45 days in New Zealand Itinerary

45 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand visit planner

Make it your trip
Drive
1
Hamilton
— 1 night
Drive
2
Waitomo Caves
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Rotorua
— 5 nights
Drive
4
Taupo
— 5 nights
Drive
5
Tongariro National Park
— 5 nights
Fly
6
Wellington
— 2 nights
Fly
7
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
— 3 nights
Drive
8
Te Anau
— 5 nights
Bus
9
Queenstown
— 5 nights
Fly
10
Christchurch
— 2 nights
Fly
11
Paihia
— 5 nights
Drive
12
Auckland
— 3 nights

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Hamilton

— 1 night

Tron

On the banks of the Waikato River lies Hamilton, a pretty, active city on North Island.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Mon): head outdoors with The Don Rowlands Centre Lake Karapiro, then make a trip to Hobbiton Movie Set, and then stop by Alexander Organics. Keep things going the next day: meet the residents at Hamilton Zoo, then join the crowd at Rally Drive NZ, and then admire the natural beauty at Hamilton Gardens.

To find maps, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Hamilton trip planner.

Auckland to Hamilton is an approximately 1.5-hour car ride. You can also take a bus; or take a train. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Tue) so you can go by car to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Hamilton

Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Outdoors · Shopping

Side Trips

Find places to stay Mar 1 — 2:

Waitomo Caves

— 3 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.
Waitomo Caves is known for nature, adventure, and wildlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, get interesting insight from Spellbound Glowworm & Cave Tours, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and snap pictures at Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk.

To find ratings, reviews, and tourist information, read our Waitomo Caves trip planner.

Traveling by car from Hamilton to Waitomo Caves takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Fri) so you can go by car to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Tours

Side Trip

Find places to stay Mar 2 — 5:

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.
Rotorua is known for nature, adventure, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, trot along with a tour on horseback, contemplate the long history of Whakarewarewa - The Living Maori Village, and identify plant and animal life at Rainbow Springs Nature Park.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Rotorua holiday planning site.

Traveling by car from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 26°C in March, and nighttime lows around 18°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Taupo.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trips

Find places to stay Mar 5 — 10:

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.
Taupo is known for nature, adventure, and theme parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: hike along Huka Falls Walkway, don't miss a visit to Maori Rock Carvings, get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, and witness a stunning natural landmark at Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley.

For where to stay, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Taupo online route planner.

Traveling by car from Rotorua to Taupo takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours
Find places to stay Mar 10 — 15:

Tongariro National Park

— 5 nights
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
On the 16th (Tue), hike the day away at Tongariro Alpine Crossing. On the 17th (Wed), hike the day away at Horsemtrails. There's lots more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Tongariro Northern Circuit, trek along Taranaki Falls, take in the pleasant sights at Mead's Wall, and admire the sheer force of Tawhai Falls.

To find where to stay and tourist information, use the Tongariro National Park online trip itinerary maker.

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. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Sat) so you can travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

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

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.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Sun): get engrossed in the history at The Great War Exhibition, take an in-depth tour of Wellington Museum, then catch a ride on Wellington Cable Car, and finally examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Keep things going the next day: identify plant and animal life at ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary, get a sense of history and politics at New Zealand Parliament, and then take in nature's colorful creations at Wellington Botanic Garden.

To see other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, go to the Wellington sightseeing planning site.

You can fly from Tongariro National Park to Wellington in 4.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of taxi and train. In March, plan for daily highs up to 22°C, and evening lows to 16°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Mon) to allow time to travel to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu).

Things to do in Wellington

Museums · Parks · Wildlife · Transportation

Side Trip

Find places to stay Mar 20 — 22:

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

— 3 nights
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu): Fox Glacier (Moraine Walk, Fox Glacier Hiking Trails, &more).

To see more things to do, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, read Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) tour planner.

Getting from Wellington to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) by flight takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: ride a ferry; or do a combination of ferry, train, and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Thu) so you can travel to Te Anau.

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

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Nature

Side Trips

Find places to stay Mar 22 — 25:

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.
When in Te Anau, make a side trip to see Bowen Falls in Milford Sound, approximately Milford Sound away. Spend the 27th (Sat) exploring at Doubtful Sound. On the 30th (Tue), hike the day away at Hollyford Track. Next up on the itinerary: explore the activities along Milford Sound, explore the landscape on two wheels at Lake 2 Lake Trail, identify plant and animal life at Ivan Wilson Park, and get outside with Bushbash - Day Wilderness Expeditions.

To find where to stay, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Te Anau road trip app.

Explore your travel options from Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) to Te Anau with the Route module. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Tue) so you can take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Side Trips

Find places to stay Mar 25 — 30:

Queenstown

— 5 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.
On the 31st (Wed), dedicate a day to the elevated beauty of Coronet Peak. There's lots more to do: get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, admire the natural beauty at Queenstown Gardens, and explore the activities along Lake Wakatipu.

To find other places to visit, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Queenstown travel itinerary planner.

Traveling by bus from Te Anau to Queenstown takes 4 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sun) so you can travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Queenstown

Parks · Outdoors · Tours · Nature

Side Trip

Find places to stay Mar 30 — Apr 4:

Christchurch

— 2 nights

Garden City

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
On the 5th (Mon), examine the collection at International Antarctic Centre, 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 6th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take a memorable ride with TranzAlpine Train.

For traveler tips, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Christchurch day trip planning app.

Fly from Queenstown to Christchurch in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In April, plan for daily highs up to 20°C, and evening lows to 8°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Tue) so you can travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Christchurch

Transportation · Tours · Museums · Parks
Find places to stay Apr 4 — 6:

Paihia

— 5 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.
Get out of town with these interesting Paihia side-trips: Whangarei (Bream Head Coast Walks & Poor Knights Island Marine Reserve). Spend a day of island exploring on the 11th (Sun) at Urupukapuka Island. There's lots more to do: take in nature's colorful creations at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas, get great views at Opua Forest Lookout Track, and get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

To find where to stay, maps, and tourist information, use the Paihia route planning website.

Getting from Christchurch to Paihia by flight takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sun) so you can go by car to Auckland.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Nature

Side Trips

Find places to stay Apr 6 — 11:

Auckland

— 3 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.
Auckland is known for nature, museums, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take in panoramic vistas at SkyTower, examine the collection at New Zealand Maritime Museum, take in the waterfront activity at Viaduct Harbour, and brush up on your military savvy at Auckland Museum.

To see traveler tips, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Auckland trip builder.

You can drive from Paihia to Auckland in 3 hours. Other options are to fly; or take a bus. In April, daily temperatures in Auckland can reach 22°C, while at night they dip to 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Museums · Wineries
Find places to stay Apr 11 — 14:

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.