12 days in New Zealand Itinerary

12 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand sightseeing planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Rotorua
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Taupo
— 2 nights
Fly
3
Wellington
— 1 night
Fly
4
Queenstown
— 4 nights
Fly
5
Auckland
— 2 nights
Fly

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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.
On the 4th (Sun), take in the natural beauty of Waikite Valley Thermal Pools, witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, and then get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take a peaceful walk through Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest, get outside with Outdoor Activities, and then whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

To see other places to visit, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Rotorua travel route builder app.

San Francisco, USA to Rotorua is an approximately 17.5-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 20 hours traveling from San Francisco to Rotorua. Traveling from San Francisco in July, expect Rotorua to be little chillier, temps between 58°F and 43°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Taupo.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Outdoors · Tours · Nature
Find places to stay Jul 3 — 5:

Taupo

— 2 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.
On the 6th (Tue), push the limits with an extreme tour, then witness a stunning natural landmark at Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley, and then admire the sheer force of Huka Falls Walkway. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 7th (Wed): look for gifts at Huka Honey Hive, find something for the whole family at Mind Junction, then get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and finally take in the natural beauty of Taupo DeBretts Spa Resort.

For traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Taupo tour builder website.

Getting from Rotorua to Taupo by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Wed) so you can fly to Wellington.

Things to do in Taupo

Outdoors · Parks · Nature · Tours
Find places to stay Jul 5 — 7:

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.
On the 8th (Thu), learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Wellington Zoo, then take an in-depth tour of The Great War Exhibition, and then examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

To see reviews, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Wellington tour itinerary builder.

You can fly from Taupo to Wellington in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 54°F in July, and nighttime lows around 45°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Thu) early enough to catch the flight to Queenstown.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums · Parks · Zoos & Aquariums
Find places to stay Jul 7 — 8:

Queenstown

— 4 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.
Family-friendly places like Skyline Queenstown and Coronet Peak will thrill your kids. Take a break from Queenstown with a short trip to UnderDog Sled Dog Tours in Cardrona, about 52 minutes away. On the 9th (Fri), dedicate a day to the elevated beauty of The Remarkables Ski Area. There's still lots to do: relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, stroll through Kiwi Birdlife Park, and hike along Queenstown Hill.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Queenstown using our trip planner.

Getting from Wellington to Queenstown by flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Mon) so you can catch the flight to Auckland.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors · Parks · Nature · Winter Sports

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jul 8 — 12:

Auckland

— 2 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.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Tue): enjoy a live performance at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium, then take an in-depth tour of Auckland Museum, and then take in panoramic vistas at SkyTower.

For where to stay, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Auckland visit planner.

You can fly from Queenstown to Auckland in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus, ferry, and car; or do a combination of bus, ferry, and car. Expect a daytime high around 53°F in July, and nighttime lows around 53°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Wed) so you can catch the flight back home.

Things to do in Auckland

Museums · Parks · Nightlife · Zoos & Aquariums
Find places to stay Jul 12 — 14:

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.