9 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand sightseeing planner
Make it your trip
— 1 night
Lake Tekapo
— 1 night
— 2 nights
— 4 nights


Christchurch — 1 night

Garden City

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
On the 25th (Mon), examine the collection at International Antarctic Centre, then get engrossed in the history at Canterbury Museum, and then let little ones run wild at Margaret Mahy Family Playground.

To find photos, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Christchurch trip planner.

Melbourne, Australia to Christchurch is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 2 hours traveling from Melbourne to Christchurch. While traveling from Melbourne, expect slightly colder days and about the same nights in Christchurch, ranging from highs of 16°C to lows of 5°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Lake Tekapo.
Museums · Fun & Games · Parks
Find places to stay Sep 25 — 26:

Lake Tekapo — 1 night

Located in a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo offers evenings of stargazing and days of long walks.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Tue): take in the architecture and atmosphere at The Church of the Good Shepherd, then test the waters at Tekapo Springs, and then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Tekapo. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: relax in the rural setting at High Country Salmon, make a trip to Aoraki/Mt. Cook, then trek along Glencoe Walk, and finally take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Glentanner High Country Heli Hike.

To find other places to visit, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Lake Tekapo online travel planner.

You can drive from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Wanaka.
Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours
Side Trips
Find places to stay Sep 26 — 27:

Wanaka — 2 nights

Situated on the shores of Lake Wanaka in the Otago region, Wanaka has become a popular ski and summer resort area, owing to its extensive views of the lake and its proximity to some of the best slopes in the country.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Thu): ski along the peaceful trails at Snow Farm NZ and then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Wanaka. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 29th (Fri): fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour, do a tasting at Rippon Vineyard, and then fly down the slopes at Wanaka.

For more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Wanaka trip planning tool.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Lake Tekapo to Wanaka. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Fri) so you can take a bus to Queenstown.
Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Winter Sports
Find places to stay Sep 27 — 29:

Queenstown — 4 nights

Shallow Bay

Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Queenstown is known for fun & games, wildlife, and adventure. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, pause for some photo ops at William Gilbert Rees Statue, and take in nature's colorful creations at Queenstown Gardens.

For more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Queenstown trip planning tool.

Traveling by bus from Wanaka to Queenstown takes 3 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Tue) so you can fly back home.
Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Fun & Games
Find places to stay Sep 29 — Oct 3:

New Zealand travel guide

Specialty Museums · Landmarks · Hiking Trails
Land of the Long White Cloud
Far-flung New Zealand has become known for its astounding topography, singular biodiversity, varied climate, and for marrying native Maori and post-colonial European cultures on its two main islands and the multitude of smaller landmasses dotted around them. Free-spirited New Zealanders cultivate a love of sports, sustainability, and the outdoors. Far from other landmasses, the islands existed for millions of years before being inhabited by humans, so an abundance of species have come to thrive in the thick, wild rainforest, vast and rugged backland, and extensive surrounding marine areas. While much of New Zealand tourism centers around adventures through this spectacular scenery, take time to explore the nation's rich cultural heritage as well. The traditions and history of the Maoris, and the industry and internationalism of the descendents of the first European settlers endure in fascinating attractions, ranging from museums, to farms, to places of worship.