Ten days is a great amount of time for a New Zealand trip: you'll easily be able to experience the top highlights of both islands—North and South—plus outdoor activities and themed adventures (Middle Earth, anyone?). With less time, stick to one island for a comfortably-paced, immersive tour; if you're dead-set on seeing both islands in less than a week, be prepared to move quickly. Travelers with two weeks can see it all, or combine the country's top sights with a week of fun in Australia.
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Five days may seem short, but allows for an eventful adventure through New Zealand. Since there is not much time, it is ideal to travel within the South Island or the North Island—which budgets for a successful road trip with a few scenic stops. Anchoring the itinerary in a major city like Auckland allows for day trips to go kiwi spotting, wine tasting, and island hopping (if you’re not on the open road). Explore geothermal Rotorua, Aoraki/Mount Cook, the Banks Peninsula, Akaroa, and so much more in the five trip plans that follow.
With two weeks, you can get to know both of New Zealand's islands or enjoy an in-depth exploration of either one. Take a North Island road trip from Auckland to Wellington, or stick to the South Island with stops in Queenstown, Te Anau, Wanaka, and Christchurch. Alternatively, opt for a multi-country trip that combines New Zealand's highlights with one full week in Australia.
In one week, you can discover just the North Island, just the South Island, or cross over into both. By landing and departing in major cities (like Christchurch, Auckland, and Wellington), each trip ensures you can do some standard sightseeing. In the North Island, hit scenic stops like geothermal Rotorua and Tongariro National Park, while the South Island is home to Aoraki/Mt Cook, Wanaka, and Akaroa. Learn more with our trip ideas below.
You can comfortably explore four to five different destinations with ten days in New Zealand. Spend up to two days in each city, including the "Big Little City" of Auckland, geothermal Rotorua, and scenic Wanaka. There are also several opportunities to discover settings from the Lord of the Rings films in Matamata, Tongariro National Park, and Wellington. The itineraries below cover the North and South Islands with ideas for every traveler—from family-friendly excursions to hardcore outdoor adventures.