Most people visiting Auckland, Rotorua, and Wellington spend about 10 to 11 days in New Zealand, which usually includes some time in Queenstown as well. If you're not interested in Queenstown, 8 to 10 days is enough for your Auckland, Rotorua, and Wellington trip. Even travelers with limited time can see the highlights in as few as seven days. For the best itineraries, including Auckland, Rotorua, and Wellington, keep reading below.

How many days do you need in Auckland, Rotorua & Wellington?

  • Most travelers spend 8-10 days in Auckland, Rotorua, and Wellington combined
  • Visiting Auckland, Rotorua, and Wellington in 7 days is possible, but it will feel rushed
  • With 11 or more days, most travelers choose to add more stops to their trip
  • The most common extensions are Queenstown, Napier, and Tongariro National Park

How Many Days to Spend in New Zealand

Recommended Itineraries for Auckland, Rotorua & Wellington

Recommended Itinerary for 8 Days

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Auckland, Explore Auckland
Day 2 Drive to Rotorua via Hobbiton Rotorua
Day 3 Day Trip to Waitomo  Rotorua
Day 4 Explore Rotorua: Te Puia & Māori Villages Rotorua
Day 5 Drive From Rotorua to Wellington Wellington
Day 6 Wellington: Full-Day The Lord of the Rings Tour Wellington
Day 7 Wellington: Museum Tour & Wildlife Sanctuary Wellington
Day 8 Depart Wellington  

Experience the highlights of New Zealand's North Island on this 8-day self-drive adventure from Auckland to Wellington. Explore national parks and hot springs, see real Hobbit homes, and immerse yourself in the rich indigenous culture and history. This journey includes many options for an adrenaline rush, as well as relaxing spa treatments to unwind and rejuvenate. This is the best way to see the North Island at your own pace! Read more

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Extended Itineraries

8-Day Itinerary Including 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 (NZ)
Day 2 Milford Sound / Piopiotahi Flight & Cruise Tour Queenstown (NZ)
Day 3 Queenstown Free Day Queenstown (NZ)
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

11-Day Itinerary Including Christchurch & Queenstown

Let someone else drive as you sit back and take in the views of both islands
Let someone else drive as you sit back and take in the views of both islands
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Queenstown, Ride the Skyline Gondola Queenstown (NZ)
Day 2 Milford Sound / Piopiotahi Full-Day Adventure Queenstown (NZ)
Day 3 Transfer to Christchurch, Explore Christchurch
Day 4 Free Day in Christchurch Christchurch
Day 5 Transfer to Wellington via Picton Wellington
Day 6 Explore Wellington, Visit the Te Papa Museum, Ride the Wellington Cable Car Wellington
Day 7 Transfer to Rotorua, Relax at a Polynesian Spa Rotorua
Day 8 Te Puia Tour & Māori Arts Experience Rotorua
Day 9 Transfer to Auckland, Explore Auckland
Day 10 All Blacks Rugby Experience, Ride the Sky Tower  Auckland
Day 11 Depart Auckland  

This fun and fast-paced tour takes you across New Zealand's South and North Islands for a wide range of epic landscapes and distinct activities. Kick off the trip in Queenstown, the adrenaline capital of the world, and cruise through Milford Sound / Piopiotahi. Then hit the highlights in Christchurch and Wellington before heading north through geothermal wonders and glowworm caves. Ride to the top of Auckland's Sky Tower in time for a sunset drink to finish the adventure. Read more

How to travel between Auckland, Rotorua & Wellington

Auckland and Wellington are at opposite ends of New Zealand's North Island, about 400 miles (640 kilometers) apart. Getting between the two major cities is very straightforward, and there are many options. Here's how to get from Auckland to Wellington. Read more


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