New Zealand Itinerary

Rotorua is much visited region by New Zealander and tourists alike. With so many other sights and attractions in New Zealand, we've created an itinerary so you can get the best out of your trip to Rotorua and the rest of the country.  This suggested trip is a 21 night self-drive trip, starting in Auckland. Please refer to our Driving Distances table for full details on how far the major areas are from Rotorua on the North Island.


21 Night Itinerary

Destination Nights Drive Time  Destination Highlights
1. Auckland 3 Nights Arrive 'City Of Sails'. Highlights: Devonport, Rangitoto Island, Skytower, Viaduct Harbour, Wynyard Quarter, Waiheke Island, Piha Beach & Waitakere Ranges. Area Info
2. The Coromandel 2 Nights 2 hours Coastal Bays & Beaches. Highlights: Cathedral Cove, Hahei Beach, Hot Water Beach, Coromandel Town.  Area Info.
Option 0 Nights 1 hour Hobbition. If time permits, there is the option to make a short detour to visit the movie set of the Lord of The Rings and Hobbit films at Hobbiton, near Matamata.
3. Rotorua 2 Nights 1 hour Volcanic Activity & Maori Culture. Highlights: Geothermal landcape and attractions, Maori Villages, Whakarewarewa Forest, Zorbing, Polynesian Spa, Skyline Gondola.  Area Info.
4. Taupo 1 Night 1 hour Lake Taupo. Highlights: Huka Falls, Craters of the Moon, Orakei Korako Geothermal Attraction, Lake Taupo, Tongariro National Park.  Area Info.
5. Wellington 2 Nights 4.5 hours Capital City. Take the ferry from Picton to Wellington (3.5 hour crossing). Highlights: Shopping, cafes and restaurants, Botanic Gardens, Wellington Zoo, Cable Car, Te Papa Museum, Zealandia, Weta Cave, Mt Victoria Lookout, Cuba Street.  Area Info
Option   2 hours Nelson's Stunning Beaches & Lakes. If you have a few additional days available, take a drive from Picton to Abel Tasman National Park and hop on the water taxis to explore the pristine water and beaches. We'd suggest staying in Motueka. It's also worth checking out Nelson Lakes National Park (Drive to Saint Arnaud Village).
6. Kaikoura 1 Night 2 hours Marine Wildlife & Whale Watching. Highlights: Whale Watching, Coastal Walkway, Peninisula Seal Colony.  Area Info
7. Arthur's Pass 1 Night 3.45 hours Dramatic National Park. Highlights: East to West Coast Drive, Arthur's Pass National Park,Cave Stream Scenic Reserve, Lake Pearson, Castle Hill, Devil's Punchbowl Falls walk.  Area Info
8. The Glaciers 1 Night 2.5 hours Glacier Hiking. Highlights: A guided hike or a heli-flight onto Franz Josef Glacier. Recommend a night in Franz Josef. Fox Glacier is just 30 minutes drive further south also warrants a stop. The West Coast drive to Wanaka includes the 'Pancake Rocks' and Haast Beach.
9. Wanaka 1 Night 3.15 hours All Year Round Alpine Resort. Highlights: Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea, Puzzling World, Mt Iron Walk. Local Tip - when driving to Queenstown, take The Crown Range route  to Queenstown as it's shorter and more beautiful.  Area Info.
10. Queenstown 4 Nights 2.5 hours Awesome Adventure & Scenery. Highlights: Adventure activities of every kind, Lake Wakatipu Cruise, Arrowtown, Gibbston wineries, fantastic golf courses, Queenstown Gardens, Nightlife.  Area Info
11. Mount Cook 1 Night 2.5 Hours Stunning Mountain Landscape. Highlights: Incredible scenic drive, Lake Tekapo, Lake Pukaki, Glacier Explorer, Tasman Glacier Scenic Flight, 4WD, Stargazing. Walking trails.  Area Info
12. Christchurch 2 Nights  3.5 hours The 'Garden City'. Highlights: Hagley Park, Botanical Gardens, River Avon Punting, Gondola, Banks Peninsula & Akaroa, Sumner and New Brighton beaches.  Area Info.
Total  21 Nights   Depart Christchurch