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: Manchester
+3
Train + Subway + Train + Fly:  32​h
1
Paihia
— 2 nights
+2
Taxi + Fly + Taxi:  3​h
2
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
3
Rotorua
— 4 nights
Fly:  6​h 15​min
4
Dunedin
— 3 nights
Bus:  5​h 15​min
5
Te Anau
— 3 nights
Bus:  3​h 15​min
6
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Bus:  2​h 30​min
7
Wanaka
— 3 nights
Bus:  4​h 45​min
8
Fox Glacier
— 3 nights
Drive:  6​h 45​min
9
Kaikoura
— 3 nights
+4
Bus + Fly + Train + Subway + Train:  34​h
End: Manchester

2
nights
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.
Visiting Paihia Harbour and Nature & Wildlife Tours will get you outdoors. Step off the beaten path and head to Dolphin & Whale Watching and Tane Mahuta Walk. Change things up with a short trip to Pompallier Mission and Printery in Russell (about 42 minutes away). There's still lots to do: take in the dramatic scenery at Rainbow Falls and discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

For other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Paihia trip itinerary tool .

Manchester, UK to Paihia is an approximately 32-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also fly; or do a combination of train, flight, and bus. You'll lose 12 hours traveling from Manchester to Paihia due to the time zone difference. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Fri) so you can travel to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Pompallier Mission and Printery, Tane Mahuta Walk, Rainbow Falls
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour
Dolphin & Whale Watching

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 2nd (Sat): get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, Head underground at Ruakuri Cave, then explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Ruakuri Walk. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the fascinating underground world of Caveworld, then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, then admire the sheer force of Marakopa Falls, and finally take in the views from Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk.

For maps, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Waitomo Caves itinerary maker site .

Getting from Paihia to Waitomo Caves by combination of taxi and flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of flight and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sun) early enough to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk
Ruakuri Cave
Ruakuri Cave
Caveworld ©
Caveworld

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.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Mt Maunganui Main Beach and Papamoa Beach. Get outdoors at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland and Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Rotorua: Mount Maunganui Base Track (in Mount Maunganui) and Huka Falls Walkway (in Taupo). And it doesn't end there: look for all kinds of wild species at Redwoods Treewalk, stroll through Tikitapu Nature Walk, contemplate the geological forces at Waimangu Volcanic Valley, and let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, read our Rotorua holiday planner.

Getting from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus. January in Rotorua sees daily highs of 27°C and lows of 19°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Thu) so you can travel to Dunedin.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Okere Falls, Tauranga, Papamoa Beach, Huka Falls Walkway, Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Waimangu Volcanic Valley ©
Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Mt Maunganui Main Beach ©
Mt Maunganui Main Beach
Papamoa Beach ©
Papamoa Beach

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 the less-touristy side of things at Penguin Place and Tunnel Beach Track. Get outdoors at Orokonui Ecosanctuary and The Royal Albatross Centre. Change things up with a short trip to Moeraki Boulders Beach in Oamaru (about 1h 30 min away). Next up on the itinerary: sample the tasty concoctions at Speight’s Brewery, admire the natural beauty at Dunedin Botanic Garden, contemplate the long history of Olveston Historic Home, and tour in style with a train tour.

To see where to stay, ratings, photos, and tourist information, read Dunedin road trip planning site .

Fly from Rotorua to Dunedin in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of flight and bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sun) so you can catcht the bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Dunedin

Parks Wildlife Tours

Side Trip

Moeraki Boulders Beach
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Penguin Place ©
Penguin Place
Orokonui Ecosanctuary ©
Orokonui Ecosanctuary
Tunnel Beach Track ©
Tunnel Beach Track

3
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Lake Te Anau and The Chasm Walk. Get in touch with nature at Milford Sound and Te Anau Glowworm Caves. When in Te Anau, make a side trip to see Kayaking & Canoeing in Manapouri, approximately 52 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: explore the activities along Doubtful Sound, trek along Lake Gunn, and get great views at Te Anau Lion Lookout Point.

For maps, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Te Anau trip planner.

Getting from Dunedin to Te Anau by bus takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Wed) to allow enough time to take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Kayaking & Canoeing, Lake Gunn
Find places to stay Jan 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
The Chasm Walk ©
The Chasm Walk
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound

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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Arrowtown Village and Safaris. Visiting Queenstown Hill and Skydiving will get you outdoors. Next up on the itinerary: relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, admire all the interesting features of Glenorchy-Queenstown Road, look for all kinds of wild species at Kiwi Birdlife Park, and look for gifts at Wilson Gallery.

For ratings, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, read Queenstown journey builder .

Getting from Te Anau to Queenstown by bus takes about 3.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Sat) early enough to catcht the bus to Wanaka.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trip

Arrowtown Village
Find places to stay Jan 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Arrowtown Village ©
Arrowtown Village
Safaris
Queenstown Hill ©
Queenstown Hill

3
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Roys Peak Track and Canyoning & Rappelling Tours. Get outdoors at Wanaka and Blue Pools Track. There's much more to do: take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, trek along Mount Iron Track, and do a tasting at Rippon Vineyard.

For where to stay, photos, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Wanaka tour planner .

Getting from Queenstown to Wanaka by bus takes about 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Tue) to allow time to take a bus to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors Parks Trails
Find places to stay Jan 16 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Roys Peak Track ©
Roys Peak Track
Wanaka ©
Wanaka
Mount Iron Track ©
Mount Iron Track

3
nights
Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier ©
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Explore hidden gems such as Hooker Valley Track and Lake Matheson Walk. Escape the urban bustle at Franz Josef Glacier and Moraine Walk. And it doesn't end there: see the world from above with a helicopter tour, take in the awesome beauty at Fox Glacier, and enjoy the sand and surf at Gillespies Beach.

To find more things to do, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Fox Glacier trip maker website .

You can take a bus from Wanaka to Fox Glacier in 5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Fri) to allow time to drive to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Franz Josef Glacier, Hooker Valley Track
Find places to stay Jan 19 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Matheson Walk ©
Lake Matheson Walk
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Helicopter Tours

3
nights
Kaikoura

Kaikoura ©
Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Sat): trek along Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway, then see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, and then hike along Ohau Stream Walk. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: identify plant and animal life at Peninsula Seal Colony, then see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, and then don't miss a visit to Ohau Point Seal Colony.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Kaikoura road trip website .

You can drive from Fox Glacier to Kaikoura in 7 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus, flight, and train; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Mon) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Outdoors Parks Wildlife
Find places to stay Jan 22 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway ©
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway
Scuba & Snorkeling
Peninsula Seal Colony ©
Peninsula Seal Colony

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