25 days in New Zealand & Hamilton Island Itinerary

25 days in New Zealand & Hamilton Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Pacific visit planner
Make it your trip
Fly
1
Auckland, New Zealand
— 2 nights
Fly
2
Hamilton Island, Australia
— 3 nights
Fly to Auckland International Airport, Drive to Waitomo Caves
3
Waitomo Caves, New Zealand
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Rotorua, New Zealand
— 4 nights
Drive
5
Napier, New Zealand
— 1 night
Fly
6
Picton, New Zealand
— 1 night
Ferry
7
Wellington, New Zealand
— 2 nights
Fly
8
Christchurch, New Zealand
— 3 nights
Fly
9
Dunedin, New Zealand
— 1 night
Drive
10
Queenstown, New Zealand
— 4 nights
Fly

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Auckland, New Zealand — 2 nights

City of Sails

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.
Auckland is known for sightseeing, nature, and museums. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: enjoy breathtaking views from SkyTower, get to know the resident critters at Auckland Zoo, make a trip to Viaduct Harbour, and grab your bike and head to Nelson Street Cycleway.

To see reviews, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Auckland trip itinerary builder.

Brisbane, Australia to Auckland is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) to New Zealand Standard Time (NZST) is 2 hours. Traveling from Brisbane in August, expect nights in Auckland to be about the same, around 14°C, while days are little chillier, around 14°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Wed) so you can fly to Hamilton Island.
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Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Nature · Museums

Hamilton Island, Australia — 3 nights

A trip to Hamilton Island takes you to a car-free destination mostly covered in bushland.
Hamilton Island is known for wildlife, sightseeing, and adventure. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: make a trip to Passage Peak, take in the waterfront activity at Hamilton Island Marina, enjoy the sand and surf at Catseye Beach, and view the masterpieces at Hamilton Island Art Gallery.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Hamilton Island online journey maker.

You can fly from Auckland to Hamilton Island in 9.5 hours. The time zone changes from New Zealand Standard Time to Australian Eastern Standard Time, which is usually a -2 hour difference. In August, Hamilton Island is somewhat warmer than Auckland - with highs of 26°C and lows of 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Waitomo Caves.
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Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife · Tours

Waitomo Caves, New Zealand — 2 nights

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.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Sun): Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves, then hike along Ruakuri Walk, and then take in the dramatic scenery at Marakopa Falls. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 8th (Mon): identify plant and animal life at Spellbound Glowworm & Cave Tours and then Head underground at Aranui Cave.

To find ratings, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Waitomo Caves road trip planning website.

Explore your travel options from Hamilton Island to Waitomo Caves with the Route module. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 2 hours traveling from Hamilton Island to Waitomo Caves. On the 9th (Tue), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Rotorua.
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Outdoors · Parks · Nature · Wildlife
Side Trip

Rotorua, New Zealand — 4 nights

Sulphur City

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 these side-trips from Rotorua: Taupo (Adrenaline & Extreme Tours, Huka Falls Walkway, &more), Deciduus & Santie (in Tirau) and Hobbiton Movie Set (in Hinuera). There's still lots to do: whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, browse for treasures at Rotorua Antiques & Collectables, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Waiotapu Boardwalk/ Mud Pool, and get interesting insight from Tours.

For ratings, maps, and tourist information, use the Rotorua trip builder app.

Traveling by car from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. August in Rotorua sees daily highs of 17°C and lows of 7°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Napier.
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Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Nature
Side Trips

Napier, New Zealand — 1 night

Enjoy the atmosphere and architecture of 1930s design in Napier, one of the best-preserved Art Deco cities in the world.
To see photos, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Napier travel itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Rotorua to Napier takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Sun) early enough to catch the flight to Picton.
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Shopping · Parks · Wineries · Zoos & Aquariums
Side Trip

Picton, New Zealand — 1 night

Gateway to the South Island

Take photo after stunning photo in Picton, the gateway to South Island.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Mon): trek along Queen Charlotte Track.

To find out how to plan a trip to Picton, use our trip itinerary maker.

You can fly from Napier to Picton in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. In August in Picton, expect temperatures between 15°C during the day and 9°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Mon) to allow enough time to ride a ferry to Wellington.
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Outdoors · Parks · Trails
Highlights from your trip

Wellington, New Zealand — 2 nights

Harbour Capital

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.
On the 16th (Tue), admire nature's wide array of creatures at Wellington Zoo, then examine the collection at Southward Car Museum, and then test your problem-solving skills at popular escape rooms. Keep things going the next day: brush up on your military savvy at National War Memorial, steep yourself in history at Wellington Cable Car, and then examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

To see more things to do, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Wellington online road trip planner.

Ride a ferry from Picton to Wellington in 4 hours. In August, plan for daily highs up to 15°C, and evening lows to 9°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Wed) to allow time to fly to Christchurch.
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Museums · Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Fun & Games
Side Trip

Christchurch, New Zealand — 3 nights

Garden City

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Explore Christchurch's surroundings by going to High Peak Heliski (in Windwhistle) and Black Diamond Safaris (in Methven). There's still lots to do: take an in-depth tour of Canterbury Museum, see the interesting displays at International Antarctic Centre, take in nature's colorful creations at Christchurch Botanic Gardens, and get to know the resident critters at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve.

To see other places to visit, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Christchurch road trip site.

Getting from Wellington to Christchurch by flight takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Traveling from Wellington in August, Christchurch is little chillier at night with lows of 2°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Sat) so you can catch the flight to Dunedin.
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Parks · Outdoors · Winter Sports · Museums
Side Trips

Dunedin, New Zealand — 1 night

Edinburgh of the South

With its history proudly stemming from the Scottish settlers who came here during the colonial era, Dunedin's streets are lined with well-preserved examples of Victorian and Edwardian architecture, while a new culture of nightlife and fine dining takes hold around them.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Sun): don't miss a visit to The Royal Albatross Centre, then take in nature's colorful creations at Glenfalloch Gardens Cafe and Restaurant, then get curious at Otago Museum, and finally make a trip to The World's Steepest Street.

For more things to do, photos, maps, and tourist information, read our Dunedin trip itinerary builder site.

You can fly from Christchurch to Dunedin in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Queenstown.
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Parks · Childrens Museums · Wildlife · Museums

Queenstown, New Zealand — 4 nights

Shallow Bay

Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Explore Queenstown's surroundings by going to Te Anau (The Chasm Walk & Milford Sound). There's lots more to do: fly down the slopes at Browns Ski Shop, take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and get interesting insight from Tours.

For maps, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Queenstown trip planning app.

Traveling by car from Dunedin to Queenstown takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Thu) to allow enough time to fly back home.
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Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Winter Sports
Side Trip

New Zealand travel guide

4.5
Specialty Museums · Landmarks · Hiking Trails
Land of the Long White Cloud
Far-flung New Zealand has become known for its astounding topography, singular biodiversity, varied climate, and for marrying native Maori and post-colonial European cultures on its two main islands and the multitude of smaller landmasses dotted around them. Free-spirited New Zealanders cultivate a love of sports, sustainability, and the outdoors. Far from other landmasses, the islands existed for millions of years before being inhabited by humans, so an abundance of species have come to thrive in the thick, wild rainforest, vast and rugged backland, and extensive surrounding marine areas. While much of New Zealand tourism centers around adventures through this spectacular scenery, take time to explore the nation's rich cultural heritage as well. The traditions and history of the Maoris, and the industry and internationalism of the descendents of the first European settlers endure in fascinating attractions, ranging from museums, to farms, to places of worship.
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