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Mount Cook, New Zealand

3 Week Travel Itineraries in New Zealand

Whether you're visiting South Island on an adventure, or spending your time hiking or exploring unique and exciting cities, there's something for everyone in New Zealand. If you're spending 3 or more weeks here, find everything you need to know in our guide!

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Our top itinerary for a three-week trip to New Zealand

Day 1 - Wellington - There are no planned activities for this first day, but why not check out New Zealand's National Museum, or hit up Wellington's abundant nightlife? 

Day 2, 3, and 4 - Abel Tasman National Park - Take a morning ferry across the Cook Straight and then head straight to Abel Tasman National Park. The park is known for its stunning white and black-sand beaches, so get ready for three days of beach adventures!  

Day 5, 6, and 7 - Franz Josef - There's so much to do in Franz Josef! Stay in a wilderness lodge and opt to take a glacier valley walk, go kayaking, or even embark on a helicopter hike.  

Day 8 and 9 - Queenstown -  Queenstown is an epicentre of adventure in New Zealand! Thankfully for you, lucky traveller, you'll be able to spend your time here however you'd like - will you go bungee jumping? Jet boating? Mountain biking? Even skydiving is an option here - the possibilities are endless.   

Day 10 and 11 - Te Anau - Cruise to Fiordland National Park, taking time to explore the beautiful Milford Sound.   

Day 12 - Central Otago - It's a big day! Bike 35 kilometres of the Otago Rail Trail. Along the way, you'll visit historic towns and enjoy local food and drink.   

Day 13 and 14 - Christchurch - Take a walking tour of Christchurch, and then the city is yours to explore! With so much to see and do, it can be difficult to choose, but no matter what you do, we know you'll love it.   

Day 15 - Kaikoura - Time to walk on the wild side! Spot the area's big ocean birds such as albatrosses, petrels, and shearwaters in Kaikoura.   

Day 16 - Wellington - Take the ferry from Picton back to Wellington, and after one final night out in the city, your amazing adventure in New Zealand has come to an end!

Discover the whole itinerary here: New Zealand: South Island Encompassed

Check out more 3-week New Zealand tours on TourRadar.

Budget itinerary ideas for three weeks in New Zealand

Auckland - Arrive in Auckland at any time. Visit the Maritime Museum, walk the waterfront, or even take the ferry to Waiheke Island. Travel backroads to a remote conservation farm where they are using natural means to boost the stocks of traditionally farmed marine life. Farmers have created a balanced ecosystem to attract native birds and animals back to the area.
Raglan - Head down to the beach for an included surf lesson. The afternoon is open for optional activities such as yoga, stand-up paddleboarding, or exploring the many trails in the area. Stop en route at Waitomo. Enjoy free time to visit the Waitomo Caves, famous for their glow-worms and adventure activities, or explore this scenic area by foot. Continue to Rotorua.
Rotorua/Taupo - Take advantage of free time in the adrenaline capital of the North Island, and opt to go whitewater rafting, check out a geothermal park with technicolour pools, or hit up a nearby spa. Continue on to spend the night near the shores of Lake Taupo.
Taupo/Wellington - Travel to Wellington, New Zealand's capital city. Arrive early enough for a visit to the National Museum, Te Papa. Take a short walk from our accommodation to see the sights of the central business district. 
Wellington/Abel Tasman National Park - Catch a morning ferry and cross the scenic Cook Strait. Make sure to stand outside and enjoy the views of the Marlborough Sounds at the top of the South Island. Disembark and transfer to Abel Tasman National Park, well-known for its stunning white-sand beaches.
Discover the whole itinerary here: Best of New Zealand: Maori Culture & Mountain Coastlines

Check out more 3-week budget tours in New Zealand on TourRadar.

Itineraries for three weeks in New Zealand and Australia

Melbourne - Join your Travel Director for an exploration of Melbourne’s famous hidden laneways. You’ll discover the city’s eclectic arcades, café society, and fascinating street art.
Melbourne – Cairns - This morning you’ll fly to Cairns, Queensland. On arrival, join a local expert for a private wildlife journey at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures. On a boat cruise you’ll encounter koalas, wallabies, birds, and, of course, crocodiles! This evening, why not dine in one of the many local restaurants?
The Great Barrier Reef - Get ready for the experience of a lifetime when you board a high-speed catamaran and cruise to the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef. View the spectacular coral and tropical fish from the underwater observatory and semi-submersible craft.
Queenstown - Indulge in the region’s vintage cheeses at the Gibbston Valley Winery, or board a jet boat for an exhilarating ride down the mighty Shotover River
Rotorua - See New Zealand’s biggest geyser, bubbling mud pools and thermal springs. Your next stop is Rainbow Springs Nature Park for a tour with a local expert. You may even spot a kiwi!
Discover the whole itinerary here:Australia & New Zealand Panorama

Check out more 3-week tours in New Zealand & Australia on TourRadar.

The ocean in New Zealand
The ocean in New Zealand

Helpful info

Local languages
English, Maori
Popular cities
Auckland, Wellington, Tauranga, Hamilton, Christchurch
Perfect for
Adventure, sports, skiing
Best time to visit
From December to February
New Zealand dollar

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