21 days in New Zealand Itinerary

21 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand visit planner

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Route & dates

21 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Auckland
Fly:  1​h
1
Blenheim
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h
2
Havelock
— Few hours
Drive:  45​min
3
Picton
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
4
Nelson
— Few hours
Drive:  1​h 30​min
5
Kaiteriteri
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
6
Westport
— Few hours
Drive:  3​h 30​min
7
Hanmer Springs
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
8
Christchurch
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
9
Akaroa
— Few hours
Drive:  3​h 45​min
10
Lake Tekapo
— 2 nights
Drive:  45​min
11
Mt. Cook Village
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
12
Wanaka
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
13
Milford Sound
— 1 day
Drive:  1​h 15​min
14
Te Anau
— 1 night
bus:  3​h 15​min
15
Queenstown
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h 15​min
End: Auckland

2
nights
Blenheim

Blenheim ©
Enjoy a heady holiday in Blenheim, the most populous town in the wine-growing region of Marlborough.
You've now added Your Local Chauffeur to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 12th (Wed): indulge your senses at Your Local Chauffeur and then examine the collection at Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre.

Discover how to plan a Blenheim trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

Auckland Central to Blenheim is an approximately 4.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of car and ferry. Expect a bit cooler evenings in Blenheim when traveling from Auckland Central in December, with lows around 15°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Picton.

Things to do in Blenheim

Tours Museums
Find places to stay Dec 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Your Local Chauffeur ©
Your Local Chauffeur
Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre ©
Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre

few
hours
Havelock

Havelock is a coastal village in the Marlborough region of New Zealand. On the 14th (Fri), add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour.

For traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Havelock route planning tool .

Traveling by car from Blenheim to Havelock takes an hour. December in Havelock sees daily highs of 22°C and lows of 15°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Fri) so you can travel to Picton.

Things to do in Havelock

Outdoors Tours Adventure
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Kayaking & Canoeing

3
nights
Picton

Picton ©
Take photo after stunning photo in Picton, the gateway to South Island.
Picton is known for nature, trails, historic sites, zoos & aquariums, and wildlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: look for all kinds of wild species at Lochmara Lodge Marlborough Sounds Wildlife Recovery Centre.

To see where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Picton road trip planning app .

Picton is just a short distance from Blenheim. In December, daytime highs in Picton are 22°C, while nighttime lows are 15°C. On the 17th (Mon), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Nelson.

Things to do in Picton

Parks Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan

few
hours
Nelson

Nelson
Put on your shades to enjoy the sights of Nelson, one of the sunniest cities in New Zealand.
To see maps, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Nelson trip maker .

You can drive from Picton to Nelson in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. On the 17th (Mon), you'll travel to Kaiteriteri.

Things to do in Nelson

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 18:

2
nights
Kaiteriteri

Kaiteriteri ©
You've now added Abel Tasman Eco Tours to your itinerary.

To see where to stay, reviews, photos, and tourist information, read our Kaiteriteri trip planner .

You can drive from Nelson to Kaiteriteri in 1.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Wed) so you can travel to Westport.

Things to do in Kaiteriteri

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trip

Abel Tasman Eco Tours
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Abel Tasman Eco Tours ©
Abel Tasman Eco Tours

few
hours
Westport

Westport ©
Westport is a town in the West Coast region of the South Island of New Zealand. You've now added Cape Foulwind Walkway to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 17th (Mon): tour the pleasant surroundings at Cape Foulwind Walkway.

For photos, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Westport trip planner.

You can drive from Kaiteriteri to Westport in 3.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Mon) so you can travel to Hanmer Springs.

Things to do in Westport

Outdoors Parks Trails
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Cape Foulwind Walkway ©
Cape Foulwind Walkway

3
nights
Hanmer Springs

Hanmer Springs ©
Action and relaxation are the reasons that most people head to Hanmer Springs, where natural thermal pools bubble among dramatic alpine surroundings.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Tue): stop by The Decadent Fudge Company, take in the exciting artwork at Culverden Gallery, and then identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the natural beauty of Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Conical Hill, and then delve into the lush surroundings at Hanmer Forest.

For other places to visit and more tourist information, refer to the Hanmer Springs trip itinerary tool .

You can drive from Westport to Hanmer Springs in 3 hours. On the 20th (Thu), you'll travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Hanmer Springs

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Nature & Wildlife Tours, Culverden Gallery
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa ©
Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Hanmer Forest ©
Hanmer Forest

2
nights
Christchurch

Christchurch ©
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Christchurch Tramway, Cardboard Cathedral, Port Hills, and other attractions you added. Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Sat): take a memorable ride with Christchurch Gondola and then take in nature's colorful creations at Christchurch Botanic Gardens. On your second day here, admire all the interesting features of Port Hills, see the interesting displays at Quake City, don't miss a visit to Cardboard Cathedral, then explore the activities along Avon River, then examine the collection at International Antarctic Centre, and finally take a memorable ride with Christchurch Tramway.

To find ratings, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Christchurch itinerary planner .

Getting from Hanmer Springs to Christchurch by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus. In December in Christchurch, expect temperatures between 24°C during the day and 12°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Akaroa.

Things to do in Christchurch

Transportation Parks Tours
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Christchurch Botanic Gardens ©
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
International Antarctic Centre ©
International Antarctic Centre
Quake City ©
Quake City

few
hours
Akaroa

The French heritage and colonial architecture of Akaroa has broad appeal to anthropologists, historians, architects--and just about anyone with an eye for beautiful, historical buildings and a palate for fine dining.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Mon): take in the exciting artwork at Lava gallery, then make a trip to The Giant's House, and then see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

For reviews, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Akaroa day trip site .

You can drive from Christchurch to Akaroa in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In December in Akaroa, expect temperatures between 24°C during the day and 12°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Lake Tekapo.

Things to do in Akaroa

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
The Giant's House ©
The Giant's House
Lava gallery ©
Lava gallery

2
nights
Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo ©
Located in a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo offers evenings of stargazing and days of long walks.
On the 25th (Tue), relax in the rural setting at Gem Alpaca Stud, then pause for some serene contemplation at Church of the Good Shepherd, then look and learn at Earth and Sky, and finally contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Tekapo.

To see traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Lake Tekapo travel planning app .

Drive from Akaroa to Lake Tekapo in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Parks Tours Childrens Museums

Side Trip

Gem Alpaca Stud
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Gem Alpaca Stud ©
Gem Alpaca Stud
Church of the Good Shepherd ©
Church of the Good Shepherd
Earth and Sky ©
Earth and Sky

1
night
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, The Helicopter Line Mount Cook and Hot Tubs Omarama. Kick off your visit on the 26th (Wed): take an unforgettable tour with The Helicopter Line Mount Cook, then see the sky in a new way at Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, and then soothe aching muscles at Hot Tubs Omarama. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: trek along Kea Point Track and then get outside with Aoraki/Mt. Cook.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Mt. Cook Village trip builder website .

Drive from Lake Tekapo to Mt. Cook Village in an hour. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Wanaka.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Outdoors Tours Childrens Museums

Side Trips

Kea Point Track, Hot Tubs Omarama
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook
Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre ©
Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre
The Helicopter Line Mount Cook ©
The Helicopter Line Mount Cook

2
nights
Wanaka

Situated on the shores of Lake Wanaka in the Otago region, Wanaka has become a popular ski and summer resort area, owing to its extensive views of the lake and its proximity to some of the best slopes in the country.
On the 25th (Tue), take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, then hit the slopes at Wanaka, and then fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour.

To see other places to visit, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Wanaka travel planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Mt. Cook Village to Wanaka. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Milford Sound.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors Winter Sports Parks
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Helicopter Tours
Wanaka ©
Wanaka
Parasailing & Paragliding

1
day
Milford Sound

Milford Sound ©
Carved by glaciers into a land of sheer cliffs, impressive waterfalls, and lush, meandering fjords, Milford Sound remains one of the most popular holiday destinations in New Zealand.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Sat): examine the collection at Southern Discoveries - Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory, then snap pictures at Tutoko Suspension Bridge, and then don't miss a visit to Homer Tunnel.

To see reviews, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Milford Sound trip planner .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Wanaka to Milford Sound. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sat) so you can travel to Te Anau.

Things to do in Milford Sound

Museums
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 30:
Highlights from your plan

1
night
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.
For photos, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Te Anau trip planning website .

Explore your travel options from Milford Sound to Te Anau with the Route module. On the 30th (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Museums
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Fiordland Vintage Machinery Museum ©
Fiordland Vintage Machinery Museum

2
nights
Queenstown

Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
On the 30th (Sun), take in the exciting artwork at Silver Fern Gallery.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Queenstown online trip builder .

Traveling by bus from Te Anau to Queenstown takes 3.5 hours. You'll have a few hours on the 1st (Tue) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Museums Shopping Spas
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Spas & Wellness
Peregrine Wines ©
Peregrine Wines
Kiwi Birdlife Park ©
Kiwi Birdlife Park

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