15 days in North Island & Gold Coast Itinerary

15 days in North Island & Gold Coast Itinerary

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Route & dates

15 days in North Island & Gold Coast Itinerary

Start: Brisbane, Australia
Fly:  7​h
1
Wellington, New Zealand
— 1 night
Fly:  3​h
2
Rotorua, New Zealand
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
3
Waitomo Caves, New Zealand
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
4
New Plymouth, New Zealand
— 2 nights
5
Paihia, New Zealand
— Few hours
Drive:  2​h 45​min
6
Auckland, New Zealand
— 3 nights
Fly:  7​h 15​min
7
Surfers Paradise, Australia
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h
End: Brisbane, Australia


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1
night
Wellington, New Zealand

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 26th (Sun): catch a ride on Wellington Cable Car, then get a sense of history and politics at Parliament Buildings, then take in nature's colorful creations at Wellington Botanic Garden, and finally see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. On the 27th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take some stellar pictures from Mount Victoria and then look for all kinds of wild species at ZEALANDIA Sanctuary.

To find ratings, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, use the Wellington trip builder.

Brisbane, Australia to Wellington is an approximately 7-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Australian Eastern Standard Time (Queensland) (AEST) to New Zealand Standard Time (NZST) is 2 hours. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from Brisbane in February; daily highs in Wellington reach 24°C and lows reach 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Mon) so you can travel to Rotorua.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks Wildlife Museums

Side Trip

Wellington Botanic Garden
Find places to stay Feb 26 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Wellington Cable Car ©
Wellington Cable Car
ZEALANDIA Sanctuary ©
ZEALANDIA Sanctuary

4
nights
Rotorua, New Zealand

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.
Change things up with a short trip to Huka Falls in Taupo (about 1:20 hours away). Next up on the itinerary: tour the pleasant surroundings at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, delve into the lush surroundings at Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest, don't miss a visit to Te Puia, and whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

For maps, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Rotorua itinerary maker.

Traveling by flight from Wellington to Rotorua takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) so you can go by car to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Huka Falls Walkway
Find places to stay Feb 27 — Mar 3:
Highlights from your plan
Horseback Riding Tours
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway

1
night
Waitomo Caves, New Zealand

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 3rd (Fri): Head underground at Spellbound Glowworm & Cave Tours and then explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Here are some ideas for day two: admire all the interesting features of Roselands Farm Park and then skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, read Waitomo Caves itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) early enough to go by car to New Plymouth.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Mar 3 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves

2
nights
New Plymouth, New Zealand

New Plymouth ©
Where other cities run, New Plymouth prefers to stroll.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Sun): appreciate the extensive heritage of Coastal Walkway, stroll through Brooklands Zoo, and then admire nature's wide array of creatures at Pukekura Park.

To see maps, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, read our New Plymouth travel itinerary creator.

Traveling by car from Waitomo Caves to New Plymouth takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to travel to Paihia.

Things to do in New Plymouth

Parks Zoos & Aquariums
Find places to stay Mar 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Pukekura Park ©
Pukekura Park
New Plymouth Coastal Walkway ©
New Plymouth Coastal Walkway
Brooklands Zoo ©
Brooklands Zoo

few
hours
Paihia, New Zealand

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 6th (Mon), identify plant and animal life at Paihia Harbour and then take in nature's colorful creations at Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

For photos, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Paihia tour planner.

You can fly from New Plymouth to Paihia in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to travel to Auckland.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites
Find places to stay Mar 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour

3
nights
Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland ©
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 7th (Tue): take an in-depth tour of Auckland Museum, then make a trip to Sky Tower, and then take in the waterfront activity at Viaduct Harbour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: admire nature's wide array of creatures at Auckland Zoo, explore the activities along Devonport, and then stop by Pauanesia.

To find reviews, photos, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Auckland itinerary builder.

Do a combination of flight and bus from Paihia to Auckland in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In March, plan for daily highs up to 22°C, and evening lows to 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Thu) so you can travel to Surfers Paradise.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Museums
Find places to stay Mar 6 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Sky Tower ©
Sky Tower
Auckland War Memorial Museum ©
Auckland War Memorial Museum
Auckland Zoo ©
Auckland Zoo

3
nights
Surfers Paradise, Australia

Surfers Paradise ©
The main appeal of Surfer’s Paradise can be identified from its name alone.
Change things up with these side-trips from Surfers Paradise: Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (in Currumbin) and Dreamworld - TEMPORARILY CLOSED (in Coomera). Next up on the itinerary: kick back and relax at Surfer's Paradise Beach, get in on the family fun at Infinity Attraction, stop by Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, and take in the exciting artwork at Gold Coast City Gallery.

For maps, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Surfers Paradise vacation planner.

You can fly from Auckland to Surfers Paradise in 7.5 hours. You'll gain 2 hours traveling from Auckland to Surfers Paradise due to the time zone difference. While traveling from Auckland, expect a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Surfers Paradise, ranging from highs of 32°C to lows of 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sun) so you can drive back home.

Things to do in Surfers Paradise

Theme Parks Parks Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Gold Coast
Find places to stay Mar 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Sea World Theme Park ©
Sea World Theme Park
Surfers Paradise Beach ©
Surfers Paradise Beach
Warner Bros. Movie World
Warner Bros. Movie World

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