15 days in New Zealand Itinerary

15 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

15 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: San Francisco
Fly:  17​h 15​min
1
Wellington
— 1 day
Fly:  3​h 15​min
2
Queenstown
— 3 nights
bus:  2​h 30​min
3
Te Anau
— 3 nights
+2
bus + Fly + taxi:  7​h 15​min
4
Paihia
— 2 nights
taxi + Fly:  3​h 30​min
5
Taupo
— 2 nights
Fly:  2​h 45​min
6
Auckland Central
— 1 night
Fly:  15​h 30​min
End: San Francisco

1
day
Wellington

Wellington
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.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Fri): steep yourself in history at Wellington Cable Car, then take in nature's colorful creations at Wellington Botanic Garden, then take an in-depth tour of The Great War Exhibition, and finally examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa).

For ratings, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Wellington itinerary planner.

San Francisco, USA to Wellington is an approximately 17.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of subway and flight; or do a combination of train and flight. The time zone changes from Pacific Standard Time to New Zealand Standard Time, which is usually a 20 hour difference. Traveling from San Francisco in August, expect Wellington to be slightly colder, temps between 55°F and 46°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) early enough to travel to Queenstown.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums Parks Historic Sites

Side Trip

Wellington Botanic Garden
Find places to stay Aug 3 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
The Great War Exhibition ©
The Great War Exhibition
Wellington Botanic Garden ©
Wellington Botanic Garden

3
nights
Queenstown

Queenstown ©
Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Queenstown is known for fun & games, adventure, spas, parks, and winter sports. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, see the world from above with a helicopter tour, relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers, and have fun at Break One Clay Target Shooting.

For more things to do, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Queenstown trip planner .

Traveling by flight from Wellington to Queenstown takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry, train, and bus; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Fun & Games Parks
Find places to stay Aug 3 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
The Remarkables Ski Area ©
The Remarkables Ski Area
Spas & Wellness

3
nights
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.
Spend the 9th (Thu) on the water with a fishing tour. There's still lots to do: contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound, look for all kinds of wild species at Doubtful Sound, hike along The Chasm Walk, and stroll through Gertrude Saddle.

To find reviews, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Te Anau online trip maker .

Getting from Queenstown to Te Anau by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Te Anau

Outdoors Wildlife Parks
Find places to stay Aug 6 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Fishing Charters & Tours
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound

2
nights
Paihia

Paihia ©
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.
Spend a day of island exploring on the 11th (Sat) at Urupukapuka Island. The adventure continues: admire the natural beauty at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, and take in the pleasant sights at Opua Forest Lookout Track.

To see where to stay, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Paihia trip itinerary maker app .

You can do a combination of bus, flight, and taxi from Te Anau to Paihia in 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of bus, ferry, and car. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sun) so you can travel to Taupo.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks Outdoors Nature
Find places to stay Aug 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Urupukapuka Island ©
Urupukapuka Island
Waitangi Golf Club ©
Waitangi Golf Club

2
nights
Taupo

The resort town of Taupo lies on the banks of Lake Taupo, the largest body of water in the whole of Australasia.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Mon): get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, then have fun at Clay Break Taupo, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Huka Falls tracks, and finally take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stroll through Huka Prawn Park, witness a stunning natural landmark at Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley, then explore and take pictures at Formula Challenge Racing, and finally take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour.

Plan trip to Taupo with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

Do a combination of taxi and flight from Paihia to Taupo in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, flight, and bus; or drive. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Tue) early enough to travel to Auckland Central.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks Outdoors Tours

Side Trip

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Find places to stay Aug 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Huka Falls tracks ©
Huka Falls tracks

1
night
Auckland Central

Auckland Central ©
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 15th (Wed), learn about all things military at Auckland Museum, don't miss a visit to Sky Tower, and then look for gifts at Pauanesia.

To see more things to do, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Auckland Central online route planner .

Traveling by flight from Taupo to Auckland Central takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. August in Auckland Central sees daily highs of 53°F and lows of 53°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Auckland Central

Museums Shopping
Find places to stay Aug 14 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Sky Tower ©
Sky Tower
Auckland Museum ©
Auckland Museum
Pauanesia ©
Pauanesia

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