New Zealand must-dos for a quick trip

Destination Lake Taupo

Miles Holden

Miles Holden

Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters

New Zealand must-dos for a quick trip

Even if you’ve only got a short time to do a bit of backyard tourism, there’s always time to enjoy some of the best of what the country has to offer. Whether you’ve got a long weekend or a couple of weeks off to do some tiki touring, we’ve got some suggestions for making the absolute most out of a short trip.

Aotearoa Essentials

Minimum Length Two weeks
Highlights Waitomo Caves; Historical sites; Wildlife experiences; Wine tasting; Milford Sound; Glaciers.

Ever feel like international visitors have seen more of the country than you have? Tick off the essential New Zealand highlights in this fast-paced journey around the North and South islands. You’ll brush up on your New Zealand history, taste the best of our local wine, and see enough unforgettable landscapes to be the envy of all your Insta followers.

Scenery Galore

Does the natural beauty of wild landscapes send you weak at the knees? Prepare to get very wobbly indeed on this journey around the very best of our postcard-perfect scenery. Along the way you’ll find plenty of opportunities to get amongst it; hiking, boating or encountering rare native wildlife.

Natural Wonderland

Minimum Length One week
Highlights Geothermal activity; Lake Taupo; Caving adventures.

This journey shows you around some of the most unique of our natural wonders. From an enormous lake to a triad of volcanoes on a barren plateau, from bubbling mud pools and geysers to an intricate cave network, you’ll be reaching for superlatives every step of the way.

Far North

Minimum Length Four days
Highlights Bay of Islands; Ninety Mile Beach; Cape Reinga.

The subtropical far north of New Zealand is easily accessible from Auckland, making it an excellent place to explore on a long weekend (you might need to hold out for Easter!). Combining glorious maritime landscapes, rich culture and history, and an abundance of outdoor activities, it’s a perfect mini break that will feel irresistibly holidayish.

Southern Splendour

Minimum Length One week
Highlights Mount Cook; Adventure activities; Glaciers.

Ideal for North Islanders who’ve never spent much time in the south, this quick encounter with the South Island’s highlights will take you to some of the best landscapes New Zealand has to offer.

Wildlife & Wellbeing

Minimum Length Four days
Highlights Wildlife encounters; Thermal spa; Wine tasting.

An ultra-quick trip that puts you on the fast track to relaxation, this itinerary offers the life-highlight experience of encountering marine wildlife in Kaikōura and the indulgence of bathing in geothermal hot pools at Hanmer Springs.


Travel Guides, See & Do, NZ Info


Travel, See & Do

What's Hot New Zealand Newsletter

Stay in the loop with all the latest food, fashion, trends, events and more. Delivered hot to your inbox every month.