42 days in New Zealand Itinerary

42 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Queenstown
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Fox Glacier
— 3 nights
Bus
3
Wanaka
— 4 nights
Drive
4
Te Anau
— 5 nights
Drive
5
Dunedin
— 2 nights
Fly
6
Wellington
— 2 nights
Fly
7
Tongariro National Park
— 5 nights
Shuttle
8
Taupo
— 2 nights
Drive
9
Rotorua
— 5 nights
Drive
10
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights
Drive
11
Whitianga
— 3 nights
Drive
12
Paihia
— 4 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
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27
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29
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31
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Queenstown

— 4 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.
Get some cultural insight at Wine Tours & Tastings and Arrowtown Chinese Settlement. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Glenorchy-Queenstown Road and Off-Road Tours. There's still lots to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Ben Lomond Track, get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, learn about winemaking at Chard Farm Winery, and cross one thing off your bucket list with a skydiving experience.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Queenstown travel route builder tool.

Melbourne, Australia to Queenstown is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. The time zone changes from Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) to New Zealand Standard Time (NZST), which is usually a 2 hour difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Thu) early enough to drive to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours · Outdoors · Wineries · Adventure

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 26 — 30:
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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.
Escape the urban bustle at Hooker Valley Track and Helicopter Tours. Next up on the itinerary: trek along Fox Glacier South Side Walk, take in the pleasant sights at Lake Matheson Walk, explore the striking landscape at Franz Josef Glacier, and look for gifts at ReflectioNZ Gifts & Gallery.

For maps, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, use the Fox Glacier vacation planner.

Traveling by car from Queenstown to Fox Glacier takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sun) early enough to catch the bus to Wanaka.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 2:
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Wanaka

— 4 nights
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Lake Wanaka and Canyoning & Rappelling Tours. Get outdoors at Roys Peak Track and Mount Iron Track. And it doesn't end there: trek along Blue Pools Track, contemplate the waterfront views at Wanaka, see the world from above with a helicopter tour, and fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour.

To see reviews, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Wanaka day trip site.

Getting from Fox Glacier to Wanaka by bus takes about 5.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Thu) early enough to travel to Te Anau.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Tours
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 6:
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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.
Get in touch with nature at Lake Te Anau and The Chasm Walk. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Routeburn Track and Hollyford Track. On the 11th (Tue), hike the day away at Kepler Track. Next up on the itinerary: see what you can catch with a fishing tour, hike along Lake Marian Track, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Mirror Lakes Walk.

Make your Te Anau itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.

Explore your travel options from Wanaka to Te Anau with the Route module. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Tue) so you can travel to Dunedin.

Things to do in Te Anau

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Tours

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 6 — 11:
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Dunedin

— 2 nights

Edinburgh of the South

With its history proudly stemming from the Scottish settlers who came here during the colonial era, Dunedin's streets are lined with well-preserved examples of Victorian and Edwardian architecture, while a new culture of nightlife and fine dining takes hold around them.
On the 12th (Wed), get a new perspective on nature at Otago Museum, then examine the collection at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, and then tour the old-fashioned way with a train tour. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the dramatic natural features at Otago Peninsula and then tour the pleasant surroundings at The Royal Albatross Centre.

For traveler tips, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Dunedin trip maker app.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Te Anau to Dunedin. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Thu) so you can fly to Wellington.

Things to do in Dunedin

Parks · Wildlife · Museums · Tours
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 13:
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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.
On the 14th (Fri), examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, catch a ride on Wellington Cable Car, then pause for some serene contemplation at Old St Paul's, and finally take an in-depth tour of The Great War Exhibition. Here are some ideas for day two: get engrossed in the history at Wellington Museum, get a sense of history and politics at New Zealand Parliament, and then explore the activities along Oriental Bay.

To find traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Wellington route planner.

Traveling by flight from Dunedin to Wellington takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. In January in Wellington, expect temperatures between 24°C during the day and 17°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Sat) early enough to catch the flight to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums · Beaches · Parks · Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 13 — 15:
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Tongariro National Park

— 5 nights
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
Get a sense of the local culture at Tongariro Alpine Crossing and Taranaki Falls. Get some historical perspective at Active Outdoor Adventures and Ohakune Old Coach Road. And it doesn't end there: get impressive views of Mount Ruapehu, explore the activities along Tama Lakes, admire the sheer force of Tawhai Falls, and hike along Silica Rapids Track.

To see traveler tips, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Tongariro National Park journey app.

Fly from Wellington to Tongariro National Park in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Thu) early enough to take a shuttle to Taupo.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Parks · Trails · Outdoors · Nature
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 20:
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Taupo

— 2 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.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Fri): make a trip to Maori Rock Carvings, get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, and then admire the sheer force of Huka Falls Walkway. On your second day here, take in the natural beauty of Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave and then take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To find photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Taupo trip planner.

Traveling by shuttle from Tongariro National Park to Taupo takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sat) so you can drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Taupo

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Nature

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 20 — 22:
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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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Waimangu Volcanic Valley and Waikite Valley Thermal Pools. Visit Te Puia and Buried Village of Te Wairoa for their historical value. Get out of town with these interesting Rotorua side-trips: Mount Maunganui (Mount Maunganui Summit Track, Mount Maunganui Base Track, &more). There's much more to do: take a stroll through Eat Street, witness a stunning natural landmark at Kuirau Park, whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and head outdoors with Outdoor Activities.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Rotorua day trip planner.

You can drive from Taupo to Rotorua in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. In January in Rotorua, expect temperatures between 27°C during the day and 19°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 22 — 27:
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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 28th (Fri), take in the dramatic scenery at Marakopa Falls and then surround yourself with nature on Spellbound Glowworm & Cave Tours. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the fascinating underground world of Ruakuri Cave, explore the fascinating underground world of Caveworld, and then explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves.

To see photos, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Waitomo Caves trip website.

You can drive from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sat) so you can go by car to Whitianga.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks · Nature · Tours · Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 27 — 29:
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Whitianga

— 3 nights
Whitianga is a town on the Coromandel Peninsula, in the Waikato Region of New Zealand's North Island. Visit Hot Water Beach and Whangamata Beach for some beach relaxation. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Boat Tours & Water Sports and Hahei Beach Walk. Take a break from Whitianga with a short trip to Mount Paku in Tairua, about 44 minutes away. The adventure continues: boost your wellbeing at The Lost Spring.

For traveler tips, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Whitianga trip planning app.

You can drive from Waitomo Caves to Whitianga in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi, train, and car; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. January in Whitianga sees daily highs of 26°C and lows of 19°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Tue) so you can go by car to Paihia.

Things to do in Whitianga

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 29 — Feb 1:
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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.
Visit Pompallier Mission and Printery and The Stone Store & Kemp House - Kerikeri Mission Station for their historical value. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Flagstaff Hill Historic Reserve and Waitangi Treaty Grounds. Change things up with these side-trips from Paihia: Kawiti Caves (in Kawakawa) and Whangarei Falls (in Whangarei). There's much more to do: fulfill a lifelong dream with a swim-with-the-dolphins experience, stroll through Paihia Harbour, and get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

For other places to visit, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Paihia trip itinerary planning app.

You can drive from Whitianga to Paihia in 5.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of shuttle and flight; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sat) to allow enough time to fly back home.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks · Historic Sites · Wildlife · Tours

Side Trips

Find places to stay Feb 1 — 5:
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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.