40 days in New Zealand Itinerary

40 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand itinerary planner

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

S M T W T F S
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
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
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25
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29

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.
Kids will enjoy Phantom Sailing and Paihia Harbour. Explore Paihia's surroundings by going to Tapeka Point Track (in Russell) and Whangarei (Poor Knights Island Marine Reserve & Bream Head Coast Walks). Spend a day of island exploring on the 21st (Tue) at Urupukapuka Island. Next up on the itinerary: steep yourself in history at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, admire the striking features of St Paul's Anglican Church, find something for the whole family at Action World, and pause for some serene contemplation at St James Anglican Church.

Ask Inspirock to suggest an itinerary and make planning a trip to Paihia fast, fun, and easy.

Sydney, Australia to Paihia is an approximately 8.5-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Sydney to Paihia is 2 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Wed) to allow enough time to fly to Auckland.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 18 — 22:
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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.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Thu): get impressive views of Mount Eden, then enjoy the thrill of live dance at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium, then admire the masterpieces at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, and finally make a trip to SkyTower. On the next day, meet the residents at Auckland Zoo, see the interesting displays at Auckland Museum, and then stop by Time Out Bookstore.

Find out how to plan Auckland trip without stress by asking Inspirock to help create an itinerary.

Traveling by flight from Paihia to Auckland takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 20°C in December, and nighttime lows around 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Fri) to allow enough time to fly to New Plymouth.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Museums · Nature
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 24:
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New Plymouth

— 1 night
Where other cities run, New Plymouth prefers to stroll.
On the 25th (Sat), explore the engaging exhibits at Puke Ariki, stop by Giles Chocolatier, then take in the pleasant sights at New Plymouth Coastal Walkway, and finally learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Pukekura Park.

To see where to stay, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, use the New Plymouth itinerary planner.

You can fly from Auckland to New Plymouth in 2.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in New Plymouth

Childrens Museums · Zoos & Aquariums · Parks · Museums
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 25:
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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 26th (Sun), head outdoors with Waitomo Clay Birds, scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour, then explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, and finally hike along Ruakuri Walk. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in the dramatic natural features at Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk, Head underground at Caveworld, then take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and finally Head underground at Footwhistle Glowworm Cave.

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

You can drive from New Plymouth to Waitomo Caves in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of flight and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Nature
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 27:
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Rotorua

— 5 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.
Family-friendly places like Zipline and Rotorua Museum will thrill your kids. Go for a jaunt from Rotorua to Hinuera to see Hobbiton Movie Set about 1h 20 min away. There's much more to do: witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, stroll through Rainbow Springs Nature Park, take in the dramatic natural features at Waimangu Volcanic Valley, and experience rural life at Agrodome.

To see where to stay, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Rotorua online visit planner.

Getting from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus. In December, daily temperatures in Rotorua can reach 25°C, while at night they dip to 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sat) so you can drive to Taupo.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 27 — Jan 1:
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Taupo

— 5 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.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Huka Falls Walkway and Maori Rock Carvings. There's lots more to do: get outside with Outdoor Activities, take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, explore the striking landscape at Spa Thermal Park and Riverbank Recreational and Scenic Reserve, and make a trip to Aratiatia Rapids.

To find reviews, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, read our Taupo road trip planning website.

You can drive from Rotorua to Taupo in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Thu) to allow enough time to take a shuttle to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 6:
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Tongariro National Park

— 5 nights
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Tongariro Alpine Crossing and Tama Lakes. Spend the 8th (Sat) exploring nature at Active Outdoor Adventures. On the 10th (Mon), hike the day away at Horsemtrails. And it doesn't end there: trek along Taranaki Falls, tour the pleasant surroundings at Silica Rapids Track, and take in the pleasant sights at Mead's Wall.

To find more things to do, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Tongariro National Park vacation planner.

Getting from Taupo to Tongariro National Park by shuttle takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Tue) early enough to fly to Wellington.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 11:
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Wellington

— 2 nights

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 12th (Wed): get engrossed in the history at Wellington Museum, see the world from above with a helicopter tour, then stroll through ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary, and finally take in nature's colorful creations at Wellington Botanic Garden. On the next day, examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, get great views at Wellington Cable Car, and then ponder the world of politics at New Zealand Parliament.

To find maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Wellington holiday planner.

Fly from Tongariro National Park to Wellington in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and train. Expect a daytime high around 24°C in January, and nighttime lows around 17°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Thu) early enough to travel to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks · Museums · Wildlife · Transportation

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 11 — 13:
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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.
Kids will enjoy Gillespies Beach and Fox Glacier South Side Walk. Change things up with these side-trips from Fox Glacier: Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) (Kea Point Track, Glencoe Walk, &more). Next up on the itinerary: take in the dramatic natural features at Franz Josef Glacier, tour the pleasant surroundings at Terrace Walk, go for a walk through River Walk, and trek along Moraine Walk.

To see other places to visit, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Fox Glacier trip maker website.

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Wellington to Fox Glacier takes 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sun) so you can go by car to Queenstown.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 13 — 16:
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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.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Skyline Queenstown and Spas. Next up on the itinerary: get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, admire the natural beauty at Queenstown Gardens, and get outside with Outdoor Activities.

To find maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Queenstown trip planner.

Traveling by car from Fox Glacier to Queenstown takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Wed) early enough to catch the bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Parks · Tours · Outdoors · Nature
Find places to stay Jan 16 — 19:
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Te Anau

— 7 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.
Family-friendly places like Hollyford Track and Milford Sound will thrill your kids. Change things up with these side-trips from Te Anau: Milford Sound (Bowen Falls & Milford sound Hwy). Spend the 25th (Tue) exploring at Doubtful Sound. On the 23rd (Sun), hike the day away at Routeburn Track. There's much more to do: stroll through Lake Marian Track, explore the activities along Ivan Wilson Park, get outside with Bushbash - Day Wilderness Expeditions, and trek along The Chasm Walk.

To find other places to visit, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Te Anau journey tool.

You can take a bus from Queenstown to Te Anau in 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 19 — 26:
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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.