32 days in New Zealand Itinerary

32 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand route planner

Make it your trip
Fly to Auckland, Bus to Waitomo Caves
1
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
Drive
2
Rotorua
— 4 nights
Drive
3
Taupo
— 4 nights
Drive
4
Tongariro National Park
— 3 nights
Drive
5
New Plymouth
— 1 night
Fly
6
Wellington
— 1 night
Fly to Hokitika, Bus to Fox Glacier
7
Fox Glacier
— 2 nights
Drive
8
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Bus
9
Te Anau
— 5 nights
Bus to Queenstown, Fly to Kerikeri
10
Paihia
— 4 nights
Drive
11
Auckland
— 2 nights
Fly

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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.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Tue): explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, then get interesting insight from Spellbound Glowworm & Cave Tours, then explore the fascinating underground world of Caveworld, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Ruakuri Walk.

To see maps, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Waitomo Caves vacation planning app.

Edinburgh, UK to Waitomo Caves is an approximately 31-hour combination of flight and bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Edinburgh to Waitomo Caves is 12 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Tue) early enough to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

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

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.
When in Rotorua, make a side trip to see Hobbiton Movie Set in Hinuera, approximately Hinuera away. There's much more to do: whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, experience rural life at Agrodome, and delve into the lush surroundings at Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest.

To see traveler tips, photos, maps, and more tourist information, read Rotorua online day trip planner.

You can drive from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. January in Rotorua sees daily highs of 27°C and lows of 19°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Taupo.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 4 — 8:

Taupo

— 4 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.
Taupo is known for nature, adventure, and theme parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: push the limits with an extreme tour, take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, explore the activities along Lake Taupo, and get in on the family fun at Huka Prawn Park.

To see more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Taupo road trip planning site.

You can drive from Rotorua to Taupo in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 12:

Tongariro National Park

— 3 nights
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
On the 13th (Thu), hike the day away at Tongariro Alpine Crossing. And it doesn't end there: stroll through Ohakune Old Coach Road, explore the striking landscape of Te Porere Redoubt, trek along Taranaki Falls, and go for a walk through Mead's Wall.

For other places to visit, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Tongariro National Park trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from Taupo to Tongariro National Park in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Sat) early enough to go by car to New Plymouth.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 15:

New Plymouth

— 1 night
Where other cities run, New Plymouth prefers to stroll.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Sun): look for gifts at Giles Chocolatier, go for a walk through New Plymouth Coastal Walkway, then get your bearings at Puke Ariki, and finally get to know the resident critters at Pukekura Park.

To find traveler tips, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the New Plymouth road trip website.

You can drive from Tongariro National Park to New Plymouth in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sun) so you can travel to Wellington.

Things to do in New Plymouth

Childrens Museums · Zoos & Aquariums · Parks · Museums
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 16:

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.
On the 17th (Mon), pause for some photo ops at John Plimmer Statue, catch a ride on Wellington Cable Car, and then see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

To see reviews, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Wellington trip planner.

Traveling by flight from New Plymouth to Wellington takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In January, daytime highs in Wellington are 24°C, while nighttime lows are 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 17th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums · Transportation · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jan 16 — 17:

Fox Glacier

— 2 nights
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
On the 18th (Tue), kick back and relax at Gillespies Beach, then take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, then hike along Minnehaha Walk, and finally trek along Fox Glacier South Side Walk. Here are some ideas for day two: have fun at Franz Josef Clay Target Shooting, explore the striking landscape at Franz Josef Glacier, trek along Sentinel Rock Walk, then trek along Moraine Walk, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Fox Glacier Hiking Trails.

To see more things to do, maps, ratings, and tourist information, read Fox Glacier day trip planning tool.

Do a combination of flight and bus from Wellington to Fox Glacier in 8.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus; or do a combination of ferry, train, and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Wed) early enough to drive to Queenstown.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Beaches

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 17 — 19:

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.
Queenstown is known for fun & games, adventure, and wildlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, look for all kinds of wild species at Kiwi Birdlife Park, and contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Wakatipu.

For photos, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Queenstown day trip tool.

You can drive from Fox Glacier to Queenstown in 4.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sat) so you can take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Parks · Tours · Outdoors · Nature
Find places to stay Jan 19 — 22:

Te Anau

— 5 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.
Step out of Te Anau to go to Milford Sound and see Bowen Falls, which is approximately 1h 5 min away. Spend the 23rd (Sun) exploring at Doubtful Sound. On the 26th (Wed), hike the day away at Kepler Track. There's still lots to do: contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound, identify plant and animal life at Ivan Wilson Park, Head underground at Te Anau Glowworm Caves, and hike along The Chasm Walk.

For other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, read Te Anau online visit planner.

You can take a bus from Queenstown to Te Anau in 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 27th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 22 — 27:

Paihia

— 4 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.
Take a break from Paihia with a short trip to Pompallier Mission and Printery in Russell, about 42 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: steep yourself in history at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, identify plant and animal life at The Parrot Place, do a tasting at Byrne Northland Wines, and get interesting insight from Tours.

For traveler tips, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, read our Paihia online trip itinerary planner.

You can do a combination of bus and flight from Te Anau to Paihia in 8.5 hours. Another option is to do a combination of ferry and car. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Mon) so you can drive to Auckland.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife · Parks · Historic Sites · Outdoors

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 27 — 31:

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.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Tue): stop by Kiwa Art, learn about all things military at Auckland Museum, then head off the coast to Hauraki Gulf, and finally take in panoramic vistas at SkyTower.

For where to stay, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Auckland day trip planning tool.

You can drive from Paihia to Auckland in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 22°C in January, and nighttime lows around 22°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Wed) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Auckland

Museums · Parks · Nature · Shopping

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 31 — Feb 2:

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.