31 days in New Zealand Itinerary

31 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

31 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Madrid
Fly:  31 h
1
Queenstown
— 5 nights
Bus:  2 h 30 min
2
Wanaka
— 4 nights
+2
Fly + Bus + Train:  7 h 15 min
3
Kaikoura
— 1 night
Bus:  3 h
4
Christchurch
— 4 nights
Fly:  4 h
5
Rotorua
— 4 nights
Drive:  2 h
6
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights
+2
Taxi + Fly + Taxi:  3 h
7
Paihia
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h
8
Auckland
— 3 nights
Fly:  30 h
End: Madrid

5
nights
Queenstown

Queenstown ©
Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Glenorchy-Queenstown Road and Cardrona Alpine Resort. Get outdoors at Coronet Peak and Skydiving. Step out of Queenstown to go to Cromwell and see The Bruce Jackson Lookout, which is approximately 56 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: see Off-Road Tours, take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, stop by The Arrowtown Jade & Opal Factory, and get your game on at Thrillzone.

For photos, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, read Queenstown day trip planning website .

Madrid, Spain to Queenstown is an approximately 31-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of flight and bus. You'll lose 11 hours traveling from Madrid to Queenstown due to the time zone difference. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Mon) so you can catch the bus to Wanaka.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Parks Winter Sports

Side Trips

Arrowtown, Cardrona Alpine Resort, The Bruce Jackson Lookout
Find places to stay Aug 2 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Glenorchy-Queenstown Road ©
Glenorchy-Queenstown Road
Queenstown Hill ©
Queenstown Hill
Cardrona Alpine  Resort ©
Cardrona Alpine Resort

4
nights
Wanaka

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.
Visiting Snow Farm NZ and Mount Iron Track will get you outdoors. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Wanaka and Roys Peak Track. The adventure continues: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, get your game on at Puzzling World, appreciate the history behind Wanaka War Memorial, and skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour.

To see photos, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Wanaka online day trip planner .

Getting from Queenstown to Wanaka by bus takes about 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Fri) early enough to travel to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors Parks Tours
Find places to stay Aug 8 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Snow Farm NZ ©
Snow Farm NZ
Roys Peak Track ©
Roys Peak Track
Wanaka ©
Wanaka

1
night
Kaikoura

Kaikoura ©
Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
On the 13th (Sat), stop by Kaikoura Cheese, then hike along Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway, and then hike along Ohau Stream Walk. On your second day here, don't miss a visit to Ohau Point Seal Colony, then identify plant and animal life at Peninsula Seal Colony, and then discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

To see ratings, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Kaikoura day trip planner .

You can do a combination of flight, bus, and train from Wanaka to Kaikoura in 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of bus and train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Sun) to allow time to take a bus to Christchurch.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Outdoors Parks Trails
Find places to stay Aug 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Ohau Stream Walk ©
Ohau Stream Walk
Scuba & Snorkeling
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway ©
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway

4
nights
Christchurch

Christchurch ©
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Step off the beaten path and head to Conical Hill and Swim with Dolphins. Step out of the city life by going to Hanmer Forest and Horseback Riding Tours. Change things up with a short trip to Britomart Monument in Akaroa (about 58 minutes away). There's much more to do: enjoy some diversion at Velocity Karts, pause for some photo ops at Chalice Sculpture, take in panoramic vistas at Christchurch Gondola, and go for a walk through Banks Peninsula.

To find other places to visit, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Christchurch online visit planner .

Getting from Kaikoura to Christchurch by bus takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a train; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 14°C in agosto, and nighttime lows around 2°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Thu) early enough to travel to Rotorua.

Things to do in Christchurch

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Akaroa, Hanmer Springs
Find places to stay Aug 14 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Velocity Karts ©
Velocity Karts
Swim with Dolphins
Hanmer Forest ©
Hanmer Forest

4
nights
Rotorua

Rotorua ©
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.
Explore hidden gems such as Mt Maunganui Main Beach and Mount Maunganui Base Track. Get outdoors at Horseback Riding Tours and River Rafting & Tubing. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Rotorua: Helicopter Tours (in Taupo), Monmouth Redoubt (in Tauranga) and Papamoa Beach (in Papamoa). There's lots more to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre, witness a stunning natural landmark at Kuirau Park, make a trip to Fancy Meow Cat Cafe, and get impressive views of Waimangu Volcanic Valley.

To see ratings, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Rotorua trip builder app .

You can fly from Christchurch to Rotorua in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of car and ferry. Traveling from Christchurch in agosto, plan for somewhat warmer nights in Rotorua, with lows around 7°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Mon) so you can go by car to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Tauranga, Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave, Papamoa Beach, River Rafting & Tubing, Helicopter Tours
Find places to stay Aug 18 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Mt Maunganui Main Beach ©
Mt Maunganui Main Beach
River Rafting & Tubing
Papamoa Beach ©
Papamoa Beach

2
nights
Waitomo Caves

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.
On the 23rd (Tue), hike along Ruakuri Walk, get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, then Head underground at Ruakuri Cave, and finally relax in the rural setting at Waitomo Big Bird & Miniature Animal Petting Farm. On the next day, explore the striking landscape at Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk, admire the sheer force of Marakopa Falls, then Head underground at Caveworld, and finally step off the mainland to explore Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Waitomo Caves day trip planning app .

Traveling by car from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Wed) so you can travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Waitomo Big Bird & Miniature Animal Petting Farm, Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari
Find places to stay Aug 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Ruakuri Cave
Ruakuri Cave
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk
Caveworld ©
Caveworld

3
nights
Paihia

Paihia ©
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Paihia Harbour and Rainbow Falls. Escape the urban bustle at Whangarei Falls and Waro Limestone Scenic Reserve Walk. Venture out of the city with trips to Tane Mahuta Walk (in Opononi) and Pompallier Mission and Printery (in Russell). Next up on the itinerary: get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, brush up on your military savvy at Kawakawa Memorial Library Centre, and surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, use the Paihia online route planner .

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Waitomo Caves to Paihia in 3 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of bus and flight. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sat) early enough to drive to Auckland.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Rainbow Falls, Waro Limestone Scenic Reserve Walk, Tane Mahuta Walk, Pompallier Mission and Printery, Kawakawa Memorial Library Centre
Find places to stay Aug 24 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Dolphin & Whale Watching

3
nights
Auckland

Auckland ©
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Tiritiri Matangi Visitor Centre and Arataki Visitor Centre. Visit Piha Beach and Orewa Beach for some beach relaxation. There's still lots to do: see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, take a memorable tour with Tours, let little ones run wild at Victoria Park, and get impressive views of One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie).

For ratings, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Auckland route planner.

Traveling by car from Paihia to Auckland takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 14°C in agosto, and nighttime lows around 14°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Piha, Orewa Beach
Find places to stay Aug 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Tiritiri Matangi Visitor Centre ©
Tiritiri Matangi Visitor Centre
Arataki Visitor Centre ©
Arataki Visitor Centre
Piha Beach ©
Piha Beach

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