30 days in New Zealand Itinerary

30 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Pacific vacation planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Auckland
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Paihia
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Cape Reinga
— 1 day
Drive
4
Whangarei
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Tauranga
— 1 night
Drive
6
Rotorua
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
Drive
8
Taupo
— 2 nights
Drive
9
Wellington
— 1 night
Ferry
10
Picton
— 1 night
Drive
11
Nelson
— 1 night
Drive
12
Kaikoura
— 1 night
Drive
13
Hokitika
— 1 night
Drive
14
Fox Glacier
— 2 nights
Bus
15
Wanaka
— 1 night
Bus
16
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
— 2 nights
Bus
17
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Bus
18
Te Anau
— 2 nights
Bus to Queenstown, Fly to London Heathrow

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Auckland

— 3 nights

City of Sails

The largest and most populous city in New Zealand, Auckland combines a rich history and thriving contemporary culture in an abundance of museums, art galleries, and performance venues.
Your list of things to see and do now includes Piha Beach, North Head Historic Reserve, Waitemata Harbour, and other attractions. Kick off your visit on the 18th (Sun): go for a stroll along the water at Viaduct Harbour. On the next day, step off the mainland to explore Rangitoto Island, listen to music at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium, take a stroll through Devonport, then make a trip to North Head Historic Reserve, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Takapuna Beach, and finally get impressive views of Mount Eden.

Inspirock's itinerary builder makes planning a Auckland trip simple and quick.

London, UK to Auckland is an approximately 27-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 12 hours traveling from London to Auckland. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from London in December: highs in Auckland hover around 20°C, while lows dip to 20°C. On the 21st (Wed), you're off to Paihia.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 18 — 21:

Paihia

— 2 nights
The main tourist town in the Bay of Islands area, Paihia gives visitors a good range of accommodations, a convenient town center, long sandy beaches, and interesting architecture.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Haruru Falls, KeriKeri New Zealand and Rainbow Falls. On the 21st (Wed), admire the sheer force of Haruru Falls, contemplate the long history of Waitangi Treaty Grounds, then take in the dramatic scenery at Rainbow Falls, and finally make a trip to KeriKeri New Zealand. On the 22nd (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: fulfill a lifelong dream with a swim-with-the-dolphins experience, identify plant and animal life at Paihia Harbour, and then enjoy the sand and surf at The Strand Beach.

To see where to stay, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Paihia trip planning tool.

Getting from Auckland to Paihia by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: fly; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Cape Reinga.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks · Outdoors · Historic Sites · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 21 — 23:

Cape Reinga

— 1 day
Cape Reinga or Te Rerenga Wairua is the northwesternmost tip of the Aupouri Peninsula, at the northern end of the North Island of New Zealand. Te Paki Sand Dunes has been added to your itinerary. Start off your visit on the 23rd (Fri): take some stellar pictures from Cape Reinga Lighthouse, trek along Te Paki Coastal Track, then explore the striking landscape at Te Paki Sand Dunes, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Tapotupotu Beach.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Cape Reinga driving holiday tool.

Traveling by car from Paihia to Cape Reinga takes 3 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Fri) so you can travel to Whangarei.

Things to do in Cape Reinga

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Trails

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 23 — 24:

Whangarei

— 2 nights
Whangarei is the northernmost city in New Zealand and the regional capital of Northland Region. You've added Town Basin, AH Reed Memorial Park, Mount Manaia Track, and other attractions to your itinerary. On the 24th (Sat), see some colorful creatures with Yukon Dive, explore the activities along Matapouri Mermaid Pool, admire the sheer force of Whangarei Falls, then stroll around AH Reed Memorial Park, then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mount Manaia Track, and finally take a stroll through Town Basin.

To find more things to do, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, read Whangarei travel route planning app.

Traveling by car from Cape Reinga to Whangarei takes 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sun) so you can travel to Tauranga.

Things to do in Whangarei

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 23 — 25:

Tauranga

— 1 night
The largest city in the Bay of Plenty, Tauranga features extensive sandy beaches, well-maintained hiking paths, and a good range of accommodations.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Kaiate Falls as well as Hobbiton Movie Set. Start off your visit on the 25th (Sun): enjoy the sand and surf at Mt Maunganui Main Beach, trek along Mount Maunganui Summit Track, and then take in the dramatic scenery at Kaiate Falls.

For traveler tips, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Tauranga online trip itinerary maker.

Fly from Whangarei to Tauranga in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In December, daily temperatures in Tauranga can reach 25°C, while at night they dip to 17°C. On the 26th (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Tauranga

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 25 — 26:

Rotorua

— 2 nights

Sulphur City

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.
You've added Waimangu Volcanic Valley, Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, Kaituna Cascades, and other attractions to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 26th (Mon): take in the natural beauty of Whakarewarewa - The Living Maori Village, then delve into the lush surroundings at Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest, and then soothe aching muscles at Polynesian Spa. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 27th (Tue): take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, then contemplate the geological forces at Waimangu Volcanic Valley, and then explore and take pictures at Te Puia.

Plan my Rotorua trip by asking Inspirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

Getting from Tauranga to Rotorua by car takes about an hour. Other options: take a bus. In December in Rotorua, expect temperatures between 25°C during the day and 17°C at night. On the 28th (Wed), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Rotorua

Nature · Parks · Historic Sites · Outdoors

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 26 — 28:

Waitomo Caves

— 1 night
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.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk as well as The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co.. Start off your visit on the 28th (Wed): Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves and then hike along Ruakuri Walk.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Waitomo Caves vacation app.

You can drive from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves in 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Thu) so you can drive to Taupo.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors · Adventure · Tours · Parks

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 28 — 29:

Taupo

— 2 nights

Great Cloak of Tia

The resort town of Taupo lies on the banks of Lake Taupo, the largest body of water in the whole of Australasia.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Taupo's Floatplane as well as Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Kick off your visit on the 30th (Fri): stroll through Tongariro Alpine Crossing and then cool off at Taupo DeBretts Spa Resort.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Taupo trip itinerary planning site.

You can drive from Waitomo Caves to Taupo in 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus. On the 31st (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 29 — 31:

Wellington

— 1 night

Harbour Capital

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.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Mount Victoria and Wellington Botanic Garden. Kick off your visit on the 31st (Sat): admire the natural beauty at Wellington Botanic Garden and then wander the streets of Cuba Street.

To see more things to do, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Wellington road trip planning app.

Traveling by flight from Taupo to Wellington takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 22°C in December, and nighttime lows around 15°C. You will have some time to spend on the 1st (Sun) before leaving for Picton.

Things to do in Wellington

Shopping · Parks · Neighborhoods · Museums

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 1:

Picton

— 1 night

Gateway to the South Island

Take photo after stunning photo in Picton, the gateway to South Island.
On the 1st (Sun), explore the activities along Queen Charlotte Sound.

To see more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Picton trip planner.

Getting from Wellington to Picton by ferry takes about 4 hours. January in Picton sees daily highs of 24°C and lows of 17°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 2nd (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Nelson.

Things to do in Picton

Nature · Parks · Wineries

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 1 — 2:

Nelson

— 1 night

Top of the South

Put on your shades to enjoy the sights of Nelson, one of the sunniest cities in New Zealand.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Wilsons Abel Tasman as well as Centre of New Zealand. On the 2nd (Mon), kick back and relax at Tahunanui Beach, don't miss a visit to Centre of New Zealand, and then pause for some serene contemplation at Christ Church Cathedral.

To see maps, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Nelson itinerary app.

You can drive from Picton to Nelson in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 3rd (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Nelson

Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Adventure

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 2 — 3:

Kaikoura

— 1 night
Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
Lavendyl Lavender Farm has been added to your itinerary. On the 4th (Wed), hike along Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway and then relax in the rural setting at Lavendyl Lavender Farm.

To find more things to do, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, read Kaikoura trip itinerary planning app.

Traveling by car from Nelson to Kaikoura takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of flight and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Hokitika.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Outdoors · Trails · Parks
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 4:

Hokitika

— 1 night
Hokitika is a township in the West Coast region of New Zealand's South Island, 40km south of Greymouth, and close to the mouth of the Hokitika River. Your day by day itinerary now includes Lake Kaniere as well as Dorothy Falls. On the 5th (Thu), look for all kinds of wild species at Hokitika Gorge Walk, identify plant and animal life at Westcoast Treetop Walk & Cafe, kick back and relax at Hokitika Beach, then admire the sheer force of Dorothy Falls, and finally look for all kinds of wild species at Lake Kaniere.

For maps, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, read our Hokitika trip itinerary builder app.

Traveling by car from Kaikoura to Hokitika takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Hokitika

Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Beaches
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 5:

Fox Glacier

— 2 nights
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Glacier Hot Pools, Franz Josef Glacier and Lake Matheson Walk. Kick off your visit on the 6th (Fri): hike along Fox Glacier Hiking Trails, see the world from above with a helicopter tour, hike along Fox Glacier South Side Walk, take in the pleasant sights at Lake Matheson Walk, then take in the dramatic natural features at Franz Josef Glacier, and finally relax and rejuvenate at Glacier Hot Pools.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, read Fox Glacier visit planner.

Traveling by car from Hokitika to Fox Glacier takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sat) so you can catch the bus to Wanaka.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Outdoors · Trails · Parks · Spas

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 5 — 7:

Wanaka

— 1 night
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.
Your day by day itinerary now includes That Wanaka Tree, Puzzling World, Blue Pools Track, and other attractions you added. Kick off your visit on the 7th (Sat): tour the pleasant surroundings at Blue Pools Track, then take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, then learn about winemaking at Rippon Vineyard, and finally explore the activities along Lake Wanaka. Here are some ideas for day two: hike along Roys Peak Track, then get your game on at Puzzling World, and then don't miss a visit to That Wanaka Tree.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Wanaka trip builder website.

You can take a bus from Fox Glacier to Wanaka in 5.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sun) so you can take a bus to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu).

Things to do in Wanaka

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 8:

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

— 2 nights
Your day by day itinerary now includes Sealy Tarns Track as well as Mueller Hut Route. On the 9th (Mon), stroll through Hooker Valley Track, stroll through Sealy Tarns Track, and then trek along Mueller Hut Route.

To see where to stay and more tourist information, read our Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) day trip planning website.

Traveling by bus from Wanaka to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) takes 6 hours. On the 10th (Tue), you're off to Queenstown.

Things to do in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

Outdoors · Trails · Parks
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 10:

Queenstown

— 3 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.
Your list of things to see and do now includes Real Journeys - TSS Earnslaw Vintage Steamship Cruises, Lake Wakatipu, Ziptrek Ecotours, and other attractions. When in Queenstown, make a side trip to see Hot Tubs Omarama in Omarama, approximately Omarama away. Next up on the itinerary: look for all kinds of wild species at Kiwi Birdlife Park.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Queenstown using our trip planner.

Traveling by bus from Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) to Queenstown takes 5.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 13th (Fri) to allow time for the bus ride to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Trails

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 10 — 13:

Te Anau

— 2 nights
Set among the picturesque peaks and glacially carved fiords of Fiordland National Park, Te Anau offers those wishing to explore the park a great place to stay and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of a small town in an enviable location.
Your list of things to see and do now includes Milford Foreshore Walk, Mirror Lakes Walk, Key Summit Track, and other attractions. Start off your visit on the 13th (Fri): get great views at Te Anau Lion Lookout Point and then explore the activities along Lake Te Anau.

To see photos, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Te Anau trip planner.

Traveling by bus from Queenstown to Te Anau takes 4 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 13 — 15:

New Zealand travel guide

4.5
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.

Marlborough Region travel guide

4.4
Discover the rolling hills of Marlborough Region, a premier wine-growing area located at the top of New Zealand's South Island. With bays dotted with scenic islands, native forests, and a temperate climate, you'll find you can fill your Marlborough Region itinerary with more than just famous grapes and vintages. However, if you do find yourself in the mood for a tipple, the region has over 40 cellar doors (winery tasting rooms) that you can visit through an organized wine tour, via one of the many bike trails, or on an evening stroll.