53 days in New Zealand Itinerary

53 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand route planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Auckland
— 3 nights
Fly
2
Paihia
— 6 nights
+2
Taxi to Whangarei Airport, Fly to Hamilton Airport, Taxi to Waitomo Caves
3
Waitomo Caves
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Rotorua
— 5 nights
Drive
5
Taupo
— 5 nights
Shuttle
6
Tongariro National Park
— 6 nights
Fly
7
Wellington
— 3 nights
Fly
8
Christchurch
— 1 night
Fly
9
Queenstown
— 5 nights
Bus
10
Te Anau
— 6 nights
Drive
11
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
— 4 nights
Drive
12
Christchurch
— 2 nights
Fly
13
Auckland
— 3 nights
Fly

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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 parks. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: enjoy breathtaking views from SkyTower, contemplate the geological forces at Mount Eden, step off the mainland to explore Waiheke Island, and brush up on your military savvy at Auckland Museum.

For traveler tips, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Auckland online tour planner.

Gold Coast, Australia to Auckland 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. Traveling from Gold Coast in April, you will find days in Auckland are a bit cooler (22°C), and nights are about the same (22°C). Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Mon) so you can fly to Paihia.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks · Nature · Zoos & Aquariums · Shopping
Find places to stay Apr 1 — 4:

Paihia

— 6 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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Paihia: Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail (in Kaikohe), Russell (Pompallier Mission and Printery & Phantom Sailing) and Tane Mahuta Walk (in Opononi). The adventure continues: contemplate the long history of Waitangi Treaty Grounds, pause for some serene contemplation at St Paul's Anglican Church, tour the pleasant surroundings at Kororipo Pa Historic Walk, and tee off at Waitangi Golf Club.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, use the Paihia trip itinerary maker.

You can fly from Auckland to Paihia in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sun) so you can travel to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks · Outdoors · Historic Sites · Trails

Side Trips

Find places to stay Apr 4 — 10:

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 trip includes some of its best attractions: Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves, take in the dramatic scenery at Marakopa Falls, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and hike along Ruakuri Walk.

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

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Paihia to Waitomo Caves takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Tours
Find places to stay Apr 10 — 13:

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 out of Rotorua with an excursion to Hobbiton Movie Set in Hinuera--about 1h 20 min away. There's still lots to do: witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, explore the world behind art at Rotorua Museum, stroll through Lake Okareka Walkway, and don't miss a visit to Te Puia.

To see ratings, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Rotorua driving holiday planner.

You can drive from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua in 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus. April in Rotorua sees daily highs of 24°C and lows of 15°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Mon) so you can go by car to Taupo.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trip

Find places to stay Apr 13 — 18:

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 trip includes some of its best attractions: take in the dramatic scenery at Huka Falls Walkway, take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, take in the natural beauty of Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley, and make a trip to Spa Thermal Park and Riverbank Recreational and Scenic Reserve.

To find other places to visit, maps, reviews, and tourist information, use the Taupo trip itinerary maker site.

You can drive from Rotorua to Taupo in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sat) to allow enough time to take a shuttle to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Museums

Side Trip

Find places to stay Apr 18 — 23:

Tongariro National Park

— 6 nights
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
Go for a jaunt from Tongariro National Park to Turangi to see Mt Ngauruhoe about 36 minutes away. On the 29th (Fri), hike the day away at Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Spend the 25th (Mon) exploring nature at Active Outdoor Adventures. And it doesn't end there: hike along Tongariro Northern Circuit, tour the pleasant surroundings at Ridge Track, go for a walk through Ohakune Old Coach Road, and admire the sheer force of Taranaki Falls.

To see where to stay, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Tongariro National Park trip 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. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Fri) early enough to catch the flight to Wellington.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Parks · Trails · Outdoors · Nature

Side Trip

Find places to stay Apr 23 — 29:

Wellington

— 3 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.
Wellington is known for museums, parks, and classes. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, get engrossed in the history at The Great War Exhibition, admire the natural beauty at Wellington Botanic Garden, and catch a ride on Wellington Cable Car.

For reviews, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, read Wellington sightseeing app.

Traveling by flight from Tongariro National Park to Wellington takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and train. In April, plan for daily highs up to 20°C, and evening lows to 14°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Mon) to allow time to fly to Christchurch.

Things to do in Wellington

Side Trip

Find places to stay Apr 29 — May 2:

Christchurch

— 1 night

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 3rd (Tue): catch a ride on TranzAlpine Train.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, use the Christchurch trip itinerary builder app.

Traveling by flight from Wellington to Christchurch takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Traveling from Wellington in May, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be little chillier in Christchurch, with lows of 5°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Tue) to allow time to fly to Queenstown.

Things to do in Christchurch

Tours · Transportation
Find places to stay May 2 — 3:
Highlights from your trip

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.
Queenstown is known for fun & games, adventure, and parks. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown, learn the secrets of beer at a beer tour and tasting, take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, and head outdoors with Outdoor Activities.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, read Queenstown trip maker.

Getting from Christchurch to Queenstown by flight takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sun) so you can take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours · Outdoors · Wineries · Parks
Find places to stay May 3 — 8:

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.
Go for a jaunt from Te Anau to Milford Sound to see Boat Tours & Water Sports about 1 hour away. Spend the 10th (Tue) exploring at Doubtful Sound. There's lots more to do: explore the activities along Milford Sound, explore the fascinating underground world of Te Anau Glowworm Caves, get outside with Bushbash - Day Wilderness Expeditions, and stroll through Gertrude Saddle.

To see where to stay, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, use the Te Anau online route builder.

You can take a bus from Queenstown to Te Anau in 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu).

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Side Trips

Find places to stay May 8 — 14:

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

— 4 nights
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu): Franz Josef (West Coast Wildlife Centre & Spas) and Fox Glacier (Lake Matheson Walk, Helicopter Tours, &more).

For other places to visit, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, use the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) tour planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Te Anau to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu). Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Wed) so you can travel to Christchurch.

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

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature

Side Trips

Find places to stay May 14 — 18:

Christchurch

— 2 nights

Garden City

Start off your visit on the 19th (Thu): catch a ride on Christchurch Gondola, get engrossed in the history at Canterbury Museum, then examine the collection at International Antarctic Centre, and finally stroll around Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Keep things going the next day: don't miss a visit to Cardboard Cathedral and then admire nature's wide array of creatures at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve.

To see where to stay, reviews, maps, and tourist information, read Christchurch road trip app.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) to Christchurch. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Fri) to allow time to fly to Auckland.

Things to do in Christchurch

Museums · Parks · Historic Sites · Zoos & Aquariums
Find places to stay May 18 — 20:

Auckland

— 3 nights

City of Sails

Explore Auckland further: indulge your taste buds at Food & Drink, stroll around Cornwall Park, take in the waterfront activity at Viaduct Harbour, and explore the world behind art at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki.

For where to stay, reviews, photos, and tourist information, read Auckland trip maker website.

You can fly from Christchurch to Auckland in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of train and ferry. Traveling from Christchurch in May, expect somewhat warmer with lows of 18°C in Auckland. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) early enough to fly back home.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks · Museums · Nature · Tours
Find places to stay May 20 — 23:

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.