45 days in New Zealand Itinerary

45 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

45 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Edinburgh, Scotland
+2
Train + Taxi + Fly:  31​h
1
Auckland
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
2
Paihia
— 4 nights
+2
Taxi + Fly + Taxi:  3​h
3
Waitomo Caves
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
4
Whakapapa
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
5
Taupo
— 4 nights
Fly:  2​h 45​min
6
Wellington
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h
7
Christchurch
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h
8
Fox Glacier
— 4 nights
Drive:  5​h 30​min
9
Mt. Cook Village
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h 15​min
10
Te Anau
— 4 nights
Bus:  3​h 15​min
11
Queenstown
— 8 nights
Fly:  32​h
End: Edinburgh, Scotland

3
nights
Auckland

Auckland ©
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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Auckland: Wine Tours & Tastings (in Waiheke Island) and Orewa Lookout (in Orewa). There's still lots to do: enjoy breathtaking views from SkyTower, head off the coast to Waiheke Island, meet the residents at Auckland Zoo, and see the interesting displays at Auckland War Memorial Museum.

To see traveler tips, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Auckland online road trip planner .

Edinburgh, UK to Auckland is an approximately 31-hour combination of train and flight. You can also fly; or do a combination of train and flight. You'll lose 12 hours traveling from Edinburgh to Auckland due to the time zone difference. While traveling from Edinburgh, expect a bit warmer days and warmer nights in Auckland, ranging from highs of 20°C to lows of 20°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sun) so you can go by car to Paihia.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Nature Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Orewa Lookout, Wine Tours & Tastings, Cheltenham Beach
Highlights from your plan
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Auckland Museum ©
Auckland Museum
Wine Tours & Tastings

4
nights
Paihia

Paihia ©
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 a short trip to Nancy Fladgate Track in Russell (about 36 minutes away). There's lots more to do: steep yourself in history at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, take a memorable tour with Tours, and get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

To find other places to visit, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Paihia holiday builder tool .

Getting from Auckland to Paihia by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Thu) early enough to travel to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Kerikeri, Nancy Fladgate Track
Highlights from your plan
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Scuba & Snorkeling
Nature & Wildlife Tours

3
nights
Waitomo Caves

Waitomo Caves ©
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, wildlife, trails, and outdoors. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves, get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, snap pictures at Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk, and let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

To see more things to do, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Waitomo Caves visit planner.

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Paihia to Waitomo Caves in 3 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of flight and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Whakapapa.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Kapiti Island, Aranui Cave
Highlights from your plan
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
River Rafting & Tubing
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk

3
nights
Whakapapa

Change things up with a short trip to River Rafting & Tubing in Turangi (about 34 minutes away).

To see traveler tips, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Whakapapa trip maker tool .

You can drive from Waitomo Caves to Whakapapa in 2.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Taupo.

Things to do in Whakapapa

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Tongariro National Park, River Rafting & Tubing
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Horsemtrails ©
Horsemtrails

4
nights
Taupo

The resort town of Taupo lies on the banks of Lake Taupo, the largest body of water in the whole of Australasia.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Taupo: Rotorua (Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, Zipline, & more) and Hobbiton Movie Set (in Hinuera). There's lots more to do: push the limits with an extreme tour, see the world from above with a helicopter tour, stop by Huka Honey Hive, and admire the sheer force of Huka Falls Walkway.

To find more things to do, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Taupo vacation tool .

Traveling by car from Whakapapa to Taupo takes 1.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks Tours Outdoors

Side Trips

Rotorua, Hobbiton Movie Set
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway

3
nights
Wellington

Wellington
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, wildlife, classes, nature, and nightlife. Your plan 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, head outdoors with Great Alpine Highway, and look for all kinds of wild species at ZEALANDIA Sanctuary.

To find where to stay, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, read Wellington tour planner.

You can fly from Taupo to Wellington in 3 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of bus and flight. Expect a daytime high around 22°C in December, and nighttime lows around 15°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) early enough to travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks Museums Outdoors

Side Trips

Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Catchpool Loop Walk, Wellington Botanic Garden
Highlights from your plan
Wellington Botanic Garden ©
Wellington Botanic Garden
Wellington Cable Car ©
Wellington Cable Car

3
nights
Christchurch

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Venture out of the city with trips to Dolphin & Whale Watching (in Akaroa) and Little River Gallery (in Little River). There's still lots to do: take in nature's colorful creations at Christchurch Botanic Gardens, take in panoramic vistas at Christchurch Gondola, take in the architecture and atmosphere at St. Michaels and All Angels, and take an in-depth tour of Canterbury Museum.

To see other places to visit, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Christchurch online tour itinerary planner .

You can fly from Wellington to Christchurch in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry and train. Traveling from Wellington in December, Christchurch is a bit cooler at night with lows of 12°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Christchurch

Tours Transportation Parks

Side Trips

Ohinetahi Garden, Little River Gallery, Dolphin & Whale Watching
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Christchurch Botanic Gardens ©
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
TranzAlpine Train ©
TranzAlpine Train

4
nights
Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier ©
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Fox Glacier is known for nature, trails, beaches, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Fox Glacier, trek along Moraine Walk, tour the pleasant surroundings at Gillespies Beach, and explore the striking landscape at Franz Josef Glacier.

To see photos, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Fox Glacier trip maker .

Traveling by car from Christchurch to Fox Glacier takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Wed) to allow time to drive to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trip

Franz Josef
Highlights from your plan
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier
Fox Glacier South Side Walk ©
Fox Glacier South Side Walk
Gillespies Beach ©
Gillespies Beach

3
nights
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
Change things up with a short trip to Lake Tekapo in Lake Tekapo (about 58 minutes away). There's lots more to do: hike along Hooker Valley Track, tour the pleasant surroundings at Mueller Hut Route, fly down the slopes at Ski The Tasman, and head outdoors with Aoraki/Mt. Cook.

To see maps, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Mt. Cook Village driving holiday site .

Traveling by car from Fox Glacier to Mt. Cook Village takes 5.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) early enough to travel to Te Anau.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Lake Tekapo
Highlights from your plan
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook
Mueller Hut Route ©
Mueller Hut Route

4
nights
Te Anau

Te Anau ©
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.
When in Te Anau, make a side trip to see Milford Foreshore Walk in Milford, approximately 1h 15 min away. There's much more to do: explore the activities along Milford Sound, hike along Lake Gunn, look for all kinds of wild species at Ivan Wilson Park, and stroll through Kepler Track.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Te Anau using our trip planner.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Mt. Cook Village to Te Anau. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Wed) so you can catcht the bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Fiordland National Park, Milford Foreshore Walk
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound
Hollyford Track ©
Hollyford Track

8
nights
Queenstown

Queenstown ©
Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Go for a jaunt from Queenstown to Wanaka to see Lake Wanaka about 1h 30 min away. There's much more to do: get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, enjoy some diversion at Break One, indulge your taste buds at Food & Drink, and indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

To see reviews, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Queenstown day trip planning app .

Traveling by bus from Te Anau to Queenstown takes 3.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Honey & Cocoa, Lake Wanaka
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Zipline

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