32 days in New Zealand Itinerary

32 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand tour planner

Make it your trip
1
Auckland
— 1 night
Drive
2
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Rotorua
— 5 nights
Drive
4
Taupo
— 4 nights
Shuttle
5
Tongariro National Park
— 2 nights
Fly
6
Wellington
— 2 nights
Fly
7
Christchurch
— 1 night
Drive
8
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
— 2 nights
Drive
9
Te Anau
— 4 nights
Bus
10
Queenstown
— 5 nights
Fly
11
Paihia
— 3 nights
Fly

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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 2nd (Fri): enjoy a live performance at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium, then learn about all things military at Auckland Museum, and then indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area. Keep things going the next day: take in panoramic vistas at SkyTower, then head off the coast to Hauraki Gulf, and then get to know the resident critters at Auckland Zoo.

For photos, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Auckland online sightseeing planner.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from your home destination to Auckland. Expect a daytime high around 14°C in August, and nighttime lows around 14°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sat) early enough to go by car to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Nature · Tours
Find places to stay Aug 2 — 3:

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 4th (Sun), let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour and then surround yourself with nature on Spellbound Glowworm & Cave Tours. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, then Head underground at Ruakuri Cave, and then get outside with Waitomo Clay Birds.

To see photos, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Waitomo Caves trip builder app.

You can drive from Auckland to Waitomo Caves in 2.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Nature
Find places to stay Aug 3 — 5:

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.
Step out of Rotorua with an excursion to Hobbiton Movie Set in Hinuera--about 1h 20 min away. There's lots more to do: whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, witness a stunning natural landmark at Te Puia, and get impressive views of Waimangu Volcanic Valley.

To find reviews, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Rotorua online road trip planner.

Drive from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In August, plan for daily highs up to 17°C, and evening lows to 7°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sat) so you can go by car to Taupo.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Wildlife

Side Trip

Find places to stay Aug 5 — 10:

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 trip includes some of its best attractions: admire the sheer force of Huka Falls Walkway, bet on your favorite at Formula Challenge Racing, find something for the whole family at Huka Prawn Park, and take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To see maps, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Taupo trip itinerary builder site.

You can drive from Rotorua to Taupo in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Wed) early enough to catch the shuttle to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours
Find places to stay Aug 10 — 14:

Tongariro National Park

— 2 nights
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Thu): fly down the slopes at Turoa Ski Area and then hit the slopes at Whakapapa - Mt Ruapehu. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get impressive views of Mount Ruapehu and then don't miss a visit to Mead's Wall.

To see where to stay, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Tongariro National Park online trip itinerary builder.

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. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Fri) early enough to catch the flight to Wellington.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Parks · Outdoors · Winter Sports · Nature
Find places to stay Aug 14 — 16:

Wellington

— 2 nights

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.
Start off your visit on the 17th (Sat): take in nature's colorful creations at Wellington Botanic Garden, then pause for some serene contemplation at Old St Paul's, then get great views at Wellington Cable Car, and finally see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 18th (Sun): get a sense of history and politics at New Zealand Parliament, then get to know the resident critters at Wellington Zoo, and then get engrossed in the history at The Great War Exhibition.

To find ratings, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, use the Wellington journey maker.

You can fly from Tongariro National Park to Wellington in 2.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of taxi and train. In August in Wellington, expect temperatures between 15°C during the day and 9°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sun) to allow enough time to fly to Christchurch.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks · Museums · Zoos & Aquariums · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Find places to stay Aug 16 — 18:

Christchurch

— 1 night

Garden City

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Mon): see the interesting displays at International Antarctic Centre, admire the striking features of The Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora, then get engrossed in the history at Canterbury Museum, and finally take in nature's colorful creations at Christchurch Botanic Gardens.

To see other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, read our Christchurch trip planner.

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 August since evenings lows in Christchurch dip to 2°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu).

Things to do in Christchurch

Museums · Historic Sites · Shopping · Nightlife
Find places to stay Aug 18 — 19:

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

— 2 nights
On the 20th (Tue), look and learn at Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, hike along Kea Point Track, and then hit the slopes at Ski The Tasman. On the 21st (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: kick back and relax at Gillespies Beach, take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, and then trek along Fox Glacier South Side Walk.

To find where to stay, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) day trip app.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Christchurch to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu). Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Wed) 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 Trip

Find places to stay Aug 19 — 21:

Te Anau

— 4 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.
Take a break from Te Anau with a short trip to Boat Tours & Water Sports in Milford Sound, about 1 hour away. And it doesn't end there: contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound, take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, indulge in some personalized pampering at Fiordland Massage Clinic, and stroll through The Chasm Walk.

Before you visit Te Anau, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) to Te Anau. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Sun) early enough to catch the bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks · Nature · Tours · Outdoors

Side Trips

Find places to stay Aug 21 — 25:

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.
On the 30th (Fri), dedicate a day to the elevated beauty of Coronet Peak. On the 26th (Mon), dedicate a day to the elevated beauty of The Remarkables Ski Area. There's still lots to do: get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, and see the world from above with a helicopter tour.

For reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Queenstown trip tool.

Traveling by bus from Te Anau to Queenstown takes 4 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Fri) early enough to catch the flight to Paihia.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors · Winter Sports · Parks · Tours
Find places to stay Aug 25 — 30:

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.
Go for a jaunt from Paihia to Russell to see Pompallier Mission and Printery about 42 minutes away. The adventure continues: admire all the interesting features of Waitangi Treaty Grounds, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, play a few rounds at Waitangi Golf Club, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Paihia Harbour.

To find ratings, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Paihia online tour planner.

Traveling by flight from Queenstown to Paihia takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Mon) early enough to fly back home.

Things to do in Paihia

Historic Sites · Parks · Outdoors · Golf

Side Trips

Find places to stay Aug 30 — Sep 2:

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.