16 days in North Island & Te Anau Itinerary

16 days in North Island & Te Anau Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand Trip Planner

This plan was created by another user. Make it your plan

Route & dates

Start: Auckland
1
Auckland
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h 45 min
2
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h
3
Tauranga
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h
4
Rotorua
— 4 nights
Fly:  3 h
5
Wellington
— 1 night
Fly + Bus:  6 h
6
Te Anau
— 2 nights
Bus + Fly:  8 h
7
Paihia
— 3 nights
Fly + Bus:  2 h 45 min
End: Auckland

1
night
Auckland

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.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Wed): learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Auckland Zoo, then learn about all things military at Auckland Museum, and then stop by Pauanesia.

Plan a trip to Auckland easily and quickly by telling Inspirock to suggest an itinerary.

The Route module shows you travel options from your home to Auckland. In December, plan for daily highs up to 20°C, and evening lows to 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Auckland

Zoos & Aquariums Parks Museums
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Auckland Zoo ©
Auckland Zoo
Auckland Museum ©
Auckland Museum
Pauanesia ©
Pauanesia

1
night
Waitomo Caves

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.
On the 29th (Thu), get a dose of the wild on Spellbound Glowworm & Cave Tours and then Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Keep things going the next day: identify plant and animal life at Otorohanga Kiwi House & Native Bird Park and then stroll through Ruakuri Walk.

To see where to stay, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Waitomo Caves road trip tool.

You can drive from Auckland to Waitomo Caves in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Tauranga.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trip

Otorohanga Kiwi House & Native Bird Park
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk
Otorohanga Kiwi House & Native Bird Park ©
Otorohanga Kiwi House & Native Bird Park

2
nights
Tauranga

Tauranga ©
The largest city in the Bay of Plenty, Tauranga features extensive sandy beaches, well-maintained hiking paths, and a good range of accommodations.
On the 31st (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: enjoy the sand and surf at Mt Maunganui Main Beach.

To find maps, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Tauranga trip itinerary site.

Traveling by car from Waitomo Caves to Tauranga takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and flight. Expect a daytime high around 25°C in December, and nighttime lows around 17°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sun) so you can go by car to Rotorua.

Things to do in Tauranga

Outdoors Parks Trails
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Mt Maunganui Main Beach ©
Mt Maunganui Main Beach

4
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.
Kids will enjoy Rainbow Springs Nature Park and aMAZEme. Step out of Rotorua with an excursion to Huka Falls Walkway in Taupo--about 1h 05 min away. There's still lots to do: witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, identify plant and animal life at Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park, relax in the rural setting at Agrodome, and do a tasting at Volcanic Hills Winery.

For other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, read Rotorua online travel planner.

You can drive from Tauranga to Rotorua in an hour. Another option is to take a bus. In January in Rotorua, expect temperatures between 27°C during the day and 19°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Thu) so you can travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trip

Huka Falls Walkway
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Rainbow Springs Nature Park ©
Rainbow Springs Nature Park
Huka Falls Walkway
Huka Falls Walkway
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

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.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Thu): examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, then take in nature's colorful creations at Wellington Botanic Garden, and then look for all kinds of wild species at ZEALANDIA Sanctuary. On the 6th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: pick up some new knowledge with Weta Workshop, learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Wellington Zoo, then admire the striking features of Old St Paul's, and finally take a memorable ride with Wellington Cable Car.

To see traveler tips, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Wellington trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Rotorua to Wellington takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. In January, plan for daily highs up to 24°C, and evening lows to 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Te Anau.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks Museums Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Wellington Botanic Garden
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
ZEALANDIA Sanctuary ©
ZEALANDIA Sanctuary
Wellington Zoo ©
Wellington Zoo

2
nights
Te Anau

Te Anau ©
Set among the picturesque peaks and glacially carved fiords of Fiordland National Park, Te Anau offers those wishing to explore the park a great place to stay and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of a small town in an enviable location.
On the 7th (Sat), explore the activities along Doubtful Sound and then explore the activities along Lake Te Anau.

Discover how to plan a Te Anau trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Wellington to Te Anau in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can ride a ferry; or do a combination of ferry, train, and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 9th (Mon) to allow time for travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Te Anau

Nature Parks Wildlife
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound
Te Anau Glowworm Caves ©
Te Anau Glowworm Caves
Lake Te Anau ©
Lake Te Anau

3
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.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Tue): take in the dramatic scenery at Rainbow Falls, admire the sheer force of Haruru Falls, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Paihia Harbour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 11th (Wed): admire the natural beauty at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, then glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour, and then discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

To see maps, ratings, and more tourist information, read Paihia holiday planner.

You can do a combination of bus and flight from Te Anau to Paihia in 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, flight, and shuttle; or do a combination of ferry and car. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 12th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive back home.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife Parks Tours

Side Trips

Rainbow Falls, Haruru Falls
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour
Scuba & Snorkeling
Nature & Wildlife Tours

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