21 days in New Zealand Itinerary

21 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand trip itinerary planner

Make it your trip
1
Wellington
— 1 day
Fly
2
Tongariro National Park
— 3 nights
Shuttle
3
Taupo
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Rotorua
— 2 nights
Fly
5
Auckland
— 1 night
Fly
6
Paihia
— 2 nights
Fly to Queenstown, Bus to Te Anau
7
Te Anau
— 4 nights
Bus
8
Queenstown
— 2 nights
Drive
9
Fox Glacier
— 3 nights
Bus to Hokitika i-SITE, Fly to Wellington

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Wellington

— 1 day

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.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Mon): take in nature's colorful creations at Wellington Botanic Garden, ponder the world of politics at New Zealand Parliament, then take some stellar pictures from Wellington Cable Car, and finally examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

For traveler tips, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Wellington trip planning tool.

The Route module shows you travel options from your home to Wellington. In March in Wellington, expect temperatures between 22°C during the day and 16°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Mon) so you can catch the flight to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums · Parks · Transportation · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Find places to stay Mar 1 — 2:

Tongariro National Park

— 3 nights
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
On the 2nd (Tue), hike the day away at Tongariro Alpine Crossing. There's still lots to do: hit the best photo ops around with Mountain Air Scenic Flights Day Tour, admire the sheer force of Tawhai Falls, trek along Ridge Track, and go for a walk through Mead's Wall.

To see where to stay, maps, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Tongariro National Park trip itinerary maker website.

Traveling by flight from Wellington to Tongariro National Park takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and taxi. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Thu) to allow enough time to take a shuttle to Taupo.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Nature
Find places to stay Mar 1 — 4:

Taupo

— 3 nights

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.
Taupo is known for nature, adventure, and theme parks. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: take in the dramatic scenery at Huka Falls Walkway, witness a stunning natural landmark at Spa Thermal Park and Riverbank Recreational and Scenic Reserve, push the limits with an extreme tour, and contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Taupo.

For ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Taupo tour builder app.

Traveling by shuttle from Tongariro National Park to Taupo takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Rotorua.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours
Find places to stay Mar 4 — 7:

Rotorua

— 2 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.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Mon): get impressive views of Waimangu Volcanic Valley, then witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, and then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour. On the 9th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: delve into the lush surroundings at Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest, then steep yourself in history at Te Puia, and then kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

To see more things to do, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Rotorua vacation planner.

Traveling by car from Taupo to Rotorua takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In March, daily temperatures in Rotorua can reach 26°C, while at night they dip to 18°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Tue) so you can fly to Auckland.

Things to do in Rotorua

Nature · Parks · Outdoors · Adventure

Side Trip

Find places to stay Mar 7 — 9:

Auckland

— 1 night

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.
On the 10th (Wed), indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area, then learn about all things military at Auckland Museum, then stop by Pauanesia, and finally enjoy breathtaking views from SkyTower.

To see where to stay, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Auckland trip itinerary planning tool.

Fly from Rotorua to Auckland in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. While traveling from Rotorua, expect little chillier days and a bit warmer nights in Auckland, ranging from highs of 22°C to lows of 22°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Wed) early enough to catch the flight to Paihia.

Things to do in Auckland

Museums · Wineries · Tours · Shopping
Find places to stay Mar 9 — 10:

Paihia

— 2 nights
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.
On the 11th (Thu), get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, then steep yourself in history at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, then stop by Paihia Bookshop, and finally fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour. Keep things going the next day: stroll through Paihia Harbour and then take the plunge with Skydive Bay of Islands.

To find other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, read Paihia trip website.

Getting from Auckland to Paihia by flight takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Fri) so you can travel to Te Anau.

Things to do in Paihia

Outdoors · Tours · Adventure · Wildlife
Find places to stay Mar 10 — 12:

Te Anau

— 4 nights
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.
Step out of Te Anau to go to Milford Sound and see Bowen Falls, which is approximately 1h 5 min away. Spend the 14th (Sun) exploring at Doubtful Sound. On the 15th (Mon), hike the day away at Hollyford Track. There's still lots to do: explore the activities along Milford Sound, explore the fascinating underground world of Te Anau Glowworm Caves, take an unforgettable tour with Southern Lakes Helicopters, and trek along The Chasm Walk.

To see reviews, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Te Anau visit planner.

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Paihia to Te Anau takes 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Tue) to allow enough time to take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Side Trips

Find places to stay Mar 12 — 16:

Queenstown

— 2 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.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Wed): stroll through Kiwi Birdlife Park, get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, then get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, and finally relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas. On the 18th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, then see Off-Road Tours, and then take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To find more things to do, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, read Queenstown trip tool.

Traveling by bus from Te Anau to Queenstown takes 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors · Tours · Fun & Games · Adventure
Find places to stay Mar 16 — 18:

Fox Glacier

— 3 nights
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Go for a jaunt from Fox Glacier to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) to see Hooker Valley Track about 46 minutes away. There's lots more to do: explore the striking landscape at Franz Josef Glacier, stroll through Fox Glacier South Side Walk, see the world from above with a helicopter tour, and cross one thing off your bucket list with Skydive Franz Josef & Fox Glacier.

To see where to stay, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, read our Fox Glacier trip itinerary builder.

You can drive from Queenstown to Fox Glacier in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 21st (Sun) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Outdoors · Trails · Parks · Nature

Side Trips

Find places to stay Mar 18 — 21:

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.