28 days in New Zealand Itinerary

28 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand trip planner

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Route & dates

28 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: London
Fly:  30 h
1
Paihia
— 3 nights
+2
Taxi + Fly + Taxi:  3 h
2
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h
3
Rotorua
— 4 nights
Fly:  3 h
4
Wellington
— 2 nights
Fly:  3 h 15 min
5
Queenstown
— 4 nights
Bus:  2 h 30 min
6
Wanaka
— 3 nights
Bus:  4 h 45 min
7
Fox Glacier
— 4 nights
Drive:  6 h 45 min
8
Kaikoura
— 3 nights
Bus + Fly:  31 h
End: London

3
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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Paihia Harbour and Whangarei Falls. Escape the urban bustle at Dolphin & Whale Watching and Rainbow Falls. Step out of Paihia with an excursion to Pompallier Mission and Printery in Russell--about 42 minutes away. There's much more to do: admire the natural beauty at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, admire the landmark architecture of The Stone Store & Kemp House - Kerikeri Mission Station, surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, and see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

For reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Paihia online attractions planner .

London, UK to Paihia is an approximately 30-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of train, flight, and bus. The time zone difference when traveling from London to Paihia is 12 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sat) to allow time to travel to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife Tours Outdoors

Side Trips

Kerikeri, Pompallier Mission and Printery, Whangarei Falls
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Scuba & Snorkeling
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Sun): hike along Ruakuri Walk, then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, then Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves, and finally Head underground at Footwhistle Glowworm Cave. On the next day, explore the fascinating underground world of Ruakuri Cave, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and then identify plant and animal life at Otorohanga Kiwi House & Native Bird Park.

Plan my day in Waitomo Caves using traveler tips and tourist information provided by Inspirock.

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Paihia to Waitomo Caves takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Mon) so you can drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trip

Otorohanga Kiwi House & Native Bird Park
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk
Ruakuri Cave
Ruakuri Cave
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves

4
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.
Get outdoors at Huka Falls Walkway and Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave. Explore hidden gems such as Waimangu Volcanic Valley and Redwoods Treewalk. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Rotorua: Ohope Beach (in Whakatane) and Mount Maunganui (Mount Maunganui Base Track & Mt Maunganui Main Beach). The adventure continues: identify plant and animal life at Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre, witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and trek along Okere Falls Track.

For maps, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Rotorua road trip tool .

Traveling by car from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In December in Rotorua, expect temperatures between 25°C during the day and 17°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) so you can travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Tauranga, Okere Falls, Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave, Huka Falls Walkway, Ohope Beach
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway
Mt Maunganui Main Beach ©
Mt Maunganui Main Beach
Waimangu Volcanic Valley ©
Waimangu Volcanic Valley

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Sat): identify plant and animal life at Nga Manu Nature Reserve, then kick back and relax at Lyall Bay, and then take a peaceful walk through Otari-Wilton's Bush Native Botanic Garden. On the 29th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: stroll the grounds of Bolton Street Cemetery and then see exotic creatures in open habitats at a safari tour.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Wellington tour itinerary website .

Getting from Rotorua to Wellington by flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. In December, daytime highs in Wellington are 22°C, while nighttime lows are 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sun) so you can travel to Queenstown.

Things to do in Wellington

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trip

Nga Manu Nature Reserve
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Nga Manu Nature Reserve ©
Nga Manu Nature Reserve
Safaris

4
nights
Queenstown

Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Escape the urban bustle at The Chasm Walk and Queenstown Trail. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Mirror Lakes Walk and Lake Hayes Walkway. Go for a jaunt from Queenstown to Te Anau to see Kayaking & Canoeing about 2 hours away. Next up on the itinerary: cast your line with a fishing tour, get interesting insight from Tours, do a tasting at Mt Rosa Wines, and contemplate the long history of Fallen Soldiers Memorial.

To see more things to do, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Queenstown online trip itinerary maker .

Getting from Wellington to Queenstown by flight takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of ferry and car. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Thu) to allow time to take a bus to Wanaka.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Te Anau, Fiordland National Park, Lake Hayes Walkway
Find places to stay Dec 29 — Jan 2:
Highlights from your plan
Fishing Charters & Tours
Queenstown Trail ©
Queenstown Trail
Mirror Lakes Walk ©
Mirror Lakes Walk

3
nights
Wanaka

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.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Bendigo Historic Reserve and Aitken's Folly Vineyard. Step out of the city life by going to Fishing Charters & Tours and Rob Roy Track. There's much more to do: hike along Isthmus Peak Track, get outside with Oxbow The Adventure Co., indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and take in the exciting artwork at Wanaka Fine Art Gallery.

To plan Wanaka vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

You can take a bus from Queenstown to Wanaka in 2.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) early enough to catcht the bus to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trip

Bendigo Historic Reserve
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Fishing Charters & Tours
Bendigo Historic Reserve ©
Bendigo Historic Reserve
Wanaka Golf Course ©
Wanaka Golf Course

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.
Take a break from the city and head to Hooker Valley Track and Franz Josef Glacier. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Helicopter Tours and Tatare Tunnels Walk. Get out of town with these interesting Fox Glacier side-trips: Ship Creek Walks (in Haast) and Monro Beach (in Lake Moeraki). The adventure continues: explore the striking landscape of Fox Glacier, look for all kinds of wild species at West Coast Wildlife Centre, hike along Peters Pool Walk, and stroll through Minnehaha Walk.

To find where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Fox Glacier trip itinerary tool .

Traveling by bus from Wanaka to Fox Glacier takes 5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Thu) early enough to drive to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Franz Josef, Hooker Valley Track, Ship Creek Walks, Monro Beach
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Monro Beach ©
Monro Beach
West Coast Wildlife Centre ©
West Coast Wildlife Centre

3
nights
Kaikoura

Kaikoura ©
Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
On the 10th (Fri), identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas, get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, then steep yourself in history at Fyffe House, and finally stroll through Ohau Stream Walk. On the 11th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: tour the pleasant surroundings at Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway, take an in-depth tour of Kaikoura Museum, and then sample the tasty concoctions at The Emporium.

To find ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Kaikoura trip builder tool .

Drive from Fox Glacier to Kaikoura in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, flight, and train; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Outdoors Trails Parks
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway ©
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway
Ohau Stream Walk ©
Ohau Stream Walk
Dolphin & Whale Watching

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