15 days in Japan & New Zealand Itinerary

15 days in Japan & New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

15 days in Japan & New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Phoenix, United States
Fly + Train:  17​h 15​min
1
Kyoto, Japan
— 3 nights
Train + Fly:  17​h 45​min
2
Queenstown, New Zealand
— 2 nights
Bus:  2​h 30​min
3
Wanaka, New Zealand
— 2 nights
+2
Bus + Foot + Fly:  6​h
4
Wellington, New Zealand
— 1 night
Fly:  3​h
5
Rotorua, New Zealand
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
6
Turangi, New Zealand
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
7
Waitomo Caves, New Zealand
— 1 night
Drive + Fly:  21​h
End: Phoenix, United States

3
nights
Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto ©
The national capital for over a thousand years, Kyoto retains much of the charm of old Japan, boasting numerous temples and shrines that seem completely untouched by the modern world.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Sun): wander the streets of Gion, explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kinkaku-ji, and finally don't miss a visit to Eikando Zenrinji Temple. On the 13th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sanjusangendo Temple, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Koshojibetsuin Ryozenhobyo, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ryoanji Temple.

Plan my Kyoto trip by asking Inpirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

Phoenix, USA to Kyoto is an approximately 17.5-hour combination of flight and train. You can also do a combination of flight and bus. The time zone changes from Mountain Standard Time (MST) to Japan Standard Time (JST), which is usually a 16 hour difference. Expect slightly colder temperatures when traveling from Phoenix in July; daily highs in Kyoto reach 89°F and lows reach 76°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Queenstown.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Jul 11 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Sanjusangendo Temple ©
Sanjusangendo Temple
Eikando Zenrinji Temple ©
Eikando Zenrinji Temple

2
nights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown ©
Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
On the 15th (Wed), fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour, then have some family-friendly fun at Fear Factory Queenstown, and then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Coronet Peak. Keep things going the next day: relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas and then take in the awesome beauty at The Remarkables Ski Area.

To see where to stay, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Queenstown road trip planning website .

You can do a combination of train and flight from Kyoto to Queenstown in 18 hours. Another option is to do a combination of bus and flight. The time zone difference moving from Japan Standard Time to New Zealand Standard Time is 3 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) so you can take a bus to Wanaka.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Nature Winter Sports
Find places to stay Jul 14 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Coronet Peak ©
Coronet Peak
Parasailing & Paragliding
The Remarkables Ski Area ©
The Remarkables Ski Area

2
nights
Wanaka, New Zealand

Wanaka ©
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 17th (Fri): explore and take pictures at Snow Farm NZ. On your second day here, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Wanaka, then hit the slopes at Wanaka, and then take a memorable tour with Tours.

For other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Wanaka trip planner.

You can take a bus from Queenstown to Wanaka in 2.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Sat) early enough to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Wanaka

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports
Find places to stay Jul 16 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Snow Farm NZ ©
Snow Farm NZ
Wanaka ©
Wanaka
Parasailing & Paragliding

1
night
Wellington, New Zealand

Wellington ©
Wellington, the world's southernmost capital city and New Zealand's second most populous urban area, combines the nation's rugged history and nature with its modern and cosmopolitan present.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Sun): take an in-depth tour of Wellington Museum, admire the striking features of Old St Paul's, then get engrossed in the history at The Great War Exhibition, and finally examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

To find where to stay, photos, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Wellington online tour planner .

Getting from Wanaka to Wellington by combination of bus and flight takes about 6 hours. Other options: fly; or ride a ferry. Expect a daytime high around 54°F in July, and nighttime lows around 45°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Rotorua.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jul 18 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
The Great War Exhibition ©
The Great War Exhibition
Old St Paul's ©
Old St Paul's

2
nights
Rotorua, New Zealand

Surrounded by lakes and featuring impressive areas of geothermal landscape, the city of Rotorua offers an otherwordly landscape and a welcoming, peaceful environment, with the culture of the native Maori people very much in the foreground.
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Mon): take a memorable tour with Tours, look for all kinds of wild species at Redwoods Treewalk, then get impressive views of Waimangu Volcanic Valley, and finally take in the natural beauty of Waikite Valley Thermal Pools. Here are some ideas for day two: identify plant and animal life at Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and then explore and take pictures at Government Gardens.

To find reviews, maps, ratings, and tourist information, use the Rotorua trip planner .

You can fly from Wellington to Rotorua in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. In July in Rotorua, expect temperatures between 58°F during the day and 43°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Tue) early enough to go by car to Turangi.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Outdoors Tours

Side Trip

River Rafting & Tubing
Find places to stay Jul 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Horseback Riding Tours
River Rafting & Tubing
Waimangu Volcanic Valley ©
Waimangu Volcanic Valley

2
nights
Turangi, New Zealand

Turangi ©
Turangi is a small town on the west bank of the Tongariro River, 50 kilometres south-west of Taupo on the North Island Volcanic Plateau of New Zealand. Start off your visit on the 22nd (Wed): take in the dramatic scenery at Tawhai Falls, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Whakapapa Nature Walk, and then stroll through Tongariro Alpine Crossing. On your second day here, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, then trek along Rotopounamu Track, and then explore the striking landscape of Te Porere Redoubt.

For reviews, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Turangi trip planner .

Traveling by car from Rotorua to Turangi takes 2 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Thu) early enough to drive to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Turangi

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trip

Tongariro National Park
Find places to stay Jul 21 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
River Rafting & Tubing
Te Porere Redoubt ©
Te Porere Redoubt

1
night
Waitomo Caves, New Zealand

Waitomo Caves
Head deep beneath the surface of the earth at Waitomo Caves, a village and cave system that draws both extreme sports enthusiasts and those wanting something a little more relaxed.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Fri): identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas, Head underground at Ruakuri Cave, and then explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves.

For where to stay, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Waitomo Caves day trip tool .

You can drive from Turangi to Waitomo Caves in 2.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Fri) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Jul 23 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Ruakuri Cave
Ruakuri Cave
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves

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