30 days in New Zealand Itinerary

30 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand tour itinerary planner

Make it your trip
Fly to Queenstown, Bus to Te Anau
1
Te Anau
— 4 nights
Bus
2
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Fox Glacier
— 3 nights
Bus to Hokitika i-SITE, Fly to Wellington
4
Wellington
— 1 night
Fly
5
Tongariro National Park
— 4 nights
Shuttle
6
Taupo
— 3 nights
Drive
7
Rotorua
— 4 nights
Drive
8
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights
Drive
9
Auckland
— 2 nights
Fly
10
Paihia
— 3 nights
Fly

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Te Anau

— 4 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.
Museum-lovers will appreciate Southern Discoveries - Milford Sound Underwater Observatory and Fiordland Vintage Machinery Museum. Discover out-of-the-way places like Lake Te Anau and Kepler Track. Venture out of the city with trips to Milford Sound (Boat Tours & Water Sports, Bowen Falls, &more) and Manapouri Lake (in Manapouri). There's lots more to do: hike along The Chasm Walk, stroll through Lake Gunn, explore the activities along Ivan Wilson Park, and explore the landscape on two wheels at Lake 2 Lake Trail.

To see photos, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Te Anau road trip planner.

Adelaide, Australia to Te Anau is an approximately 11-hour combination of flight and bus. You'll lose 2.5 hours traveling from Adelaide to Te Anau due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Mon) so you can take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 8 — 12:
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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.
Arrowtown Chinese Settlement and Lakes District Museum & Art Gallery are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Explore hidden gems such as Mount Iron Track and Speed Boats Tours. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Queenstown: Mt Difficulty Wines Cellar Door (in Bannockburn), Cromwell (Roaring Wine Tours, Wooing Tree Vineyard, &more) and Wanaka (Diamond Lake & Rocky Mountain walks & National Transport and Toy Museum). And it doesn't end there: trek along Ben Lomond Track, explore the activities along Arrow River, identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Lake Hayes Walkway.

For traveler tips, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Queenstown trip maker website.

You can take a bus from Te Anau to Queenstown in 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Thu) early enough to drive to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours · Outdoors · Wineries · Parks

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 12 — 15:
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Fox Glacier

— 3 nights
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Get some cultural insight at ReflectioNZ Gifts & Gallery and River Walk. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Hooker Valley Track and Peters Pool Walk. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Fox Glacier: Okarito (Okarito Lagoon & Okarito Trig Walk and Three Mile Lagoon), Monro Beach (in Lake Moeraki) and Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) (Glencoe Walk, Kea Point Track, &more). There's lots more to do: stroll through Gillespies Beach, go for a walk through Tatare Tunnels Walk, explore the striking landscape at Franz Josef Glacier, and hike along Roberts Point Track.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Fox Glacier trip itinerary planning site.

You can drive from Queenstown to Fox Glacier in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 15 — 18:
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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.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Mon): see exotic creatures in open habitats at a safari tour.

To find ratings, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Wellington online tour planner.

Getting from Fox Glacier to Wellington by combination of bus and flight takes about 8 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. In December, daytime highs in Wellington are 22°C, while nighttime lows are 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Mon) early enough to fly to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Wellington

Find places to stay Dec 18 — 19:
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Highlights from your trip

Tongariro National Park

— 4 nights
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
Explore hidden gems such as Mount Ruapehu and St Joseph's Church. Visiting Taranaki Falls and Active Outdoor Adventures will get you outdoors. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Tongariro National Park: National Army Museum (in Waiouru), Taihape (Gumboot Statue, Mount Stewart Reserve, &more) and Ohakune (Waitonga Falls Walk Trailhead, Mangawhero Forest Walk and Rimu Walk, &more). There's much more to do: take in the pleasant sights at Ohakune Old Coach Road, trek along Tongariro Northern Circuit, take in the dramatic scenery at Mangawhero Falls, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Silica Rapids Track.

For other places to visit, reviews, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Tongariro National Park road trip planning app.

You can fly from Wellington to Tongariro National Park in 2.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of train and taxi. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Fri) so you can catch the shuttle to Taupo.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 19 — 23:
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Taupo

— 3 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.
Step out of the city life by going to Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave and Huka Falls Walkway. Head to Souvenir Outlet & Mountain Bike Hire and L'Artefor plenty of shopping. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Taupo: Tokaanu Thermal Pools (in Tokaanu) and Turangi (River Vineyard, Volcanic Activity Centre, &more). There's still lots to do: explore the striking landscape at Spa Thermal Park and Riverbank Recreational and Scenic Reserve, admire the sheer force of Huka Falls, push the limits with an extreme tour, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Kinloch Beach.

To see reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Taupo trip planner.

You can take a shuttle from Tongariro National Park to Taupo in 1.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Tours

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 23 — 26:
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Rotorua

— 4 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.
Visiting River Rafting & Tubing and Nature & Wildlife Tours will get you outdoors. Shop till you drop at 3D Trick Art Gallery and Katikati Murals. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Rotorua: Tauranga (McLaren Falls Park & The Elms), Mount Maunganui (Mount Maunganui Summit Track, Mount Maunganui Base Track, &more) and Whakatane (Te Koputu A Te Whanga A Toi - Whakatane Library and Exhibition Centre, Mataatua: The House That Came Home, &more). The adventure continues: enjoy the sand and surf at Papamoa Beach, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, admire the masterpieces at Rotorua Museum, and witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland.

Before you visit Rotorua, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

Traveling by car from Taupo to Rotorua takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In December, daytime highs in Rotorua are 25°C, while nighttime lows are 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Fri) early enough to drive to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Rotorua

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Museums

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 26 — 30:
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Waitomo Caves

— 2 nights
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.
On the 31st (Sat), relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour, Head underground at Footwhistle Glowworm Cave, then explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, and finally explore the fascinating underground world of Caveworld. Here are some ideas for day two: snap pictures at Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk, stroll through Piripiri Cave Walk, admire the sheer force of Marakopa Falls, then get engrossed in the history at PioPio and districts museum,, then experience rural life at Piopio Berry Orchard, and finally Head underground at Ruakuri Cave.

For reviews, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Waitomo Caves trip builder.

Traveling by car from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Sun) to allow time to drive to Auckland.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors · Tours · Nature · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 1:
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Auckland

— 2 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.
On the 2nd (Mon), take in the architecture and atmosphere at St. Patrick's Cathedral, step off the mainland to explore Hauraki Gulf, don't miss a visit to SkyTower, wander the streets of Devonport, then enjoy the sand and surf at Takapuna Beach, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Orewa Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: shake up your sightseeing with a climbing tour, get engrossed in the history at Howick Historical Village, tour the pleasant surroundings at St. Helier's Bay, then enjoy the sand and surf at Mission Bay Beach, then paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour, and finally brush up on your military savvy at Auckland Museum.

To find maps, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Auckland trip maker.

Drive from Waitomo Caves to Auckland in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 22°C in January, and nighttime lows around 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Tue) early enough to fly to Paihia.

Things to do in Auckland

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 1 — 3:
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Paihia

— 3 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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Pompallier Mission and Printery and Rewa's Village. Relax by the water at Taupo Bay Beach and Coopers Beach. Explore Paihia's surroundings by going to Whangaroa (Whangaroa Harbour & Wairakau Stream Track), Russell (Paroa Bay Winery- Villa Accommodation., Russell Nature Walks, &more) and Kerikeri (Manginangina Kauri Walk & Puketi Nature Trail). There's lots more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Paihia Harbour, steep yourself in history at Kororipo Heritage Park, pause for some serene contemplation at St James Anglican Church, and admire the striking features of The Stone Store & Kemp House - Kerikeri Mission Station.

Plan a trip to Paihia easily and quickly by telling Inspirock to suggest an itinerary.

Getting from Auckland to Paihia by flight takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Fri) so you can catch the flight back home.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 3 — 6:
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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.