32 days in New Zealand Itinerary

32 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand vacation planner

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

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Paihia

— 3 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.
Paihia is known for wildlife, historic sites, and adventure. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: contemplate the long history of Waitangi Treaty Grounds, admire the striking features of St Paul's Anglican Church, identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas, and get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To see reviews, photos, maps, and tourist information, read Paihia attractions planning website.

Zagreb, Croatia to Paihia is an approximately 32.5-hour flight. You'll lose 11 hours traveling from Zagreb to Paihia due to the time zone difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Wed) to allow time to fly to Auckland.

Things to do in Paihia

Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Auckland

— 1 night

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.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Thu): enjoy a live performance at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium, then learn about all things military at Auckland Museum, then look for gifts at Pauanesia, and finally don't miss a visit to SkyTower.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Auckland attractions planner.

Fly from Paihia to Auckland in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. January in Auckland sees daily highs of 22°C and lows of 22°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Thu) early enough to drive to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Auckland

Museums · Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Nightlife

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 7th (Fri), get outside with Waitomo Clay Birds, then identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas, then explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Ruakuri Walk. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in the views from Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk, then Head underground at Caveworld, then take a memorable tour with Tours, and finally explore the fascinating underground world of Footwhistle Glowworm Cave.

To see more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, use the Waitomo Caves trip planner.

Traveling by car from Auckland to Waitomo Caves takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Nature

Rotorua

— 4 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: whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, explore the world behind art at Rotorua Museum, identify plant and animal life at Rainbow Springs Nature Park, and delve into the lush surroundings at Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest.

To see more things to do, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Rotorua vacation site.

You can drive from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua in 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus. In January, daily temperatures in Rotorua can reach 27°C, while at night they dip to 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Taupo.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Outdoors · Tours · Nature

Side Trips

Taupo

— 4 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: get interesting insight from Tours, don't miss a visit to Maori Rock Carvings, stroll around Huka Prawn Park, and take in the natural beauty of Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley.

For more things to do, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Taupo online visit planner.

You can drive from Rotorua to Taupo in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Sun) to allow time to take a shuttle to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks · Nature · Tours · Outdoors

Tongariro National Park

— 3 nights
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
On the 17th (Mon), hike the day away at Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Spend the 18th (Tue) exploring nature at Active Outdoor Adventures. Next up on the itinerary: take in the dramatic scenery at Taranaki Falls, grab your bike and head to Ohakune Old Coach Road, and hike along Whakapapa Nature Walk.

To find photos, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Tongariro National Park trip planning app.

Traveling by shuttle from Taupo to Tongariro National Park takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Wed) so you can fly to Wellington.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Parks · Trails · Outdoors · Historic Sites

Wellington

— 1 night

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 20th (Thu), get a sense of history and politics at New Zealand Parliament, admire the natural beauty at Wellington Botanic Garden, then catch a ride on Wellington Cable Car, and finally examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

For maps, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Wellington trip itinerary planning site.

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 January, plan for daily highs up to 24°C, and evening lows to 17°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Thu) so you can catch the flight to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu).

Things to do in Wellington

Parks · Museums · Historic Sites · Transportation

Side Trip

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

— 3 nights
Venture out of the city with trips to Fox Glacier (ReflectioNZ Gifts & Gallery, Minnehaha Walk, &more).

To see more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) trip planner.

Fly from Wellington to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can ride a ferry; or do a combination of ferry, train, and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Te Anau.

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

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Beaches

Side Trips

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.
Change things up with a short trip to Milford sound Hwy in Milford Sound (about 56 minutes away). On the 24th (Mon), hike the day away at Hollyford Track. Spend the 26th (Wed) exploring at Doubtful Sound. There's lots more to do: explore the activities along Milford Sound, tour the pleasant surroundings at Lake Gunn, identify plant and animal life at Te Anau Bird Sanctuary, and trek along Lake Marian Track.

To find more things to do, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, read Te Anau online trip itinerary planner.

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 28th (Fri) to allow enough time to take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature

Side Trips

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.
Queenstown is known for fun & games, adventure, and wildlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, take a memorable tour with Tours, and look for all kinds of wild species at Kiwi Birdlife Park.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, use the Queenstown tour website.

You can take a bus from Te Anau to Queenstown in 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Tue) to allow time to fly back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Parks · Tours · Outdoors · Nature

Side Trip

New Zealand travel guide

4.5
Specialty Museums · Hiking Trails · Landmarks
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.