New Zealand Itinerary

We appreciate there is more to new Zealand than Queenstown! So, we've created our recommended itinerary to explore both Islands. The trip plan is based on 21 nights and assumes you are driving by car.

21 Night Itinerary

Destination Duration Drive Time  Itinerary Highlights
1.Christchurch   2 Nights   Arrive The 'Garden City'. Highlights: Botanical Gardens, Hagley Park, Punting on the River Avon, Gondola Ride, Banks Peninsula & Akaroa, Sumner and New Brighton beaches.Guide Info
2. Arthur's Pass  1 Night 2 hours Arthur's Pass National Park. Highlights: Captivating East Coast to West Coast Drive, Arthur's Pass National Park, hiking trails, Castle Hill, Cave Stream Scenic Reserve, Lake Pearson, Devil's Punchbowl Falls walk. More Info
3. The Glaciers  1 Night 3 hours Franz Josef & Fox Glaciers. Highlights: Book a guided hike or, a helicopter flight and landing on the glacier. We suggest staying in Franz Josef but also stopping off at Fox Glacier township on your way to Wanaka. Haast beach is also worth stopping off at (2 hours from Franz Josef)
4. Wanaka  1 Night 3.5 hours Lake & Mountain resort. Highlights: Lake Hawea, Lake Wanaka, Puzzling World, Mt Iron Walk, Lake Cruise. Local Tip - when departing to Queenstown, the drive over The Crown Range is shorter and more beautiful. More Info.
5. Queenstown 4 nights 1 hour Adventure Capital. Highlights: Bungy, Paragliding, Skydiving, Jet Boating, Gondola Ride, Ziptrek, Lake Cruise, Glenorchy, ArrowtownGibbston wineries, top golf courses, Fly-Cruise-Fly return trip to Milford Sound. Local tip = Moke Lake Walk. More Info
6. Mount Cook  1 Night 2.5 hours Incredible Mountain Scenery. Highlights: Incredible scenic drive. Central Otago landscape, Lindis Pass, Lake Tekapo, Lake Pukaki. Mount Cook National Park. Activitiy options include Glacier Explorer Tour, Scenic Flight, 4WD, Stargazing. Walking trails. More Info
7. Kaikoura  1 Night 6 hours Seal Colony & Whale Watching. Highlights: Whale Watching, Fyffe House, Seal Colony, Coastal Walkway. More Info
Option   3.5 hours Golden Beaches & Lakes. Highlights: If you have more time, we'd suggest driving from the port of Picton and heading Motueka to use as a base to explore Abel Tasman National Park. Hop on a water taxi and explore the stunning island beaches. Head to Saint Arnaud to explore Nelson Lakes National Park which is just over an hour's drive away.
8. Picton / Wellington  2 Nights 4.5 hours Capital of Cool. Hop on the ferry from Picton and enjoy the 3.5 scenic ferry crossing to Wellington. Highlights: Cable Car, Te Papa Museum, Wellington Botanic Gardens, Zealandia, Oriental Bay, Mt Victoria Lookout, Weta Cave, Cuba Street, Lambton Quay shopping. More Info
9. Taupo  1 Night 4.5 hours Lake Taupo. Highlights: Huka Falls, Orakei Korako, Craters of The Moon, Tongariro National Park. More Info.
10. Rotorua  2 Nights 1 hour Maori Attractions & Geothermal Activity. Highlights: The Redwoods Forest, Geothermal Attraction, scenic lakes, Zorbing, Polynesian Spa, Gondola. Maori Villages. More Info
Hobbiton  0 Nights 1 hour Lord of The Rings. Time permitting, there is the option to visit 'The Shire', the Lord of the rings movie set at Hobbiton, Matamata. It's on the way to The Coromandel.
11. The Coromandel   2 Nights 2 hours Picturesque Coastline. Highlights: Driving Creek Railway, Hot Water Beach, Cathedral Cove, Hahei Beach. More Info.
12. Auckland  3 Nights 2 hours 'City Of Sails'. Highlights: Skytower, Viaduct Harbour, Parnell, Mission Bay, Devonport, Rangitoto Island, Waiheke Island, Waitakere Ranges, Piha Beach.. More Info.
Total  21 Nights   Depart Auckland.


For detailed guide information, video guides and everything you need to know about the best areas of New Zealand, visit our My Destination New Zealand sites: