• Waitomo Cave Adventure Abseiling tours
  • Yellow Eyed Penguins tour Dunedin
  • White Island Helicopter tour
Waitomo Cave Adventure Abseiling tours1 Yellow Eyed Penguins tour Dunedin2 White Island Helicopter tour3

18 day New Zealand North+South

18 days New Zealand itinerary North & South Island

North and South New Zealand Itinerary in 18 DaysMost travellers itinerary to New Zealand will include the North and South Island. Both Islands have unique features, however the distances between locations can be underestimated. This 18-day North and South Island Itinerary has a great time-saving domestic flight. We recommend that you spend a 1/3 of your time in the North Island and 2/3 in the South Island.
  • Coromandel Beaches and watersports
  • Waitomo Caves and Glowworms tour
  • Rotorua’s geysers and Maori culture
  • Sunny Abel Tasman NP, arts, lifestyle
  • West Coast’s pancakes, glaciers and rainforest
  • Outdoor adventure capital Queenstown
  • Hiking Fiordland and visit Milford Sound
  • Penguins and Albatross near Dunedin
  • Mount Cook High Country and lakes
  • Christchurch and Canterbury Plains

18 days North and South New Zealand

Your journey day by day...

Day 1 Arrive in Auckland and private transfer
A private driver will collect you from Auckland Airport and drive to your hotel for check-in. Explore the America's Cup village. See the amazing city views from the Sky Tower. Take a boat trip to beautiful Waiheke Island or Devonport.
 
Day 2 Travel to the Coromandel Peninsula
Drive your rental car to the Coromandel region and walk on golden beaches.Visit the Hot Water Beach at Hahei and Cathedral Cove. See the marine life in the Hahei Marine Reserve.
 
Day 3 Explore Beaches and Coastal Walks
Dig your own Spa Pool in the sand at a Hot Water Beach. Leave your car at Cooks Beach and take a ferry to Whitianga. Join a guided kayaking tour ex Hahei Beach.
Day 4 Travel via Waitomo Caves to Rotorua
Drive to the famous Waitomo caves to view the beautiful stalactites and galaxies of native glow worms. Join a tour to explore the caves. Go blackwater rafting or abseiling.
 
Day 5 Explore Rotorua and Lake Taupo
Rotorua is a geothermal wonderland. See the volcanic activity, relax in a hot stream or be pampered at a luxurious spa. Enjoy a Maori cultural performance and outdoor adventure.
Day 6 Domestic flight to Nelson
Take a domestic flight to Nelson and collect another rental car. The Nelson/Tasman area is a warm paradise and perfect for the outdoors. This region is surrounded by the Tasman Ocean and 3 National Parks. Stay 2 nights. 
 
Day 7 Explore the Abel Tasman National Park
The stunning scenery and aquatic beauty on the Abel Tasman Coast Track is incomparable! Use a water taxi to the coastal walk or join a guided sea kayaking tour.
Day 8 Travel the West Coast to Punakaiki
Travel to the beautiful rainforest of the West Coast on the scenic Great Coast Road, one of the Top 10 Coastal Drives in the world. Go underground rafting and caving. See the Pancake Rocks. 
 
Day 9 Travel to Fox Glacier
Drive to ‘New Zealand heartland’, a sparsely populated area between Karamea and Jackson Bay. Enjoy the forest beauty and stroll the goldfield walkway at Ross. Visit the White Heron colony near Whataroa and take a glacier helicopter ride.
Day 10 Travel via Haast Pass to Wanaka or Queenstown
Between Haast and Jackson Bay discover the beaches,lakes and wetlands. Join the authentic Waiatoto River Jet Boating Safari. Arrive in the Otago Region and stay at Wanaka or Queenstown. 
 
Day 11 Explore the Queenstown / Wanaka region
Queenstown and Wanaka provide activities and adventures for all seasons, including skiing, fishing, hiking, wine tasting, scenic flights, skydiving and 750 kms of cycle trails Visit the nearby towns of Cromwell and Alexandra.
Day 12 Travel to Te Anau
Take an easy drive to Te Anau, the gateway to the Fiordland National Park and New Zealand's hiking capital. Fiordland features wildlife, cascading waterfalls and enormous fiords. Stay a minimum of 2 nights.
 
Day 13 Explore Fiordland and Milford Sound
Milford Sound is a fusion of spectacular natural features. The fiord cliffs rise vertically from dark waters and mountain peaks scrape the sky. Avoid the 5-hour drive from Te Anau to Milford and join a local small group tour.
Day 14 Travel via Southland to Dunedin
Take the Southern Coastal route to Dunedin where the scenery is rugged and beautiful. The city of Dunedin is surrounded by dramatic hills and a natural harbour. This area is rich in Scottish heritage and historical architecture.
 
Day 15 Penguins and Albatross colonies near Dunedin
Travellers visit Dunedin to see the wild beauty of the Otago Peninsula, the Royal Albatross Centre and magnificent wildlife, including the rare yellow-eyed penguin.
Day 16 Travel via Oamaru to Twizel/ Mt. Cook region
Drive north from Dunedin on the coastal road to Oamaru and further inland to the MacKenzie/ Mt. Cook region. Arrive at the Waitaki region and travel inland to Aoraki Mount Cook.
 
Day 17 Travel via Rakaia River to Christchurch
Continue from Aoraki Mount Cook National Park via Lake Tekapo to the quilted plains of Canterbury. Arrive at the garden city of Christchurch and enjoy the exciting renovations.
 
Day 18 Depart ex Christchurch
Depending on your flight departure, relax or explore the Christchurch region. Akaroa is a 1.5 hour drive one-way and a perfect day trip. You can extend your stay in Christchurch or any other location.
 
Coromandel Beaches North Island

Day 2 - East Coast Coromandels

970 Lonely Bay Lodge - part of 18 days itinerary

Day 2 + 3 - 970 Lonely Bay Lodge

Waitomo Cave Lost World tour in North Island

Day 4  - Lost World Waitomo (optional)

Kayaking Abel Tasman in the South Island

Day 7  - Abel Tasman Kayaking

Abel Tasman NP is part of the 18 days itinerary

Day 7  - Abel Tasman Watertaxi + Walk

Fox Glacier Guiding Westcoast South Island

Day 10  - Explore Fox Glacier

Wilderness Jet boating near Haast

Day 10  - Wilderness Jetboating (optional)

Hiking on the Milford Track South Island

Day 12  - Hiking Fiordland NP

Milford Sound Nature Cruise

Day 13  - Milford Sound Nature Cruise

Penguin and Wildlife tour near Dunedin

Day 15  - Wildlife Tour Dunedin

Glacier Lake Explore tour near Mt. Cook

Day 16  - Glacier Lake Tour Mt. Cook

Yellow-Eyed Penguins near DunedinClick here for the full itinerary...
Contact us by email
Ph ++64 (0)21 629 498
TNZNZSAussieSpecialistBestOption
PO Box 3449
Richmond
Tasman, New Zealand