24 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Pacific travel planner
Make it your trip
Fly
1
Auckland
Fly
2
Queenstown
— 5 nights
Drive
3
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
— 1 night
Drive
4
Lake Tekapo
— 1 night
Drive
5
Oamaru
Drive
6
Wanaka
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Franz Josef
— 1 night
Drive
8
Hokitika
Drive
9
Greymouth
— 1 night
Drive
10
Christchurch
— 1 night
Fly
11
Wellington
— 1 night
Fly
12
Tongariro National Park
Drive
13
Taupo
— 1 night
Drive
14
Rotorua
— 3 nights
Drive
15
Coromandel
Drive
16
Auckland
— 4 nights
Fly

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Auckland

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.
For more things to do, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, read Auckland attractions tool.

Chicago, USA to Auckland is an approximately 19.5-hour flight. Traveling from Chicago to Auckland, you'll lose 18 hours due to the time zone difference. In December, Auckland is warmer than Chicago - with highs of 64°F and lows of 64°F. On the 10th (Sat), you'll travel to Queenstown.
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Tours · Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 11:

Queenstown — 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.
Your list of things to see and do now includes Coronet Peak Ski Resort, Hydro Attack, Kawarau Suspension Bridge, and other attractions. There's still lots to do: get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, look for all kinds of wild species at Kiwi Park, and don't miss a visit to Arrowtown Village.

To find photos, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Queenstown route maker.

You can fly from Auckland to Queenstown in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry. You will have some time to spend on the 15th (Thu) before leaving for Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu).
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Outdoors · Tours · Adventure · Parks
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 15:

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) — 1 night

Your day by day itinerary now includes Clay Cliff, Lindis Pass, Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier walks, and other attractions you added. Start off your visit on the 15th (Thu): take a memorable drive along Lindis Pass, explore the striking landscape at Clay Cliff, and then contemplate the waterfront views at Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier walks. Keep things going the next day: take a memorable tour with Mount Cook Ski Planes & Helicopters by Inflite, make a trip to Aoraki/Mt. Cook, then stroll through Hooker Valley Track, and finally hike along Red Tarns Track.

For other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) driving holiday planner.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Queenstown to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Lake Tekapo.
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Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Nature
Side Trip
Find places to stay Dec 15 — 16:

Lake Tekapo — 1 night

Located in a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo offers evenings of stargazing and days of long walks.
To find ratings, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Lake Tekapo route planning site.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) to Lake Tekapo. On the 17th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Oamaru.
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Nature · Parks · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 17:

Oamaru

Your day by day itinerary now includes Katiki Point Lighthouse as well as Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony. On the 17th (Sat), surround yourself with nature on Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony and then visit a coastal fixture at Katiki Point Lighthouse.

To find reviews, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Oamaru trip planner.

You can drive from Lake Tekapo to Oamaru in 2.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of car and bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Sat) early enough to travel to Wanaka.
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Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Historic Sites
Side Trip
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 18:

Wanaka — 2 nights

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.
Your list of things to see and do now includes Blue Pools Track, Monro Beach, Haast Pass, and other attractions. On the 18th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the activities along Lake Wanaka, experience rural life at Wanaka Lavender Farm, then learn about winemaking at Rippon Vineyard, and finally explore the activities along Lake Hawea.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Wanaka itinerary planner.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Oamaru to Wanaka. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Franz Josef.
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Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 19:

Franz Josef — 1 night

Located in the World Heritage Site that is home to its eponymous glacier, the town of Franz Josef provides a comfortable and welcoming rest spot for adventurers after a long day out on the ice.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Lake Matheson Walk as well as Peters Pool Walk.

For reviews, photos, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Franz Josef online itinerary planner.

Explore your travel options from Wanaka to Franz Josef with the Route module. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Tue) so you can drive to Hokitika.
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Parks · Trails · Outdoors · Wildlife
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 20:

Hokitika

Hokitika is a township in the West Coast region of New Zealand's South Island, 40km south of Greymouth, and close to the mouth of the Hokitika River. To see reviews, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Hokitika travel itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Franz Josef to Hokitika takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. You will leave for Greymouth on the 20th (Tue).
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Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Trails
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 21:

Greymouth — 1 night

Greymouth is the largest town in the West Coast region in the South Island of New Zealand, and the seat of the Grey District Council. For reviews, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Greymouth trip planner.

Drive from Hokitika to Greymouth in an hour. On the 21st (Wed), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Christchurch.
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Trails · Outdoors · Nature · Parks
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 21:

Christchurch — 1 night

Garden City

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
To find ratings, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Christchurch trip itinerary website.

You can drive from Greymouth to Christchurch in 3.5 hours. In December, daily temperatures in Christchurch can reach 70°F, while at night they dip to 51°F. On the 22nd (Thu), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Wellington.
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Tours · Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 22:

Wellington — 1 night

Harbour Capital

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.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Cuba Street, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and Weta Workshop. Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Thu): learn something new at Weta Workshop, see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, then catch a ride on Wellington Cable Car, and finally take a stroll through Cuba Street.

You can plan Wellington trip in no time by asking Inspirock to help create your itinerary.

You can fly from Christchurch to Wellington in 2.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Expect a daytime high around 67°F in December, and nighttime lows around 56°F. You'll have a few hours on the 23rd (Fri) to wrap things up before traveling to Tongariro National Park.
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Transportation · Classes · Historic Sites · Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 23:

Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Fri): trek along Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

To see maps, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Tongariro National Park driving holiday planner.

You can fly from Wellington to Tongariro National Park in 2.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of train and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 23rd (Fri) to allow enough time to take a shuttle to Taupo.
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Trails · Outdoors · Parks
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 24:
Highlights from your trip

Taupo — 1 night

Great Cloak of Tia

The resort town of Taupo lies on the banks of Lake Taupo, the largest body of water in the whole of Australasia.
You've now added Aratiatia Rapids to your itinerary. Start off your visit on the 23rd (Fri): don't miss a visit to Aratiatia Rapids and then admire the sheer force of Huka Falls Walkway.

Planning Taupo trip won't be overwhelming when you use Inspirock's itinerary maker.

You can take a shuttle from Tongariro National Park to Taupo in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. You will have some time to spend on the 24th (Sat) before leaving for Rotorua.
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Trails · Outdoors · Nature · Parks
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 24:

Rotorua — 3 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.
You've added Blue Spring, Polynesian Spa, Kerosene Creek, and other attractions to your itinerary. Change things up with these side-trips from Rotorua: Cathedral Cove Walk (in Hahei) and Hot Water Beach (in Hot Water Beach). There's more to do: take in the dramatic scenery at Waipunga Falls.

For photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Rotorua online trip itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from Taupo to Rotorua takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. December in Rotorua sees daily highs of 71°F and lows of 59°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Coromandel.
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Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 27:

Coromandel

Coromandel is a town on the Coromandel Harbour, on the western side of the Coromandel Peninsula, which is on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand. To find traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Coromandel online attractions planner.

You can drive from Rotorua to Coromandel in 3 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus, flight, and taxi. Expect a daytime high around 70°F in December, and nighttime lows around 59°F. On the 27th (Tue), you'll travel to Auckland.
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Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 28:

Auckland — 4 nights

City of Sails

See even more of Auckland: don't miss a visit to Sky Tower, take in the waterfront at North Wharf, and take a memorable tour with Tours.

For maps, ratings, and tourist information, read Auckland trip itinerary builder app.

You can drive from Coromandel to Auckland in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Expect a bit cooler weather when traveling from Coromandel in December: highs in Auckland hover around 64°F, while lows dip to 64°F. You will have some time to spend on the 31st (Sat) before leaving for home.
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Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 31:

New Zealand travel guide

4.5
Specialty Museums · Landmarks · Hiking Trails
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.
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Coromandel Peninsula travel guide

4.4
Hiking Trails · Thermal Spas · Hot Springs
Jutting out into the ocean just north of Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula remains a largely uninhabited land of native rainforest and unspoiled sandy beaches. Thanks to the area's preserved wilderness and natural abundance, ecotourism in Coromandel Peninsula has gained in popularity, attracting adventurous vacationers and outdoors enthusiasts. The coastline offers many coves, diving sites, and expeditions out into the ocean for the chance to spot whales and dolphins. Hike, cycle, or kayak inland for scenic landscape largely untouched by human development and industry.
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