14 days, Auckland - Queenstown, North & South islands of New Zealand

Updated: May 6

Route: Auckland – Waitomo Caves – Hobbiton - Rotorua – Taupo – Wellington – Picton – Nelson – Punakaiki – Fox Glacier – Wanaka - Queenstown


Description: This trip will allow you to travel around both of the beautiful islands of Aotearoa, see the most stunning landscapes, and experience the greatest activities. Please note that this tour is best suited to the summer months. Enjoy your trip!

Rotorua lake and town view

Day 1

Auckland

Itinerary:

Arrive in New Zealand in the morning or a day before.

14:30 – 17:30 Start your journey with the Auckland City Sights Tour and Sky Tower. Experience the best of Auckland's city highlights with a half-day scenic tour, followed by a trip up the famous Auckland Sky Tower.

17:30 – 19:30 Enjoy a 3 Course Dinner at the revolving Orbit Restaurant located at the top of the Sky Tower.

Hop On Hop Off Auckland City Tour

Day 2

AucklandWaitomo CavesHobbiton - Rotorua

Itinerary:

08:00 – 11:00 Drive from Auckland to Waitomo (196 km, about 4 hours with a couple of short breaks).

11:30 – 13:30 Grab New Zealand’s longest guided underground walking tour at Waitomo Ruakuri Cave.

13:30 –15:00 Drive to Hobbiton.

15:00 – 16:00 Check-inn, lunch at Shire Rest Cafe.

16:00 – 18:00 Tour to the famous Hobbiton.

18:00 – 19:00 Drive to Rotorua.

In the evening we advise you to soak in the mineral pools of Polynesian SPA.

Green Dragon pub in Hobbiton

Day 3

Rotorua

Itinerary:

09:00 – 10:00 Start your day with the Redwoods Treewalk

10:00 – 14:00 Driving to Skyline Gondola and go uphill. There is a great lake and town view from the summit! Skyline Half Day Adventure Pass: Gondola ride + 5 luge rides + Skyswing + Zipline and Stratosfare Lunch.

14:00 - 14:30 Make your way to Agrodome.

14:30 - 16:30 Farm Show & Eco Farm/Orchard Tour at Agrodome.

16:30 - 16:45 Driving to Rainbow Springs.

16:45 - 18:00 Tour of Rainbow Springs park where you'll encounter lots of New Zealand endemics including tuatara and kiwi bird. We advise you to go straight to Kiwi House because it closes at 5 pm. Afterwards, you'll have plenty of time to see the rest inhabitants of the park.

18:10 – 21:00 Mitai Maori Village Experience.

Kiwi bird chick

Day 4

RotoruaWai-O-TapuHuka FallsTaupo

Itinerary:

08:00 – 08:30 Drive from Rotorua to Wai-O-Tapu (31 km, 30 minutes)

08:30 – 10:00 Admission to Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. Wander through “one of the 20 most surreal places in the world”.

10:00 – 10:35 Drive from Wai-O-Tapu to Huka falls Jet Ride (47 km).

11:00 – 11:30 Experience the awesome Huka Falls Jet Ride with 360-degree spins and a photo session in front of the powerful Huka Falls.

11:30 – 12:30 Taste king prawns at the Huka Prawn Park, which is on the doorstep of the Huka Falls Jet Ride.

12:30 – 12:40 Drive from the Huka Prawn Park to Taupo (9 km)

12:40 – 13:30 Try a solo or tandem Taupo Bungy or Swing or even the Bungy & Swing Combo.

13:30 – 13:40 Drive to Taupo Marina, located at 65 Redoubt Street

14:00 – 16:00 Enjoy the Maori Rock Carvings Cruise with unique lake views and photo opportunities.

16:00 – 16:20 Drive from Taupo Marina to the Wairakei Terraces.

16:30 – 17:00 Take a stroll along the Silica Terraces Walkway and be surprised by the powerful geothermal activity of this place.

17:00 till late - Relax in the mineral and silica-enriched thermal pools at Wairakei Terraces.

Wai-O-Tapu Wonderland

Day 5

TaupoTongariro National Park - Wellington

Itinerary:

If you like hiking you can do Tongariro Crossing today (please, google the detailed information). Alternative shorter routes in Tongariro National Park are Ohakune Great Coach Road and Taranaki Falls trail.

Then you'll drive to Wellington. The total distance between Taupo and Wellington is 370 km. However, the views are spectacular and you will stop frequently to take photos. We advise you to use State Highway 1 rather than State Highway 2.

Enjoy a free evening in the capital of New Zealand.

Volcano Ruapehu, NP Tongariro

Day 6

Wellington

Itinerary:

If your hotel is in the city centre, it’s better to leave your car in the hotel’s carpark. Wellington is made to explore on foot.

10:00 – 11:00 Take a 1-hour public tour around the New Zealand Parliament. It is free of charge.

11:00 – 13:30 Make you way down Lambton Quay to the Wellington Cable Car and ride uphill to the one of the most picturesque lookouts in the city. Walk down the hill through the Botanic Gardens and go to the local I-Site. You’ll have 20-30 minutes for lunch.

13:30 – 17:00 Get up close to the props, weapons and costumes created for The Lord of the Rings, Power Ranges, The Great Wall, Avatar, District 9, and more. Grab the Weta Cave: The Full Experience with return transfers from the central I-Site.

17:00 – 18:00 If you are not exhausted, visit Te Papa Tongarewa – the main New Zealand museum. The entrance is free, but the museum is only open until 6 pm, so make your way there quickly!

The exhibition "Scale of our war" dedicated to Gallipoli battle (1st World War). Wax figures in two human growths made by craftsmen from Veta Cave. Te Papa Tongarewa museum.

Day 7

WellingtonCook Strait - PictonNelson

Itinerary:

08:30 – 12:00 Cross Cook Strait by ferry (approximately 3 hours 30 mins). Please note that some car rental companies require clients to drop-off their first vehicle in Wellington and pick up another one in Picton; while other companies are happy for clients to take their first car on the ferry to the South Island. In this case you’ll have to pay a ferry fee for your car.

12:00 – 14:00 Drive from Picton to Nelson (107 km).

Enjoy a free evening in the sunniest town in New Zealand. Advise you to visit one or several Marlborough wineries.

A winery in Blenheim

Day 8

Nelson Abel Tasman National ParkNelson

Itinerary:

08:30 – 16:30 Take the excellent Abel Tasman Kayaking: Kayak & Pitt Head Nature Loop. You will see seals and little blue penguins, paddle through the pristine green waters of one of New Zealand's most beautiful national parks, and enjoy its golden sandy beaches.

Visit a local winery for dinner.

Kayaking in Abel Tasman NP

Day 9

Nelson - Charleston - Westport

Itinerary:

09:00 – 13:00 Driving to Charleston village. During gold rush, it was the biggest town in New Zealand with more than 30,000 dwellers. Nowadays only 6 people live here. 222 km on the road.

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch at a local cafe. Check-in the tour.

14:00 – 18:00 Underworld Rafting with Glowworms. Unforgettable experience is waiting for you!

Night in Westport town which is nearby Charleston.

Black water rafting on West Coast of New Zealand

Day 10

Westport - Punakaiki - Shantytown - Greymouth - Fox Glacier

Itinerary:

09:00 – 10:00 Make your way to Punakaiki pancake rocks.

10:00 – 11:00 Walking in the park (free entrance).

11:00 – 12:00 Driving to Shantytown heritage park which is a full-scale re-creation of a 19th-century pioneer gold mining town.

12:00 – 14:00 Shantytown Experience with Gold Panning.

14:00 – 15:00 Lunch at a Greymouth cafe.

15:00 – 19:00 Driving to Fox Glacier village (240 km).

Shantytown Heritage Park

Day 11

Fox Glacier - Wanaka - Queenstown

Itinerary:

08:30 - 08:50 The tour check-in.

08:50 - 12:50 Fox Glacier Heli Hike.

13:00 - 14:00 Lunch at a local cafe.

14:00 - 15:30 Hiking around mirror lake Matheson. Instead, you can go to Queenstown and spend some time in Wanaka. Puzzling World: The Combo - Illusion Rooms & Great Maze is available there.

15:30 - 20:30 Driving to Queenstown (327 km).

Fox Glacier

Day 12

Queenstown

Itinerary:

09:00 – 12:30 Get your adrenaline flowing this morning with the Shotover Canyon Fox & Swing. These are two of the must-do activities in the adventure capital of the world!

If you are looking for a less heart-thumping activity, take the Gold Heritage 4WD tour to Skippers Canyon, or Ziptrek’s Kea 6-line Tour.

13:00 – 17:30 Treat yourself to a delicious day of gourmet goodies with the Wine & Food Tour. You’ll be picked up near the Station Building, which is on the doorstep of Shotover Canyon Swing & Fox’s office.

18:00 – 22:00 Take a cruise on the legendary steamship TSS Earnslaw, and enjoy the mouth-watering Walter Peak Gourmet BBQ Dinner.

Ziptrek ecotours in Queenstown

Day 13

QueenstownMilford SoundQueenstown

Itinerary:

06:55 – 15:40 Today is a day you'll remember for the rest of your life, as you explore the incredible scenery of Milford Sound! The best way to experience the sound is to take the Milford Sound Coach/Nature Cruise/Fly tour. It will give you a chance to enjoy the beauty of this remote place from different angles. Other options: Milford Sound Fly/Scenic Cruise/Fly, Milford Sound Helicopter/Scenic Cruise/Helicopter, Helicopter Tour Fiordland's Finest. Please, check all options on the page All Activities.

18:00 – 20:00 Spend the evening at Stratosfare Restaurant, taking in great lake and town views, and devouring a delicious meal with the Skyline Gondola & Dinner.

Milford Sound cruise

Day 14

QueenstownAuckland (or directly overseas)

Itinerary:

If you leave New Zealand late at night we recommend you to try one of the tours listed below:

1) 07:45 - 16:30 Dart River Funyaks

2) 08:30 - 12:00 Queenstown Quad Safari

3) 09:00 - 10:00 Shotover Jet Ride

Or any other tour available on the page All Activities.

The End

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