46 days in New Zealand Itinerary

46 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand travel route maker

Plan created by another user.Make it yours

Route & dates

Start: San Francisco
Fly:  17 h
1
Waitomo Caves
— 4 nights
Drive:  2 h
2
Rotorua
— 5 nights
Drive:  2 h 30 min
3
Tongariro National Park
— 5 nights
Fly:  4 h
4
Wellington
— 4 nights
Fly + Drive:  4 h 15 min
5
Balclutha
— 1 night
Drive:  6 h
6
Fox Glacier
— 4 nights
Drive:  4 h 15 min
7
Queenstown
— 5 nights
Bus:  3 h 15 min
8
Te Anau
— 7 nights
Fly:  8 h
9
Paihia
— 5 nights
Drive:  1 h 15 min
10
Whangarei
— 5 nights
Drive + Fly:  18 h 15 min
End: San Francisco

4
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.
Get in touch with nature at Waitomo Glowworm Caves and Ruakuri Walk. Change things up with a short trip to Timber Trail NZ in Pureora Forest Park (about 1h 10 min away). There's still lots to do: get interesting insight from Tours, explore the fascinating underground world of Footwhistle Glowworm Cave, explore and take pictures at Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk, and admire the sheer force of Marakopa Falls.

To find maps, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Waitomo Caves road trip site.

San Francisco, USA to Waitomo Caves is an approximately 19-hour flight. Traveling from San Francisco to Waitomo Caves, you'll lose 20 hours due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Kapiti Island, Timber Trail NZ, Aranui Cave
Highlights from your plan
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
River Rafting & Tubing
Timber Trail NZ ©
Timber Trail NZ

5
nights
Rotorua

Rotorua
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.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Te Puia and Volcanic Hills Winery. Get some historical perspective at Whakarewarewa - The Living Maori Village and Government Gardens. Change things up with these side-trips from Rotorua: Taupo (Adrenaline & Extreme Tours, Huka Falls Walkway, &more). The adventure continues: whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, take a peaceful walk through Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest, witness a stunning natural landmark at Waikite Valley Thermal Pools, and identify plant and animal life at Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park.

For other places to visit, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Rotorua visit planner.

You can drive from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In October, daytime highs in Rotorua are 65°F, while nighttime lows are 52°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Taupo
Highlights from your plan
Huka Falls Walkway
Huka Falls Walkway
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Zipline

5
nights
Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park ©
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
Visiting Mount Ruapehu and Ohakune Old Coach Road will get you outdoors. Visit Te Porere Redoubt and Tangiwai Rail Disaster Memorial for their historical value. And it doesn't end there: tour the pleasant surroundings at Taranaki Falls, take in the dramatic scenery at Tawhai Falls, trek along Horsemtrails, and explore the activities along Tama Lakes.

To see ratings, reviews, maps, and tourist information, use the Tongariro National Park travel itinerary planner.

Drive from Rotorua to Tongariro National Park in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Fri) so you can travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trip

Tangiwai Rail Disaster Memorial
Highlights from your plan
Horsemtrails ©
Horsemtrails
Ohakune Old Coach Road ©
Ohakune Old Coach Road
Tongariro Northern Circuit ©
Tongariro Northern Circuit

4
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.
Get some historical perspective at Wellington Cable Car and Katherine Mansfield House and Garden. Visiting Pinnacles Track and Catchpool Loop Walk will get you outdoors. Take a break from Wellington with a short trip to Poppies Martinborough in Martinborough, about 1h 20 min away. And it doesn't end there: see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, get engrossed in the history at Wellington Museum, brush up on your military savvy at National War Memorial, and ponder the world of politics at New Zealand Parliament.

To see photos, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Wellington vacation maker tool.

You can fly from Tongariro National Park to Wellington in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and train. In October, daytime highs in Wellington are 61°F, while nighttime lows are 50°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Balclutha.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Pataka Art + Museum, Poppies Martinborough, Catchpool Loop Walk, Wellington Botanic Garden
Highlights from your plan
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Wellington Cable Car ©
Wellington Cable Car
The Great War Exhibition ©
The Great War Exhibition

1
night
Balclutha

Balclutha ©
Balclutha is a town in Otago, lying towards the end of the Clutha River, on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. Kick off your visit on the 21st (Wed): examine the collection at South Otago Museum, visit a coastal fixture at Nugget Point/Tokata Walks, thentake some stellar pictures from Kaka Point Scenic View Point & Picnic Area, and finally examine the collection at Sod Cottage.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Balclutha trip planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Wellington to Balclutha. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Balclutha

Museums Historic Sites

Side Trips

Kaka Point Scenic View Point & Picnic Area, Sod Cottage
Highlights from your plan
South Otago Museum ©
South Otago Museum
Sod Cottage ©
Sod Cottage

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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like ReflectioNZ Gifts & Gallery and River Walk. Take a break from the city and head to Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier South Side Walk. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Fox Glacier: Sentinel Rock Walk (in Franz Josef) and Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) (Kea Point Track, Glencoe Walk, &more). There's much more to do: trek along Fox Glacier Hiking Trails, tour the pleasant surroundings at Mount Fox Route, enjoy the sand and surf at Gillespies Beach, and take in the dramatic natural features at Canavan's Knob Walk.

For where to stay, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Fox Glacier trip itinerary builder.

You can drive from Balclutha to Fox Glacier in 6.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sun) so you can go by car to Queenstown.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Franz Josef, Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
Highlights from your plan
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier
Fox Glacier South Side Walk ©
Fox Glacier South Side Walk
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track

5
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.
Take a break from the city and head to Boat Tours & Water Sports and Zipline. Do some cultural sightseeing at Peregrine Wines and Silver Fern Gallery. There's lots more to do: get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, tee off at Queenstown Golf Club, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Coronet Peak.

For other places to visit, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, read Queenstown driving holiday planner.

Getting from Fox Glacier to Queenstown by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Fri) to allow time to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Parks Nature
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Coronet Peak ©
Coronet Peak
The Remarkables Ski Area ©
The Remarkables Ski Area

7
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.
Escape the urban bustle at Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Te Anau: Milford Sound (Bowen Falls, Humboldt Falls, &more). There's much more to do: stroll through Hollyford Track, head outdoors with Bushbash - Day Wilderness Expeditions, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Te Anau, and identify plant and animal life at Ivan Wilson Park.

To find more things to do, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Te Anau online trip builder.

Traveling by bus from Queenstown to Te Anau takes 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Fri) early enough to travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

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

5
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.
Take a break from the city and head to Akeake Historic Reserve Track and Dolphin & Whale Watching. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Waitangi Treaty Grounds and Pompallier Mission and Printery. Get out of town with these interesting Paihia side-trips: Russell (Flagstaff Hill Historic Reserve & Christ Church). And it doesn't end there: walk around Rangihoua Heritage Park, stroll through Waitangi Mountain Bike Park, admire the striking features of St Paul's Anglican Church, and take a memorable tour with Tours.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Paihia trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Te Anau to Paihia takes 8.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of bus, train, ferry, and car. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Wed) so you can drive to Whangarei.

Things to do in Paihia

Historic Sites Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

Kerikeri, Russell, Waitangi Mountain Bike Park
Highlights from your plan
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Pompallier Mission and Printery ©
Pompallier Mission and Printery
Dolphin & Whale Watching

5
nights
Whangarei

Whangarei ©
Whangarei is the northernmost city in New Zealand and the regional capital of Northland Region. Visiting Bream Head Coast Walks and Tawharanui Regional Park will get you outdoors. Get a sense of the local culture at The Kauri Museum and Waro Limestone Scenic Reserve Walk. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Whangarei: Waipu Cave (in Waipu), Sculptureum (in Matakana) and Ocean Beach (in Whangarei Heads). There's lots more to do: wander the streets of Town Basin, explore the gorgeous colors at Poor Knights Island Marine Reserve, admire the natural beauty at Whangarei Quarry Gardens, and take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mount Manaia Track.

For maps, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Whangarei planning website.

You can drive from Paihia to Whangarei in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Mon) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Whangarei

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trips

Tawharanui Regional Park, Waro Limestone Scenic Reserve Walk, Waipu Cave, The Kauri Museum, Sculptureum
Highlights from your plan
Bream Head Coast Walks ©
Bream Head Coast Walks
Poor Knights Island Marine Reserve ©
Poor Knights Island Marine Reserve
Ocean Beach ©
Ocean Beach

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