Travelers to New Zealand typically plan a trip for 9 to 11 days when combining both Auckland and Rotorua with Queenstown. For travelers wanting to visit Auckland and Rotorua exclusively, plan five to seven days for a well-paced trip. Read on for the best itineraries, including Auckland and Rotorua, and beyond.

How many days do you need in Auckland & Rotorua?

  • Most travelers spend 5-7 days in Auckland and Rotorua combined
  • With 8 or more days, most travelers choose to add more stops to their trip
  • The most common extensions are Queenstown (NZ), Paihia, and Wellington

How Many Days to Spend in New Zealand

Plan your trip to New Zealand
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Recommended Itineraries for Auckland & Rotorua

Recommended Itinerary for 5 Days

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Auckland & Optional Activities Auckland
Day 2 Explore Auckland, Whale & Dolphin Watching Auckland
Day 3 Drive to Rotorua & Wai-O-Tapu Tour Rotorua
Day 4 Redwoods Forest & Mountain Bike Tour Rotorua
Day 5 Polynesian Spa & Return to Auckland Auckland

On this active, five-day tour, experience two different cities in New Zealand. Begin in Auckland, and stroll the trendy neighborhoods, followed by a day outdoors, including a dolphin and whale watching excursion. Then, travel to Rotorua, a geothermal destination. Explore the cultural and historical sites, dip into the hot springs, bike through the Redwoods Forest, and visit the famous Polynesian Spa. Read more

Extended Itineraries

8-Day Itinerary Including Wellington & Queenstown

Enjoy a two-hour boat cruise across Milford Sound
Enjoy a two-hour boat cruise across Milford Sound / Piopiotahi
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Queenstown, Walter Peak Dinner & Farm Tour Queenstown
Day 2 Milford Sound / Piopiotahi Flight & Cruise Tour Queenstown
Day 3 Queenstown Free Day Queenstown
Day 4 Fly to Wellington, Visit Museums & Wellington Cable Car Wellington
Day 5 Drive to Rotorua, Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland Rotorua
Day 6 Polynesian Spa & Te Pā Tū Evening Māori Cultural Experience Rotorua
Day 7 Drive to Auckland via Waitomo Glowworm Caves Auckland
Day 8 Depart Auckland  

For those that like a trip to include thrills, food, and natural wonders, this eight-day itinerary should check off all the boxes. New Zealand is known for its hospitality, and you'll experience the very best of it at a mountaintop farm, a lakeside spa, and a multicourse Māori feast. Along the way, you'll get to see a fjord from a plane, glowworms from a boat, and Wellington's cityscape from a century-old funicular railway. Read more

9-Day Itinerary Including Christchurch, Aoraki / Mount Cook & Queenstown

Views across Lake Wakatipu near Queenstown
Views across Lake Wakatipu near Queenstown
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Auckland, Cruise & Sky Walk Auckland
Day 2 Transfer to Rotorua via the Waitomo Caves & Glowworm Grotto Rotorua
Day 3 Explore Geothermal Rotorua's Hot Springs & Geysers  Rotorua
Day 4 Fly to Historic Christchurch & Stroll the Botanical Gardens  Christchurch
Day 5 Drive to Aoraki / Mount Cook, Cruise Tasman Lake Aoraki / Mount Cook
Day 6 Drive to Queenstown, Explore the Adventure Capital Queenstown
Day 7 Take a Scenic Boat & Plane Trip Across Milford Sound / Piopiotahi Queenstown
Day 8 Free Day in Queenstown & Optional Activities Queenstown
Day 9 Depart Queenstown  

Beginning in the vibrant capital of Auckland, this adventure-packed nine-day itinerary starts with a sail under the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Then, it's on to explore geothermal Rotorua and historic Christchurch and visit the spectacular Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park for stargazing and a glacier cruise. You'll finish with a multitude of options in Queenstown, from bungee jumping to a jet boat ride to vineyard tours. Read more


Map of Auckland & Rotorua: Best Itinerary Ideas
Map of Auckland & Rotorua: Best Itinerary Ideas