45 days in New Zealand Itinerary

45 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand trip itinerary planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Picton
— 1 night
Fly
2
Taupo
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Rotorua
— 5 nights
Fly
4
Paihia
— 7 nights
Fly to Christchurch, Bus to Kaikoura
5
Kaikoura
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Akaroa
— 3 nights
Drive
7
Dunedin
— 3 nights
Drive
8
Queenstown
— 8 nights
Bus
9
Te Anau
— 6 nights
Bus
10
Wanaka
— 4 nights
Bus
11
Fox Glacier
— 2 nights
Drive

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Picton

— 1 night

Gateway to the South Island

Take photo after stunning photo in Picton, the gateway to South Island.
For more things to do, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Picton road trip planner.

Christchurch to Picton is an approximately 4.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. Expect a bit warmer evenings in Picton when traveling from Christchurch in January, with lows around 59°F. On the 13th (Wed), you'll travel to Taupo.

Things to do in Picton

Tours · Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 13:

Taupo

— 3 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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Huka Falls and Craters of the Moon. The adventure continues: take in the dramatic scenery at Huka Falls Walkway, explore the landscape on two wheels at Great Lake Trail, witness a stunning natural landmark at Spa Thermal Park and Riverbank Recreational and Scenic Reserve, and kick back and relax at Kinloch Beach.

To see reviews, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Taupo travel route planner.

Getting from Picton to Taupo by flight takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 16th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 13 — 16:

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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Ohope Beach and Eat Street. Take a break from Rotorua with a short trip to Papamoa Beach in Papamoa, about 56 minutes away. There's much more to do: get impressive views of Waimangu Volcanic Valley, witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, kick your exploration up a notch at Redwoods Treewalk, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

To see reviews, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, read Rotorua online trip itinerary maker.

Getting from Taupo to Rotorua by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. January in Rotorua sees daily highs of 74°F and lows of 61°F at night. You'll set off for Paihia on the 21st (Thu).

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 16 — 21:

Paihia

— 7 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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Paihia Harbour and Swim with Dolphins. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Paihia: Butler Point Whaling Museum (in Mangonui), Russell (Russell Nature Walks, Oneroa Bay, &more) and Taupo Bay Beach (in Taupo Bay). There's much more to do: take in nature's colorful creations at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, head off the coast to Urupukapuka Island, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and explore the galleries of Masterpieces Art Gallery.

For other places to visit, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, use the Paihia day trip planning tool.

Traveling by flight from Rotorua to Paihia takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 28th (Thu) to allow time for travel to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 21 — 28:

Kaikoura

— 2 nights
Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Thu): look for gifts at Kaikoura Cheese.

Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your Kaikoura trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.

Do a combination of flight and bus from Paihia to Kaikoura in 9.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sat) so you can drive to Akaroa.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Outdoors · Tours · Trails · Wildlife
Find places to stay Jan 28 — 30:

Akaroa

— 3 nights

Long Harbour

The French heritage and colonial architecture of Akaroa has broad appeal to anthropologists, historians, architects--and just about anyone with an eye for beautiful, historical buildings and a palate for fine dining.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Boat Tours & Water Sports and Garden of Tane. There's much more to do: get engrossed in the history at Akaroa Museum, take in nature's colorful creations at The Garden at French Farm, identify plant and animal life at Hinewai Reserve, and visit a coastal fixture at Akaroa Lighthouse.

For photos, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Akaroa itinerary planner.

Drive from Kaikoura to Akaroa in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and taxi; or take a bus. In January, daily temperatures in Akaroa can reach 71°F, while at night they dip to 52°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 2nd (Tue) to allow time for the car ride to Dunedin.

Things to do in Akaroa

Parks · Museums · Tours · Shopping
Find places to stay Jan 30 — Feb 2:

Dunedin

— 3 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.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Wed): stroll through Sandfly Bay Track, then pause for some serene contemplation at First Church of Otago, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at St. Paul's Cathedral, and finally examine the collection at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum. On the next day, stroll through St Clair Beach.

To see other places to visit, photos, ratings, and tourist information, read Dunedin trip planner.

You can drive from Akaroa to Dunedin in 5.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of bus and flight. You'll set off for Queenstown on the 5th (Fri).

Things to do in Dunedin

Historic Sites · Outdoors · Parks · Museums
Find places to stay Feb 2 — 5:

Queenstown

— 8 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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Cromwell Heritage Precinct and Chard Farm Winery. Explore Queenstown's surroundings by going to Cromwell (Misha's Vineyard Tasting Room, Wooing Tree Vineyard, &more). And it doesn't end there: see Off-Road Tours, take a memorable tour with Tours, appreciate the extensive heritage of Arrowtown Chinese Settlement, and do a tasting at Amisfield Winery.

For ratings, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Queenstown tour itinerary planner.

Drive from Dunedin to Queenstown in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. On the 13th (Sat), you're off to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors · Tours · Trails · Wineries

Side Trips

Find places to stay Feb 5 — 13:

Te Anau

— 6 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 off the beaten path and head to Lake Te Anau and Mirror Lakes Walk. Get out of town with these interesting Te Anau side-trips: Manapouri (Manapouri Lake & Wild Wool Gallery) and Milford Sound (Southern Discoveries - Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory & Milford sound Hwy). On the 18th (Thu), do a day of sightseeing from above with a helicopter tour. The adventure continues: take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, stroll through Lake Marian Track, explore the fascinating underground world of Te Anau Glowworm Caves, and relax and rejuvenate at Fiordland Massage Clinic.

To find photos, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Te Anau trip planner.

Traveling by bus from Queenstown to Te Anau takes 4 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Fri) so you can travel to Wanaka.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Tours · Nature · Outdoors

Side Trips

Find places to stay Feb 13 — 19:

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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Lake Wanaka and Wanaka. The adventure continues: tour the pleasant surroundings at Mount Iron Track, examine the collection at The World of Deer Museum & Speciality Shop, cruise along Haast Pass, and indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

For where to stay, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, read our Wanaka trip itinerary planner.

You can take a bus from Te Anau to Wanaka in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Tue) early enough to catch the bus to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Wanaka

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Side Trips

Find places to stay Feb 19 — 23:

Fox Glacier

— 2 nights
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Wed): take in the dramatic natural features at Franz Josef Glacier, then trek along Sentinel Rock Walk, then trek along Peters Pool Walk, and finally cast your line with Glacier Country Lake Tours. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 25th (Thu): hike along Fox Glacier South Side Walk, take in the pleasant sights at Lake Matheson Walk, and then see the world from above with a helicopter tour.

For where to stay, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Fox Glacier online trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by bus from Wanaka to Fox Glacier takes 5.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Thu) so you can go by car back home.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Outdoors · Trails · Parks · Tours

Side Trip

Find places to stay Feb 23 — 25:

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.