15 days in North Island & Gold Coast Itinerary

15 days in North Island & Gold Coast Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Pacific Trip Planner

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Route & dates

Start: Brisbane, Australia
Fly + Bus:  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
Fly:  3 h
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

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): take a memorable ride with Wellington Cable Car, then get a sense of history and politics at New Zealand Parliament, then admire the natural beauty at Wellington Botanic Garden, and finally examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Here are some ideas for day two: get great views at Mount Victoria and then identify plant and animal life at ZEALANDIA Sanctuary.

To see other places to visit, photos, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Wellington attractions planning tool.

Brisbane, Australia to Wellington is an approximately 7.5- hour combination of flight and bus. You can also do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of flight, taxi, and train. The time zone changes from Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) to New Zealand Standard Time (NZST), which is usually a 2 hour difference. Traveling from Brisbane in February, things will get a bit cooler in Wellington: highs are around 24°C and lows about 17°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Mon) early enough to travel to Rotorua.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks Wildlife Museums

Side Trip

Wellington Botanic Garden
Find places to stay Feb 26 — 27:
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Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Wellington Cable Car ©
Wellington Cable Car
Wellington Botanic Garden ©
Wellington Botanic Garden

4
nights
Rotorua, New Zealand

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.
Step out of Rotorua with an excursion to Huka Falls Walkway in Taupo--about 1h 05 min away. And it doesn't end there: take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, delve into the lush surroundings at Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest, whizz through the canopy at categoryPhrases.alias.some_of_the_top_local_zipline_courses_and_adventure_parks, and steep yourself in history at Te Puia.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Rotorua tour itinerary planning app.

Fly from Wellington to Rotorua in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. February in Rotorua sees daily highs of 28°C and lows of 19°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) so you can drive to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Rotorua

Nature Parks Outdoors

Side Trip

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

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): surround yourself with nature on Spellbound Glowworm & Cave Tours and then Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Here are some ideas for day two: experience rural life at Roselands Farm Park.

To see ratings, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Waitomo Caves trip builder site.

Drive from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. On the 4th (Sat), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to New Plymouth.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Tours Outdoors 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.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Sun): take in the pleasant sights at New Plymouth Coastal Walkway, meet the residents at Brooklands Zoo, and then get to know the resident critters at Pukekura Park.

For photos, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, go to the New Plymouth online journey planner.

Getting from Waitomo Caves to New Plymouth by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or do a combination of bus and flight. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Paihia.

Things to do in New Plymouth

Zoos & Aquariums Parks
Find places to stay Mar 4 — 6:
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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.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Paihia visit planning site.

Getting from New Plymouth to Paihia by flight takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Mon) so you can go by car 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.
On the 7th (Tue), learn about all things military at Auckland Museum, enjoy breathtaking views from SkyTower, and then explore and take pictures at Viaduct Harbour. Here are some ideas for day two: admire nature's wide array of creatures at Auckland Zoo, then shop like a local with Devonport, and then look for gifts at Pauanesia.

For photos, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Auckland online journey maker.

You can drive from Paihia to Auckland in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. In March in Auckland, expect temperatures between 22°C during the day and 22°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Thu) early enough to travel to Surfers Paradise.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Shopping
Find places to stay Mar 6 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Auckland Museum ©
Auckland 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.
Surfers Paradise is known for beaches, theme parks, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Sea World Theme Park, meet the residents at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, browse the different shops at Niecon Plaza, and find something for the whole family at Dreamworld.

To find more things to do, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Surfers Paradise trip builder tool.

Getting from Auckland to Surfers Paradise by flight takes about 6.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and train. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 2 hours traveling from Auckland to Surfers Paradise. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Auckland in March: highs in Surfers Paradise hover around 32°C, while lows dip to 23°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sun) so you can go by car 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
Dreamworld ©
Dreamworld

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