau attractions site .

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Wellington to Te Anau in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Thu) so you can drive to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

Southern Discoveries - Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound

4
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.
Peregrine Wines and Chard Farm Vineyard are good opportunities to explore the local culture. On the 23rd (Sat), hike the day away at Hollyford Track. There's still lots to do: get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, push the limits with an extreme tour, have fun at Break One Clay Target Shooting, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

To find maps, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Queenstown online trip itinerary maker .

Traveling by car from Te Anau to Queenstown takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 25th (Mon) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trip

Hollyford Track
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Peregrine Wines ©
Peregrine Wines
Chard Farm Winery ©
Chard Farm Winery

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