38 days in New Zealand Itinerary

38 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand trip itinerary builder

Plan created by another user. Make it yours
Fly
1
Paihia
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Auckland
— 1 night
Drive
3
Waitomo Caves
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Rotorua
— 4 nights
Drive
5
Taupo
— 4 nights
Drive
6
Tongariro National Park
— 4 nights
Fly
7
Wellington
— 1 night
Fly
8
Queenstown
— 4 nights
Bus
9
Te Anau
— 5 nights
Bus
10
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
— 3 nights
Bus
11
Christchurch
— 3 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
29
30
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9

4
nights
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.
Explore Paihia's surroundings by going to Pompallier Mission and Printery (in Russell) and Poor Knights Island Marine Reserve (in Whangarei). There's still lots to do: contemplate the long history of Waitangi Treaty Grounds, make a trip to KeriKeri New Zealand, hike along Kerikeri River Track, and take some stellar pictures from Opua Forest Lookout Track.

For ratings, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Paihia online tour planner.

Bogota, Colombia to Paihia is an approximately 29-hour flight. The time zone changes from Colombia Standard Time to New Zealand Standard Time, which is usually a 17 hour difference. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Auckland.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks · Wildlife · Historic Sites · Outdoors

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 2 — 6:

1
night
Auckland

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 7th (Mon): enjoy breathtaking views from SkyTower, work some fitness into your day at Nelson Street Cycleway, then brush up on your military savvy at Auckland Museum, and finally contemplate the geological forces at Rangitoto Island.

To see more things to do, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Auckland online trip itinerary builder.

You can drive from Paihia to Auckland in 3 hours. Other options are to fly; or take a bus. In December, daily temperatures in Auckland can reach 20°C, while at night they dip to 20°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks · Museums · Nature · Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 6 — 7:

3
nights
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.
When in Waitomo Caves, make a side trip to see Omaru Falls in Aria, approximately Aria away. There's still lots to do: explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, push the limits with an extreme tour, and head outdoors with Waitomo Clay Birds.

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

You can drive from Auckland to Waitomo Caves in 3 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Thu) so you can drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors · Parks · Nature · Tours

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 7 — 10:

4
nights
Rotorua

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.
Step out of Rotorua with an excursion to Hobbiton Movie Set in Hinuera--about 1h 20 min away. There's lots more to do: whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, identify plant and animal life at Rainbow Springs Nature Park, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and relax in the rural setting at Agrodome.

To see maps, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Rotorua online road trip planner.

Traveling by car from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. December in Rotorua sees daily highs of 25°C and lows of 17°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Mon) so you can go by car to Taupo.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 10 — 14:

4
nights
Taupo

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: take in the dramatic scenery at Huka Falls Walkway, don't miss a visit to Maori Rock Carvings, explore the striking landscape at Spa Thermal Park and Riverbank Recreational and Scenic Reserve, and take in the natural beauty of Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley.

For maps, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, read Taupo trip maker site.

Traveling by car from Rotorua to Taupo takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Fri) early enough to drive to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 18:

4
nights
Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
Step out of Tongariro National Park to go to Turangi and see Mt Ngauruhoe, which is approximately 36 minutes away. On the 19th (Sat), hike the day away at Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Spend the 22nd (Tue) exploring nature at Active Outdoor Adventures. There's much more to do: take in the dramatic scenery at Taranaki Falls, trek along Silica Rapids Track, tour the pleasant surroundings at Mounds Walk, and explore the activities along Tama Lakes.

For other places to visit, ratings, maps, and tourist information, read Tongariro National Park trip itinerary builder website.

You can drive from Taupo to Tongariro National Park in 2 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Tue) early enough to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 18 — 22:

1
night
Wellington

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.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Wed): get a sense of history and politics at New Zealand Parliament, then take in nature's colorful creations at Wellington Botanic Garden, then take a memorable ride with Wellington Cable Car, and finally see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

To find reviews, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Wellington trip app.

Traveling by flight from Tongariro National Park to Wellington takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and train. In December, daily temperatures in Wellington can reach 22°C, while at night they dip to 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Wed) to allow time to travel to Queenstown.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks · Museums · Transportation · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 22 — 23:

4
nights
Queenstown

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, take a memorable tour with Tours, do a tasting at Peregrine Wines, and contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Wakatipu.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Queenstown tour builder site.

Getting from Wellington to Queenstown by flight takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Sun) to allow enough time to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours · Parks · Outdoors · Breweries & Distilleries
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 27:

5
nights
Te Anau

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.
Get out of town with these interesting Te Anau side-trips: Milford Sound (Bowen Falls & Milford sound Hwy). On the 29th (Tue), hike the day away at Hollyford Track. Spend the 31st (Thu) exploring at Doubtful Sound. There's much more to do: contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound, tour the pleasant surroundings at The Chasm Walk, cast your line with a fishing tour, and trek along Lake Marian Track.

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

Getting from Queenstown to Te Anau by bus takes about 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Fri) so you can take a bus to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu).

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Trails

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 27 — Jan 1:

3
nights

Change things up with these side-trips from Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu): Fox Glacier (Moraine Walk & Fox Glacier South Side Walk) and Sentinel Rock Walk (in Franz Josef).

To see traveler tips, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) trip planning app.

Take a bus from Te Anau to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) in 7 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Mon) early enough to catch the bus to Christchurch.

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

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Nature

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 1 — 4:

3
nights
Christchurch

Garden City

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Tue): explore the galleries of Christchurch Art Gallery (Te Puna o Waiwhetu), get engrossed in the history at Canterbury Museum, then admire the natural beauty at Christchurch Botanic Gardens, and finally let the kids burn off some steam at Margaret Mahy Family Playground. On the next day, admire the natural beauty at Ohinetahi Garden, take in nature's colorful creations at The Garden at French Farm, then get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at Saint Peter's Anglican Church.

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

Take a bus from Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) to Christchurch in 4.5 hours. In January, daily temperatures in Christchurch can reach 26°C, while at night they dip to 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 7th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Christchurch

Parks · Museums · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 4 — 7:

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.