44 days in New Zealand Itinerary

44 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand journey maker

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

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Auckland

— 2 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.
Family-friendly places like SkyTower and Butterfly Creek will thrill your kids. And it doesn't end there: get engrossed in the history at Auckland Museum, admire the masterpieces at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, contemplate the geological forces at Mount Eden, and admire nature's wide array of creatures at Auckland Zoo.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Auckland travel planner.

The Route module shows you travel options from your home to Auckland. April in Auckland sees daily highs of 22°C and lows of 22°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Paihia.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

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.
Kids will enjoy Phantom Sailing and Urupukapuka Island. Change things up with these side-trips from Paihia: Kerikeri (Manginangina Kauri Walk & Puketi Nature Trail). The adventure continues: contemplate the long history of Waitangi Treaty Grounds, grab your bike and head to Twin Coast Cycle Trail Northland, get in on the family fun at Action World, and walk around Waitangi Mountain Bike Park.

For other places to visit, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Paihia day trip planning tool.

You can drive from Auckland to Paihia in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Queenstown.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Nature

Side Trips

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.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Skyline Queenstown and Mount Aspiring National Park. Next up on the itinerary: take a memorable tour with Tours, take in nature's colorful creations at Queenstown Gardens, hike along Queenstown Hill, and enjoy some diversion at Break One.

To find more things to do, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Queenstown road trip site.

You can fly from Paihia to Queenstown in 5.5 hours. Another option is to do a combination of car and ferry. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Fri) to allow enough time to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Parks · Nature · Tours · Outdoors

Side Trip

Te Anau

— 7 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.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound. Explore Te Anau's surroundings by going to Milford Sound (Bowen Falls & Milford sound Hwy). On the 5th (Wed), hike the day away at Routeburn Track. On the 7th (Fri), hike the day away at Kepler Track. There's lots more to do: hike along Mirror Lakes Walk, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Te Anau, look for gifts at Kowhai Gifts & Souvenirs, and identify plant and animal life at Ivan Wilson Park.

To see maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Te Anau trip planning website.

Take a bus from Queenstown to Te Anau in 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu).

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature

Side Trips

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

— 4 nights
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Aoraki/Mt. Cook and Fox Glacier South Side Walk. Explore Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)'s surroundings by going to Fox Glacier (River Walk, Moraine Walk, &more).

To find maps, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) travel planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Te Anau to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu). Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Tue) early enough to travel to Wellington.

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

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Nature

Side Trips

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 12th (Wed), take an in-depth tour of The Great War Exhibition, then take an in-depth tour of Wellington Museum, then take a memorable ride with Wellington Cable Car, and finally examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

To find photos, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, read Wellington trip planning website.

Traveling by flight from Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) to Wellington takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can ride a ferry; or do a combination of bus, train, and ferry. In May in Wellington, expect temperatures between 18°C during the day and 12°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Wed) early enough to travel to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums · Historic Sites · Transportation

Tongariro National Park

— 5 nights
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Tongariro Alpine Crossing and Tama Lakes. Spend the 16th (Sun) exploring nature at Active Outdoor Adventures. There's much more to do: get to know the fascinating history of Ohakune Old Coach Road, stroll through Silica Rapids Track, trek along Rotopounamu Track, and explore and take pictures at Te Porere Redoubt.

To see maps, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Tongariro National Park online route planner.

Fly from Wellington to Tongariro National Park in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and taxi. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Mon) so you can drive to Taupo.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Parks · Trails · Outdoors · Nature

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.
Kids will enjoy Huka Falls Walkway and Boat Tours & Water Sports. And it doesn't end there: push the limits with an extreme tour, take in the natural beauty of Spa Thermal Park and Riverbank Recreational and Scenic Reserve, grab your bike and head to Great Lake Trail, and don't miss a visit to Aratiatia Rapids.

For where to stay, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, read our Taupo planner.

You can drive from Tongariro National Park to Taupo in 2 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sat) early enough to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

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.
Attractions like Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland and Waimangu Volcanic Valley make great kid-friendly stops. There's still lots to do: whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, identify plant and animal life at Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park, admire all the interesting features of Te Puia, and take a peaceful walk through Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest.

For other places to visit, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Rotorua visit website.

You can drive from Taupo to Rotorua in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In May, daytime highs in Rotorua are 20°C, while nighttime lows are 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Thu) early enough to drive to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Outdoors

Side Trips

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.
Go for a jaunt from Waitomo Caves to Pureora Forest Park to see Timber Trail NZ about 1h 15 min away. There's lots more to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Spellbound Glowworm & Cave Tours, tour the pleasant surroundings at Ruakuri Walk, take a memorable tour with Tours, and get outside with Waitomo Clay Birds.

To find ratings, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Waitomo Caves online trip planner.

Traveling by car from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sun) so you can drive back home.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · 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.