Oceana Resorts & Apartments - Suggested New Zealand Itineraries

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Suggested Itineraries

Day One: Auckland to Paihia  (237km – 3hrs 20mins)

Travel north from Auckland along the Hibiscus Coast through magnificent forests until you reach Paihia, the gateway to the Bay of Islands. 

Must see sights & stops:

  • Spend the afternoon enjoying the town and surrounding areas 
  • Visit the historic Waitangi Treaty House
  • Trek & walk along Haruru Falls       
  • Take a stroll along the beach

Day Two: Paihia

Travel north from Paihia for the day for dazzling beaches along the coast & spectacular scenery in the Bay of Islands. 

Must see sites & stops:

  • Stroll in the stunning white sands of  Parengarenga Harbour
  • Drive from Waitaki Landing to Cape Reinga - the northernmost point of the North Island
  • Take a short walk to the famous lighthouse at Cape Reinga  

Day Three: Paihia to Auckland (237km – 3hrs 20mins)

Travel back to Auckland and spend the afternoon sightseeing. 

Must see sites & stops:

  • Visit the charming & distinct character of Parnell Village                                                
  • Stop at Auckland Museum for local & international exhibitions
  • Observe Antarctic and local sea life at  Kelly Tarlton’s
  • Cruise around Auckland Harbor enjoying the views of the city

Day Four: Auckland to Rotorua (235km – 3hr 20mins)

Travel south over the Bombay Hills and out onto the fertile plains of the Waikato. 

Must see sites & stops:

  • Stop for refreshments in the riverside city of Hamilton
  • Continue east along the Thermal Explorer Highway to Rotorua
  • Visit the antique town of Tirau to discover Maori culture

Day Five & Six: Rotorua

Take two days to explore the bubbling mud pools and gushing geysers of the area. 

Must see sites & stops:

  • Relax in the tranquility of Rainbow Springs Nature Park
  • Discover the Pink & White Terraces in The Buried Village
  • Learn about the rich culture of the region at the Museum of Art and History

Day Seven: Rotorua to Waitomo Caves and on to Taupo (330km – 4hr 40mins)

Depart Rotorua heading west across the Mamaku Ranges to Waitomo. From Waitomo, drive south through Taumarunui, Ohakune and Turangi to the lakeside city of Taupo.

Must see sites & stops:

  • Take a guided tour of the spectacular underground caves
  • Boat ride downstream through the Glowworm Grotto

Day Eight: Taupo to Wellington (370km – 5hr 25mins)

Continue south along the highway through country towns and varying landscapes arriving in Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand.

Must see sites & stops:

  • Visit the Craters of the Moon Thermal Reserve in Taupo
  • Check out the unique blue colour of the mighty Huka Falls
  • Skydive over Lake Taupo viewing Tongariro National Park

Day Nine: Wellington

Spend a day exploring New Zealand’s capital city. 

Must see sites & stops:

  • Visit Te Papa, the National Museum of New Zealand
  • Take a cable car ride to Kelburn
  • Walk through the Botanic Gardens to the Parliament Buildings
  • Stroll along Lambton Quay and enjoy the culture of the CBD

Day Ten: Wellington to Blenheim (4hr 20mins including ferry)

Catch the Interisland Ferry to Picton and drive south to Blenheim the commercial centre of the Marlborough region. 

Must see sites & stops:

  • Take a tour and experience alfresco dining
  • Bike to one of the area’s many vineyards

Day Eleven: Blenheim to Christchurch (398km – 4hr 25mins)

Drive south to Kaikoura, an area rich in marine life. After spending the day in Kaikoura, head south and on to Christchurch, The Garden City.

Must see sites & stops:

  • Spend the day whale watching
  • Swim with the local seals or dolphins
  • Visit the historic whaling cottage of Fyffe House
  • Explore the craft shops on the main street 

Day Twelve: Christchurch

Christchurch is the South Island’s largest city.  Built around the Christchurch Cathedral and the winding Avon River the city offers many different attractions for everyone. 

Must see sites & stops:

  • Check out wildlife encounters at Orana Wildlife Park
  • Dip into nightlife at the Christchurch Casino   
  • Stroll through the botanical gardens

Day Thirteen: Christchurch to Fox Glacier (421km – 6hr 00mins)

Head west from Christchurch and across the Southern Alps. 

Must see sites & stops:

  • Stop in the small alpine village of Arthur’s Pass
  • Travel on to the untouched West Coast
  • Drive south along State Highway 6 past World Heritage areas
  • Trek around clear glacial lakes to the town of Fox Glacier

Day Fourteen: Fox Glacier to Queenstown (381km – 5hr 25mins)

In the morning, visit Lake Matheson and the Fox Glacier before driving south to Queenstown. 

Must see sites & stops:

  • Stroll through the native forests at any roadside walkways
  • Visit the romantic town of Wanaka and see the deep alpine lakes

Day Fifteen: Queenstown

Free day in Queenstown – New Zealand’s adventure capital. 

Must see sites & stops:

  • Shop in Queenstown’s many boutiques and specialty stores
  • Take a cruise aboard the TSS Earnslaw on Lake Wakatipu
  • Go jet boating, white water rafting, hot air ballooning and bungy-jumping 
  • Grab the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak and enjoy dinner overlooking Queenstown

Day Sixteen: Queenstown to Te Anau (179km – 2hr 25mins)

Travel around south to the lakeside town of Te Anau. 

Must see sites & stops:

  • Relax for the afternoon and take a walk along the lakeshore
  • Check out the glowworms in the cave system of the western shore

Day Seventeen: Te Anau (Milford Sound Cruise)

Drive north through the stunning Fiordland National Park and onto Milford Sound.

Must see sites & stops:

  • Take a chartered cruise past ice age glaciers and Mitre Peak to the open sea
  • Return to Te Anau stopping along the drive for a walk in Fiordland National Park

Day Eighteen: Te Anau to Dunedin (295 km – 4hr 10mins)

Depart for Dunedin travelling east through Central Otago. 

Must see sites & stops:

  • Take a relaxing strolls through Larnach Castle or the Botanic Gardens
  • Go on a guided tours through Olveston House, Speights Brewery or the Cadbury Chocolate Factory

Day Nineteen: Dunedin to Omarama (234km – 3hr 20mins)

Travel north bound through the Waitaki District to the settlement of Omarama.  Enjoy the peace and tranquility of this country town.

Must see sites & stops:

  • Glide through the Omarama airfield in a glider pilot
  • Fly fish trout and salmon in the Waitaki River

Day Twenty: Omarama to Christchurch (348kms – 5hr 00mins)

Take the highway north through the alpine village of Twizel. 

Must see sites & stops:

  • Drive up to the slopes of Mount Cook and continue through to Lake Tekapo
  • Visit the Church of the Good Shepherd by the lake and enjoy the scenic views
  • Continue east through Fairlie and Geraldine to rejoin State Highway One, which will take you back to Christchurch