Start in New Zealand's largest city of Auckland and head south to Rotorua, a geo-thermal town that is also known as the Maori culture capital. Your last stop is Taupo, home to New Zealand's largest lake which is perfect for trout fishing, skiing and discovering geothermal parks.
Day 1: Depart USA for New Zealand
The great thing is that most flights depart the West Coast of America in the evening, meaning you can spend the day at home getting ready for your Kiwi adventure or still go to work and maximise your valuable time off by actually spending it in New Zealand.
Day 2: In flight
You cross the international date line on your flight to New Zealand so you skip a whole day on the journey down. For example, if you left Los Angeles on Sunday evening, you will arrive in Auckland on Tuesday morning, even though you have only been flying for 12 hours.
But don't worry - you get a day back when you return home, for example if you leave New Zealand on Sunday evening, you will arrive back in Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon.
Day 3: Auckland
Welcome to Auckland, often referred to as the 'City of Sails' because one out of every three residents has a boat! For incredible city views, head up to the Sky Tower, the Southern hemisphere's tallest building - you can even jump off or have a scenic meal in one of the restaurants.
Day 4: Auckland
On this day of leisure, we suggest a day trip to Waiheke Island to experience their wonderful wineries on an island tour. It's just a 45 minute ferry ride away. Or, you could head out to the wild black sand beaches of the West Coast, including Karekare beach where scenes from the award-winning movie The Piano were filmed.
Day 5: Auckland - Rotorua
Approximately three hours south is Rotorua, New Zealand's geothermal and cultural epicenter. Here you can experience geysers, boiling mud pools, indulgent spa therapies and Maori culture.
Day 6: Rotorua
Rotorua is also home to some many activities, from the sedate to the extreme. If you're feeling adventurous try the luge or go zorbing. Alternately hire a bike or walk through the native forest surrounding one of the many lakes. Unwind at the end of the day with a visit to the hot springs at The Polynesian Spa.
Day 7: Rotorua - Taupo
Taupo, located on the edge of the Southern hemisphere's largest lake, is a great base for trout fishing, skiing on Mt Ruapehu and exploring the local geothermal phenomena.
Day 8: Taupo - Waitomo - Auckland
Head to Waitomo, the limestone region that features a series of vast cave systems that is home to the glow-worms. You can explore the caves via Black Water rafting or guided abseiling for the more adventurous.
Day 9: Auckland - USA
Return home and because you will cross back over the International Time Zone you will 'gain' a day. For example, if you leave New Zealand on Sunday night, you will arrive in Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon.