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New Zealand itinerary 2 weeks, 14 days top sights

2 WEEK ITINERARY – SELF-GUIDED TOUR OF NEW ZEALAND

14 days
13 nights

Trip Overview

Aotearoa NZ road trip

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Year round

 

PLACES VISITED

Auckland, Taupo, Rotorua, Christchurch, Greymouth

Start Auckland
Finish Queenstown

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Breathtaking scenery, evocative landscapes 100% pure blasts of New Zealand
  • Adventure is New Zealand’s DNA, bungy jump, sky dive your choice, your holiday
  • Unique Maori cultural narratives – Rotorua
  • A touch of indulgence with hot thermal pools the perfect antidote to a busy world
  • Cultural centres and art galleries where creative talents interpret the world of Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Villages and towns with quirky personalities and the stamp of time making for interesting stops
  • Tranzalpine train journey, one of the world’s great railway trips
  • Short walks to waterfalls and the majestic Southern Alps

TIP

The road trip where a vehicle is NOT always necessary.

Start Auckland
Finish Queenstown

Route map

DAY 1 & 2

Auckland 2 nights

Mount Eden Summit - Auckland - New Zealand
  • Day 1 Arrival day Auckland
  • Day 2 Auckland all day

Discover Auckland, New Zealand on a plate; a must-do destination with

  • three wine districts
  • beaches and rivers
  • urban sophistication with a unique Pasifika vibe
  • Outstanding public ies and heritage trails
  • Adventures galore starting with the well known harbour bridge climb
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DAY 3-4

Taupo 2 nights

Dusk at Lake Taupo, New Zealand
  • Day 3 arrive in Taupo (drive / fly from Auckland)
  • Day 4 all day Taupo

Taupo is your introduction to glorious New Zealand scenery. Check out Central North Island road trip for tips about where to go and what to see.

Unmissable sights between Auckland and Taupo are

  • Tirau corrugated sculptures adorning the main street; great instagram moment and definitely humorous
  • Putaruru wetlands where billions of litres of crystal clear spring water create a memorising sight
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Stops & extensions
Taupo arrival

Mount Ngauruhoe Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

Find out what makes this place special. Visitors are beguiled by a volcanic zone stretching across the Central Plateau of the North Island. Nature has created a bubbling cauldron of warm mineral water and deep immense crater lakes. The inky blue bodies of water are fringed by lush native bush. The glorious scenery has a stunning backdrop of the three snow-tipped peaks of Tongariro National Park. It is the stuff of holiday dreams with the picturesque landscape encouraging water sports, adventures from jet boating, rafting and kayaking or walking tours soaking up the views.

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DAY 5-6

Rotorua 2 nights

Pohutu Geyser, Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley, Rotorua. Landscape Format with Rainbow.

Your day starts with a scenic drive from Taupo to Rotorua. The short easy 80 km drive has several stunning locations to explore on route. Make sure you pull over and check out Whakarewarewa Living Village is on the outskirts of Rotorua, State Highway five tempting you to pull over and explore. Check out where the locals live and how their lives have been influenced by living with active volcanic activity. For details check here Rotorua Whakarewarewa: an iconic living Maori village.

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DAY 7

Christchurch

Christchurch Gondola view, New Zealand

Your day starts with a departure from Rotorua to the domestic Rotorua airport (Taupo) for a short flight to Christchurch. Rotorua (ROT) to Christchurch (CHC) is 1 hour, 55 minutes. Discover a repurposed city with exciting contemporary architecture alongside restored heritage buildings. Find how the Avon River brings its natural beauty into the urban landscape. Explore a vibrant, transformative street culture with murals and public sculptures. Laneways, pedestrian-only precincts, funky playgrounds add to the sense of urban meets imaginative horizons.

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DAY 8

Tranzalpine Train Journey

TranzAlpine Train, New Zealand @greatjourneysofnz
TranzAlpine Train @greatjourneysofnz

Relax and absorb the diverse scenery of one of the world’s great train journeys. From the rolling farmland of the Canterbury plains through the Southern Alps pass, Arthur’s Pass National Park. The train winds its way past the stunning Lake Brunner with a stop at Moana heritage railway station and with glimpses of the majesty of the west coast’s lush subtropical rainforest.  Panoramic windows means guests do not miss any of the spectacular views as they pass by.

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DAY 9-10

West Coast

Ship Creek, Haast, West Coast, Tauparikaka Marine Reserve, New Zealand

WEST COAST GUIDE ATTRACTIONS, THINGS TO DO, PLACES TO GO

Where to go is outdoors. Irresistible West Coast  scenery is the drawcard. The attraction of a pristine native forest wrapped around mountain ranges, lush dense coastal forests and untamed wild ocean beaches creates memory moments. Stunning, unforgettable are geological sculptural arches, layers to the world’s most accessible glaciers. There are places to go that suit every taste.

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DAY 11

West Coast touring route to Queenstown

A hiker soaks in a dramatic sunrise on a snowy Roy's Peak trail over Lake Wanaka in New Zeland.

Enjoy a day on the road trip, Great West Coast trip (State Highway 6) Haast Pass to Wanaka & Queenstown: West Coast Road trip

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Sweeping views of glacier country & Tasman Sea
  • Mount Aspiring National Park waterfalls and short walks
  • Salmon farm cafe where the catch of the day is freshly harvested
  • Lake Hawera views
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DAY 12 - 13

Queenstown

Beautiful views of Lake Wakatipu and Queenstown, New Zealand

Adventure capital of the world, year round Queenstown is a premier visitor destination

A year round holiday location where glorious scenery and outdoors adventures go hand in hand. Queenstown is a resort town framed by alpine peaks with a beautiful lake at the edge. The town is fun, adrenaline laced attractions, leisurely fine dining and indulgent spa treatments and a place where kids have plenty to do and see.

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DEPARTURE

Auckland International Airport, Auckland, New Zealand @Aucklandnz
Auckland International Airport @Aucklandnz

Queenstown to Auckland Air New Zealand flight and departure home

NOTE

Queenstown to Christchurch driving distance is 487 km (5 ½ hours drive time)

A fascinating route – consider lengthening your holiday of a lifetime in New Zealand

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