20 days in New Zealand Itinerary

20 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

20 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Dallas
+2
Tram + Foot + Fly:  22 h 15 min
1
Wellington
— 1 night
+2
Fly + Foot + Bus:  8 h 15 min
2
Fox Glacier
— 2 nights
Drive:  4 h 15 min
3
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Fly:  5 h 15 min
4
Paihia
— 2 nights
Fly + Taxi:  4 h 30 min
5
Tongariro National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  2 h 30 min
6
Rotorua
— 3 nights
Drive:  2 h
7
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  23 h 30 min
End: Dallas

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Wed): examine the collection at Cable Car Museum, identify plant and animal life at ZEALANDIA Sanctuary, then admire the landmark architecture of Old St Paul's, and finally get engrossed in the history at The Great War Exhibition. On your second day here, take an in-depth tour of Wellington Museum, get around town with Wellington Cable Car, then ponder the world of politics at New Zealand Parliament, then learn about all things military at Corrections' Heritage Centre, and finally see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

To find photos, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Wellington tour website.

Dallas, USA to Wellington is an approximately 22.5- hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight, taxi, and train; or do a combination of bus and flight. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time (CST) to New Zealand Standard Time (NZST) is 18 hours. Expect a daytime high around 63°F in November, and nighttime lows around 53°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) so you can travel to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums Parks Wildlife
Find places to stay Nov 10 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
The Great War Exhibition ©
The Great War Exhibition
Wellington Cable Car ©
Wellington Cable Car

2
nights
Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier ©
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Do some cultural sightseeing at ReflectioNZ Gifts & Gallery and River Walk. Take a break from the city and head to Franz Josef Glacier and Hooker Valley Track. There's lots more to do: stroll through Fox Glacier South Side Walk, hike along Moraine Walk, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and look for all kinds of wild species at West Coast Wildlife Centre.

For ratings, reviews, photos, and tourist information, go to the Fox Glacier trip itinerary site.

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Wellington to Fox Glacier in 8.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car; or do a combination of flight and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Queenstown.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trips

Franz Josef, Hooker Valley Track
Find places to stay Nov 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Fox Glacier South Side Walk ©
Fox Glacier South Side Walk
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track

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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Peregrine Wines and Chard Farm Winery. Escape the urban bustle at Hollyford Track and Kiwi Birdlife Park. There's much more to do: get interesting insight from Tours, steep yourself in history at Vesta Design Boutique, take in the exciting artwork at Queenstown Arts Centre, and make a trip to One Mile Power House.

To see photos, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, read Queenstown trip builder.

Traveling by car from Fox Glacier to Queenstown takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Wed) early enough to travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trip

Hollyford Track
Find places to stay Nov 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Hollyford Track ©
Hollyford Track
Kiwi Birdlife Park ©
Kiwi Birdlife Park
Zipline

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.
On the 19th (Thu), take in the dramatic scenery at Haruru Falls, get great views at Opua Forest Lookout Track, then look for all kinds of wild species at Paihia Harbour, and finally get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports. On your second day here, steep yourself in history at Pompallier Mission and Printery, examine the collection at Russell Museum, and then take a memorable tour with Tours.

To see photos, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Paihia trip maker tool.

Fly from Queenstown to Paihia in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of car and ferry. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife Parks Tours

Side Trip

Russell
Find places to stay Nov 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Parasailing & Paragliding

3
nights
Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park ©
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Tongariro Alpine Crossing and Ohakune Old Coach Road. Escape the urban bustle at Taranaki Falls and River Rafting & Tubing. Change things up with these side-trips from Tongariro National Park: National Army Museum (in Waiouru) and Tongariro National Trout Centre (in Turangi). There's much more to do: explore and take pictures at Te Porere Redoubt, take in the dramatic scenery at Tawhai Falls, trek along Mounds Walk, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Whakapapa Nature Walk.

To see photos, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Tongariro National Park trip planner.

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from Paihia to Tongariro National Park in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and train. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Mon) so you can go by car to Rotorua.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Turangi, National Army Museum
Find places to stay Nov 20 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Ohakune Old Coach Road ©
Ohakune Old Coach Road
Taranaki Falls ©
Taranaki Falls

3
nights
Rotorua

Rotorua ©
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.
Escape the urban bustle at Huka Falls Walkway and Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Rotorua Museum and Whakarewarewa - The Living Maori Village. Venture out of the city with trips to Taupo (Taupo Museum & Opepe Scenic and Historic Reserve). There's much more to do: explore the striking landscape at Waimangu Volcanic Valley, take in the architecture and atmosphere at St. Lukes Anglican Church, steep yourself in history at Government Gardens, and identify plant and animal life at Redwoods Treewalk.

To see more things to do, photos, maps, and more tourist information, read our Rotorua online route maker.

Traveling by car from Tongariro National Park to Rotorua takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. In November, daytime highs in Rotorua are 68°F, while nighttime lows are 55°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Thu) so you can go by car to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Historic Sites Nature

Side Trip

Taupo
Find places to stay Nov 23 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Waimangu Volcanic Valley ©
Waimangu Volcanic Valley

2
nights
Waitomo Caves

Head deep beneath the surface of the earth at Waitomo Caves, a village and cave system that draws both extreme sports enthusiasts and those wanting something a little more relaxed.
Start off your visit on the 27th (Fri): explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, then Head underground at Caveworld, and finally hike along Ruakuri Walk. Keep things going the next day: identify plant and animal life at Otorohanga Kiwi House & Native Bird Park, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and then explore the fascinating underground world of Ruakuri Cave.

For other places to visit, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Waitomo Caves road trip planner.

Traveling by car from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trip

Otorohanga Kiwi House & Native Bird Park
Find places to stay Nov 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
River Rafting & Tubing

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