31 days in New Zealand Itinerary

31 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand travel route planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Auckland
— 2 nights
Fly
2
Paihia
— 3 nights
Fly
3
Rotorua
— 4 nights
Drive
4
Taupo
— 2 nights
Fly
5
Wellington
— 1 night
Fly
6
Christchurch
— 3 nights
Fly
7
Dunedin
— 2 nights
Drive
8
Te Anau
— 3 nights
Drive
9
Wanaka
— 4 nights
Bus
10
Queenstown
— 5 nights
Fly

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1

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.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Fri): get impressive views of Rangitoto Island and then enjoy the sand and surf at Piha Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: head off the coast to Tiritiri Matangi Visitor Centre and then head outdoors with Outdoor Activities.

To see ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Auckland trip planner.

Manchester, UK to Auckland is an approximately 27-hour flight. You'll lose 12 hours traveling from Manchester to Auckland due to the time zone difference. When traveling from Manchester in December, plan for a bit warmer days and much warmer nights in Auckland: temperatures range from 20°C by day to 20°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) early enough to catch the flight to Paihia.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Nature

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 2 — 4:

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Swim with Dolphins and Whangarei Falls. You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Paihia Harbour and Nature & Wildlife Tours. Step out of Paihia to go to Whangarei and see Town Basin, which is approximately 1h 10 min away. There's more to do: stroll through The Parrot Place and admire the landmark architecture of The Stone Store & Kemp House - Kerikeri Mission Station.

For more things to do, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, read our Paihia road trip planning tool.

Traveling by flight from Auckland to Paihia takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Tue) early enough to catch the flight to Rotorua.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife · Outdoors · Tours · Parks

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 4 — 7:

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.
Attractions like Mt Maunganui Main Beach and Lake Rotorua make great kid-friendly stops. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to River Rafting & Tubing and Kuirau Park. Step out of Rotorua with an excursion to Mount Maunganui Base Track in Mount Maunganui--about 1h 10 min away. There's still lots to do: witness a stunning natural landmark at Waikite Valley Thermal Pools, steep yourself in history at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, and admire the natural beauty at Government Gardens.

For more things to do, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, read our Rotorua itinerary planner.

Traveling by flight from Paihia to Rotorua takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In December, daytime highs in Rotorua are 25°C, while nighttime lows are 17°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Taupo.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 7 — 11:

Taupo

— 2 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.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Sun): don't miss a visit to Spa Thermal Park and Riverbank Recreational and Scenic Reserve, then witness a stunning natural landmark at Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave, and then see the world from above with a helicopter tour. Keep things going the next day: take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports and then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Taupo.

For more things to do, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Taupo day trip tool.

Drive from Rotorua to Taupo in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Mon) so you can catch the flight to Wellington.

Things to do in Taupo

Nature · Parks · Tours · Outdoors

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 11 — 13:

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 14th (Tue), get a sense of history and politics at New Zealand Parliament, kick back and relax at Oriental Bay, and then get engrossed in the history at The Great War Exhibition.

For maps, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Wellington attractions planning tool.

Traveling by flight from Taupo to Wellington takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In December, daily temperatures in Wellington can reach 22°C, while at night they dip to 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Tue) early enough to fly to Christchurch.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums · Outdoors · Nature · Parks
Find places to stay Dec 13 — 14:

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.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Margaret Mahy Family Playground and Cardboard Cathedral. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Swim with Dolphins and Christchurch Gondola. Take a break from Christchurch with a short trip to The Giants House in Akaroa, about 1h 25 min away. There's still lots to do: see the interesting displays at Quake City, don't miss a visit to 185 Empty White Chairs - Earthquake Memorial, and stroll around Riccarton House & Bush.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Christchurch trip itinerary tool.

Traveling by flight from Wellington to Christchurch takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Plan for slightly colder nights when traveling from Wellington in December since evenings lows in Christchurch dip to 12°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Fri) so you can fly to Dunedin.

Things to do in Christchurch

Parks · Museums · Historic Sites · Wildlife

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 14 — 17:

Dunedin

— 2 nights

Edinburgh of the South

With its history proudly stemming from the Scottish settlers who came here during the colonial era, Dunedin's streets are lined with well-preserved examples of Victorian and Edwardian architecture, while a new culture of nightlife and fine dining takes hold around them.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Sat): explore the striking landscape at Otago Peninsula, examine the collection at The Dunedin Museum of Natural Mystery, and then make a trip to The World's Steepest Street. On the next day, see the interesting displays at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum and then tour the old-fashioned way with a train tour.

To see ratings, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Dunedin trip itinerary tool.

Traveling by flight from Christchurch to Dunedin takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Te Anau.

Things to do in Dunedin

Tours · Museums · Wildlife · Nature
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 19:

Te Anau

— 3 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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Doubtful Sound and Lake Te Anau. Kids will appreciate attractions like Routeburn Track and Kayaking & Canoeing.

To see ratings, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Te Anau online day trip planner.

Explore your travel options from Dunedin to Te Anau with the Route module. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Wed) early enough to travel to Wanaka.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Wildlife

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 19 — 22:

Wanaka

— 4 nights
Situated on the shores of Lake Wanaka in the Otago region, Wanaka has become a popular ski and summer resort area, owing to its extensive views of the lake and its proximity to some of the best slopes in the country.
Step off the beaten path and head to Lake Wanaka and Wanaka. Bring the kids along to Roys Peak Track and Mount Iron Track. There's much more to do: trot along with a tour on horseback, glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour, skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour.

Planning Wanaka trip won't be overwhelming when you use Inspirock's itinerary maker.

Explore your travel options from Te Anau to Wanaka with the Route module. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Sun) early enough to take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Trails
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 26:

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.
Family-friendly places like Otago Central Rail Trail and Parasailing & Paragliding will thrill your kids. Discover out-of-the-way places like Glenorchy-Queenstown Road and Canyoning & Rappelling Tours. And it doesn't end there: contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Wakatipu, take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, trek along Ben Lomond Track, and cross one thing off your bucket list with a skydiving experience.

Plan my trip to Queenstown with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.

Traveling by bus from Wanaka to Queenstown takes 3 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 31st (Fri) so you can catch the flight back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Trails

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 26 — 31:

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.