8 days in New Zealand Itinerary

8 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand holiday planner
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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.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Fri): let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, then explore the world behind art at Rotorua Museum, and then take a memorable tour with Tours. Keep things going the next day: make a trip to Te Puia, take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, and then take a peaceful walk through Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest.

To find ratings, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Rotorua tour planner.

San Francisco, USA to Rotorua is an approximately 17.5-hour flight. Traveling from San Francisco to Rotorua, you'll lose 20 hours due to the time zone difference. In December, Rotorua is somewhat warmer than San Francisco - with highs of 71°F and lows of 59°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Taupo.
Nature · Parks · Outdoors · Adventure
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 24:

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.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Sun): make a trip to Maori Rock Carvings, then look for gifts at Huka Honey Hive, then admire the sheer force of Huka Falls Walkway, and finally get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, read Taupo trip itinerary website.

Traveling by car from Rotorua to Taupo takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Sun) to allow time to fly to Wellington.
Outdoors · Tours · Nature · Parks
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 25:

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.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Mon): ponder the world of politics at New Zealand Parliament, then admire the natural beauty at Wellington Botanic Garden, then go from sight to sight with Wellington Cable Car, and finally see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

To find more things to do, photos, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Wellington vacation planner.

You can fly from Taupo to Wellington in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 67°F, and evening lows to 56°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Mon) to allow time to fly to Queenstown.
Parks · Museums · Transportation · Historic Sites
Side Trip
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 26:

Queenstown — 1 night

Shallow Bay

Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
On the 27th (Tue), get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, then identify plant and animal life at Kiwi Park, then get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, and finally indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

For reviews, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Queenstown online trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by flight from Wellington to Queenstown takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Tue) so you can fly to Auckland.
Fun & Games · Spas · Outdoors · Parks
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 27:

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.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Wed): examine the collection at Auckland Museum, take in panoramic vistas at SkyTower, then look for gifts at Pauanesia, and finally get impressive views of Mount Eden.

To see ratings, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Auckland trip planning site.

Fly from Queenstown to Auckland in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry. In December, daily temperatures in Auckland can reach 64°F, while at night they dip to 64°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Thu) so you can fly back home.
Museums · Nature · Parks · Shopping
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 29:

New Zealand travel guide

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.