55 days in New Zealand Itinerary

55 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand route planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Paihia
— 5 nights
Fly to Queenstown, Bus to Te Anau
2
Te Anau
— 6 nights
Bus
3
Queenstown
— 6 nights
Drive
4
Fox Glacier
— 4 nights
Drive
5
Christchurch
— 3 nights
Fly
6
Wellington
— 3 nights
Fly
7
New Plymouth
— 1 night
Drive
8
Waitomo Caves
— 4 nights
Drive
9
Tongariro National Park
— 5 nights
Shuttle
10
Taupo
— 6 nights
Drive
11
Rotorua
— 5 nights
Drive
12
Whitianga
— 2 nights
Drive
13
Auckland
— 4 nights

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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: Poor Knights Island Marine Reserve (in Whangarei) and Pompallier Mission and Printery (in Russell). Spend a day of island exploring on the 5th (Wed) at Urupukapuka Island. And it doesn't end there: take in nature's colorful creations at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, get in on the family fun at Action World, get outside with Outdoor Activities, and stroll through The Parrot Place.

For more things to do, reviews, photos, and tourist information, read Paihia tour planner.

Auckland to Paihia is an approximately 2.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Te Anau.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 5 — 10:

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.
Spend the 11th (Tue) exploring at Doubtful Sound. On the 16th (Sun), hike the day away at Kepler Track. There's still lots to do: contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound, hike along Hollyford Track, head outdoors with Bushbash - Day Wilderness Expeditions, and stroll through The Chasm Walk.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Te Anau trip planner.

Do a combination of flight and bus from Paihia to Te Anau in 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sun) so you can take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Trails

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 10 — 16:

Queenstown

— 6 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: get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, tour the pleasant surroundings at Kiwi Birdlife Park, take in nature's colorful creations at Queenstown Gardens, and explore the activities along Lake Wakatipu.

For where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Queenstown visit website.

Take a bus from Te Anau to Queenstown in 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sat) early enough to drive to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours · Outdoors · Parks · Wineries
Find places to stay Jan 16 — 22:

Fox Glacier

— 4 nights
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Get out of town with these interesting Fox Glacier side-trips: Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) (Glencoe Walk & Hooker Valley Track). There's lots more to do: take in the dramatic natural features at Franz Josef Glacier, trek along Fox Glacier South Side Walk, tour the pleasant surroundings at Fox Glacier Hiking Trails, and enjoy the sand and surf at Gillespies Beach.

To see reviews, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Fox Glacier trip itinerary site.

Drive from Queenstown to Fox Glacier in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Christchurch.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 22 — 26:

Christchurch

— 3 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 28th (Fri), spend the day riding on TranzAlpine Train. And it doesn't end there: stroll around Christchurch Botanic Gardens, catch a ride on Christchurch Gondola, get engrossed in the history at Canterbury Museum, and catch some excitement at Velocity Karts.

To see where to stay, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Christchurch planning site.

You can drive from Fox Glacier to Christchurch in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. In January, daytime highs in Christchurch are 26°C, while nighttime lows are 13°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sat) so you can catch the flight to Wellington.

Things to do in Christchurch

Transportation · Tours · Parks · Fun & Games

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 26 — 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, stroll through ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary, admire the landmark architecture of Old St Paul's, and ponder the world of politics at New Zealand Parliament.

For maps, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Wellington day trip planning site.

You can fly from Christchurch to Wellington in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Traveling from Christchurch in January, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be somewhat warmer in Wellington, with lows of 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Tue) to allow enough time to fly to New Plymouth.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks · Museums · Wildlife · Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 29 — Feb 1:

New Plymouth

— 1 night
Where other cities run, New Plymouth prefers to stroll.
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Wed): go for a walk through New Plymouth Coastal Walkway and then learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Pukekura Park.

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

Traveling by flight from Wellington to New Plymouth takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Wed) early enough to drive to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in New Plymouth

Parks · Zoos & Aquariums
Find places to stay Feb 1 — 2:

Waitomo Caves

— 4 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.
Go for a jaunt from Waitomo Caves to Pureora Forest Park to see Timber Trail NZ about 1h 15 min away. There's still lots to do: Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves, look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas, head outdoors with Waitomo Clay Birds, and stroll through Ruakuri Walk.

For traveler tips and more tourist information, you can read our Waitomo Caves route planner.

You can drive from New Plymouth to Waitomo Caves in 2.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or do a combination of flight and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Tours

Side Trip

Find places to stay Feb 2 — 6:

Tongariro National Park

— 5 nights
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
On the 11th (Fri), hike the day away at Tongariro Alpine Crossing. On the 7th (Mon), hike the day away at Horsemtrails. There's still lots to do: explore and take pictures at Ohakune Old Coach Road, hike along Ridge Track, contemplate the waterfront views at Tama Lakes, and stroll through Rotopounamu Track.

To find reviews, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, read Tongariro National Park online journey maker.

You can drive from Waitomo Caves to Tongariro National Park in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of taxi and train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Fri) to allow time to take a shuttle to Taupo.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

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

Taupo

— 6 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: get outside with Outdoor Activities, admire the sheer force of Huka Falls Walkway, enjoy some diversion at Huka Prawn Park, and see the interesting displays at Taupo Museum.

To find traveler tips, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Taupo trip itinerary builder tool.

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. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Thu) early enough to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Shopping

Side Trip

Find places to stay Feb 11 — 17:

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.
Get out of town with these interesting Rotorua side-trips: Hamilton Gardens (in Hamilton) and Hobbiton Movie Set (in Hinuera). There's still lots to do: kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, take in the natural beauty of Te Puia, and don't miss a visit to Whakarewarewa - The Living Maori Village.

For more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Rotorua online travel planner.

You can drive from Taupo to Rotorua in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In February, daily temperatures in Rotorua can reach 28°C, while at night they dip to 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Tue) so you can drive to Whitianga.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trips

Find places to stay Feb 17 — 22:

Whitianga

— 2 nights
Whitianga is a town on the Coromandel Peninsula, in the Waikato Region of New Zealand's North Island. Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Wed): enjoy the sand and surf at Whangapoua Beach and then kick back and relax at Hot Water Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: test the waters at The Lost Spring and then get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To see maps, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Whitianga trip site.

Drive from Rotorua to Whitianga in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. In February, daytime highs in Whitianga are 28°C, while nighttime lows are 19°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Thu) so you can go by car to Auckland.

Things to do in Whitianga

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Feb 22 — 24:

Auckland

— 4 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: take in panoramic vistas at SkyTower, step off the mainland to explore Hauraki Gulf, indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area, and take an in-depth tour of Museum of Transport and Technology.

To see maps, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Auckland online tour itinerary maker.

You can drive from Whitianga to Auckland in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle; or take a bus. Traveling from Whitianga in February, Auckland is a bit warmer at night with lows of 26°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Mon) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks · Nature · Museums · Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Find places to stay Feb 24 — 28:

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.