29 days in New Zealand Itinerary

29 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

29 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Minneapolis
Fly:  20​h 15​min
1
Auckland
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
2
Paihia
— 3 nights
Taxi + Fly:  4​h 15​min
3
Rotorua
— 5 nights
Fly:  3​h
4
Wellington
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h
5
Christchurch
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h
6
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Bus:  2​h 30​min
7
Wanaka
— 4 nights
Bus:  5​h 30​min
8
Dunedin
— 3 nights
Fly:  23​h 30​min
End: Minneapolis

2
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.
Museum-lovers will appreciate Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki and Auckland War Memorial Museum. Visiting Tiritiri Matangi Visitor Centre and Cheltenham Beach will get you outdoors. Get out of town with these interesting Auckland side-trips: Piha (Piha Beach & Arataki Visitor Centre). It doesn't end there: see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour and learn about winemaking at Foxes Island.

For where to stay, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, read Auckland road trip planning tool .

Minneapolis, USA to Auckland is an approximately 20.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of bus, shuttle, and flight. Traveling from Minneapolis to Auckland, you'll lose 18 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Minneapolis in February, expect Auckland to be warmer, temps between 72°F and 72°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Paihia.

Things to do in Auckland

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Piha, Cheltenham Beach
Find places to stay Feb 2 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Piha Beach ©
Piha Beach
Arataki Visitor Centre ©
Arataki Visitor Centre
Dolphin & Whale Watching

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.
Get outdoors at Whangarei Falls and Paihia Harbour. Get a sense of the local culture at Waitangi Treaty Grounds and Pompallier Mission and Printery. Step out of Paihia to go to Russell and see Dolphin & Whale Watching, which is approximately 42 minutes away. The adventure continues: take in the dramatic scenery at Rainbow Falls, stop by Blue River Orchard, steep yourself in history at The Stone Store & Kemp House - Kerikeri Mission Station, and get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To see ratings, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, read our Paihia tour itinerary maker tool .

You can drive from Auckland to Paihia in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Rotorua.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Kerikeri, Russell, Whangarei Falls, Blue River Orchard
Find places to stay Feb 5 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Rainbow Falls ©
Rainbow Falls
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour
Dolphin & Whale Watching

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.
Government Gardens and Volcanic Hills Winery are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Visiting Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland and Waimangu Volcanic Valley will get you outdoors. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Rotorua: Huka Falls Walkway (in Taupo), the Zeus Gallery (in Tauranga) and Mount Maunganui (Mt Maunganui Main Beach & Mount Maunganui Base Track). There's still lots to do: explore the fascinating underground world of Ruakuri Cave, walk around Centennial Park, witness a stunning natural landmark at Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave, and identify plant and animal life at Redwoods Treewalk.

To see reviews, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Rotorua tour planner.

Getting from Paihia to Rotorua by combination of taxi and flight takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: fly; or drive. In February, daytime highs in Rotorua are 75°F, while nighttime lows are 62°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Tauranga, Waitomo Caves, Huka Falls Walkway, Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave, River Rafting & Tubing
Find places to stay Feb 8 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway
Mt Maunganui Main Beach ©
Mt Maunganui Main Beach
River Rafting & Tubing

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.
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and Space Place at Carter Observatory will appeal to museum buffs. Take a break from the city and head to Staglands Wildlife Reserve and Oriental Bay. Step out of Wellington with an excursion to Southward Car Museum in Paraparaumu--about 48 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: admire the landmark architecture of Old St Paul's, get engrossed in the history at The Great War Exhibition, and examine the collection at Cable Car Museum.

For maps, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Wellington tour itinerary planner.

Getting from Rotorua to Wellington by flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. Traveling from Rotorua in February, you will find days in Wellington are slightly colder (70°F), and nights are about the same (59°F). Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Sun) early enough to travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

Southward Car Museum
Find places to stay Feb 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Wellington Museum ©
Wellington Museum
Staglands Wildlife Reserve ©
Staglands Wildlife Reserve

3
nights
Christchurch

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Museum-lovers will get to explore Quake City and The Giants House. Explore hidden gems such as Dolphin & Whale Watching and Swim with Dolphins. Explore Christchurch's surroundings by going to Akaroa (The Garden at French Farm & Kayaking & Canoeing). There's much more to do: wander the streets of Port Hills, take in the pleasant sights at Banks Peninsula, let little ones run wild at Margaret Mahy Family Playground, and examine the collection at Air Force Museum of New Zealand.

For where to stay, photos, maps, and other tourist information, read Christchurch online tour itinerary planner .

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. Expect little chillier evenings in Christchurch when traveling from Wellington in February, with lows around 53°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Queenstown.

Things to do in Christchurch

Outdoors Tours Museums

Side Trip

Akaroa
Find places to stay Feb 16 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Kayaking & Canoeing
Swim with Dolphins
Quake City ©
Quake City

3
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.
Get outdoors at Arrowtown Village and Glenorchy-Queenstown Road. Do some cultural sightseeing at Peregrine Wines and Chard Farm Winery. There's lots more to do: stroll through Queenstown Hill, get interesting insight from Tours, cast your line with a fishing tour, and let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

To find ratings, photos, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Queenstown trip site .

Traveling by flight from Christchurch to Queenstown takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sat) to allow enough time to take a bus to Wanaka.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trip

Arrowtown Village
Find places to stay Feb 19 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Glenorchy-Queenstown Road ©
Glenorchy-Queenstown Road
Ben Lomond Track ©
Ben Lomond Track
Queenstown Hill ©
Queenstown Hill

4
nights
Wanaka

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Roys Peak Track and Wanaka. Get a sense of the local culture at Rippon Vineyard and Aitken's Folly Vineyard. Next up on the itinerary: see what you can catch with a fishing tour, get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, stroll through Blue Pools Track, and hike along Mount Iron Track.

To find photos, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Wanaka road trip tool .

You can take a bus from Queenstown to Wanaka in 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Wed) to allow time to take a bus to Dunedin.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trip

Otago Central Rail Trail
Find places to stay Feb 22 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Mount Iron Track ©
Mount Iron Track
Roys Peak Track ©
Roys Peak Track
Otago Central Rail Trail ©
Otago Central Rail Trail

3
nights
Dunedin

Dunedin ©
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.
You'll explore and learn at Steampunk HQ and Otago Museum. Step out of the city life by going to Penguin Place and Tunnel Beach Track. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Dunedin: Katiki Point Lighthouse (in Moeraki) and Oamaru (Moeraki Boulders Beach & Oamaru's Victorian Precinct). And it doesn't end there: tour the old-fashioned way with a train tour, make a trip to The World's Steepest Street, and steep yourself in history at Olveston Historic Home.

To find photos, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, read Dunedin itinerary website .

You can take a bus from Wanaka to Dunedin in 5.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Dunedin

Museums Tours Childrens Museums

Side Trips

Oamaru, Katiki Point Lighthouse
Find places to stay Feb 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Katiki Point Lighthouse ©
Katiki Point Lighthouse
Penguin Place ©
Penguin Place
Steampunk HQ ©
Steampunk HQ

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