18 days in New Zealand & Cook Islands Itinerary

18 days in New Zealand & Cook Islands Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Pacific trip itinerary planner

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1
Queenstown, New Zealand
— 5 nights
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2
Rotorua, New Zealand
— 4 nights
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3
Avarua, Cook Islands
— 1 night
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4
Aitutaki, Cook Islands
— 2 nights
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5
Auckland, New Zealand
— 3 nights
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Queenstown, New Zealand

— 5 nights

Shallow Bay

Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Get in touch with nature at Milford Sound and Hollyford Track. Change things up with these side-trips from Queenstown: Milford Foreshore Walk (in Milford) and Te Anau (The Chasm Walk & Gertrude Saddle). Next up on the itinerary: have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown, enjoy some diversion at Break One, get interesting insight from Tours, and explore the activities along Lake Gunn.

To see photos, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Queenstown trip builder website.

Singapore, Singapore to Queenstown is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. Traveling from Singapore to Queenstown, you'll lose 4 hours due to the time zone difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Rotorua.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Fun & Games

Side Trips

Find places to stay Feb 2 — 8:

Rotorua, New Zealand

— 4 nights

Sulphur City

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.
Visiting Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland and Waitomo Glowworm Caves will get you outdoors. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Rotorua: Waitomo Caves (Ruakuri Walk & River Rafting & Tubing) and Taupo (Souvenir Outlet, Huka Falls Walkway, &more). There's lots more to do: whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, get interesting insight from Tours, take in the dramatic natural features at Waimangu Volcanic Valley, and stroll through Lake Okareka Walkway.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Rotorua trip itinerary maker tool.

Fly from Queenstown to Rotorua in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. February in Rotorua sees daily highs of 28°C and lows of 19°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Avarua.

Things to do in Rotorua

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Nature

Side Trips

Find places to stay Feb 8 — 12:

Avarua, Cook Islands

— 1 night
Start off your visit on the 12th (Fri): examine the collection at Te Ara- Cook Islands Museum of Cultural Enterprise, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, then kick back and relax at Titikaveka Beach, and finally sample the tasty concoctions at Matutu Brewery. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 13th (Sat): take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Te Rua Manga (The Needle), tour the pleasant surroundings at Muri Lagoon, then look for gifts at Tivaevae Collectables, and finally stroll through Aroa Beach.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, use the Avarua trip planner.

You can fly from Rotorua to Avarua in 10 hours. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 22 hours traveling from Rotorua to Avarua. Traveling from Rotorua in February, expect Avarua to be somewhat warmer, temps between 34°C and 28°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sat) so you can travel to Aitutaki.

Things to do in Avarua

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours

Side Trips

Find places to stay Feb 11 — 13:

Aitutaki, Cook Islands

— 2 nights
Aitutaki's triangular barrier reef surrounds a turquoise lagoon of crystal clear water.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Sun): tour the pleasant surroundings at O'otu Beach, then kick back and relax at Aitutaki Lagoon, then get outside with Akaiami, and finally stop by T & S Artworx. On the 15th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take a memorable tour with Tours, then admire the natural beauty at Aitutaki Secret Garden, and then head off the coast to One Foot Island.

To see photos, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, read Aitutaki day trip planner.

You can fly from Avarua to Aitutaki in 3 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Auckland.

Things to do in Aitutaki

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours
Find places to stay Feb 13 — 15:

Auckland, New Zealand

— 3 nights

City of Sails

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.
We've included these beaches for you: Muriwai Beach and Red Beach. Get in touch with nature at Browns Bay Beach and Cooks Beach. And it doesn't end there: take in panoramic vistas at SkyTower, enjoy the sand and surf at Anawhata, brush up on your military savvy at Auckland Museum, and stroll through Cheltenham Beach.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Auckland online tour planner.

Getting from Aitutaki to Auckland by flight takes about 10.5 hours. The time zone difference when traveling from Aitutaki to Auckland is 22 hours. February in Auckland sees daily highs of 26°C and lows of 26°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 19th (Fri) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Auckland

Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · Museums

Side Trips

Find places to stay Feb 16 — 19:

New Zealand travel guide

4.5
Specialty Museums · Hiking Trails · Landmarks
Land of the Long White Cloud
Far-flung New Zealand has become known for its astounding topography, singular biodiversity, varied climate, and for marrying native Maori and post-colonial European cultures on its two main islands and the multitude of smaller landmasses dotted around them. Free-spirited New Zealanders cultivate a love of sports, sustainability, and the outdoors. Far from other landmasses, the islands existed for millions of years before being inhabited by humans, so an abundance of species have come to thrive in the thick, wild rainforest, vast and rugged backland, and extensive surrounding marine areas. While much of New Zealand tourism centers around adventures through this spectacular scenery, take time to explore the nation's rich cultural heritage as well. The traditions and history of the Maoris, and the industry and internationalism of the descendents of the first European settlers endure in fascinating attractions, ranging from museums, to farms, to places of worship.

Cook Islands travel guide

4.2
Beaches · Concerts & Shows · Scuba & Snorkeling
Scattered across a 2,200,000 sq km (849,425 sq mi) zone in the vast Pacific Ocean, roughly halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii, the Cook Islands are about as remote a holiday destination as you will find. With their pristine white-sand beaches, tranquil azure lagoons, lush tropical jungles, and teeming coral reefs, the 15 islands seem plucked from a picture postcard of paradise. Relaxation comes first and foremost, for locals as much as tourists, and you will find the laid-back lifestyle of the Cook Islanders as infectious as their warm smiles. As tempting (and fulfilling) as it might be to spend all day swinging lazily in a hammock strung between shady palm trees, plenty of adventures await exploring the idyllic scenery overland, on the waves, and undersea.