36 days in New Zealand Itinerary

36 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

36 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Birmingham
+3
train + subway + train + Fly:  29​h
1
Auckland
— 3 nights
Fly + Drive:  7​h
2
Mt. Cook Village
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h 15​min
3
Te Anau
— 4 nights
bus:  3​h 15​min
4
Queenstown
— 4 nights
Fly:  3​h 15​min
5
Wellington
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h
6
Rotorua
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
7
Whakapapa
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
8
Waitomo Caves
— 3 nights
+2
taxi + Fly + taxi:  3​h
9
Paihia
— 5 nights
Fly + foot:  31​h
End: Birmingham

3
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.
Step out of Auckland with an excursion to Wine Tours & Tastings in Waiheke Island--about 1h 40 min away. There's still lots to do: enjoy breathtaking views from SkyTower, enjoy the thrill of live dance at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium, get some jogging in at Nelson Street Cycleway, and learn about winemaking at Foxes Island.

For photos, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Auckland travel route planner .

Birmingham, UK to Auckland is an approximately 29-hour combination of train and flight. You can also fly; or fly. The time zone difference moving from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to New Zealand Standard Time (NZST) is 12 hours. Traveling from Birmingham in January, expect Auckland to be much hotter, temps between 22°C and 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Fri) early enough to travel to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Nature

Side Trips

Cheltenham Beach, Wine Tours & Tastings
Find places to stay Jan 20 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Auckland War Memorial Museum ©
Auckland War Memorial Museum
Wine Tours & Tastings

3
nights
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
Explore Mt. Cook Village's surroundings by going to Fox Glacier (Moraine Walk, Fox Glacier, & more), Lake Tekapo (in Lake Tekapo) and Franz Josef Glacier (in Franz Josef). Next up on the itinerary: trek along Hooker Valley Track, stroll through Kea Point Track, and get outside with Aoraki/Mt. Cook.

For where to stay, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Mt. Cook Village trip builder tool .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Auckland to Mt. Cook Village. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Mon) so you can travel to Te Anau.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Fox Glacier, Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Lake Tekapo, Franz Josef Glacier
Find places to stay Jan 24 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Fox Glacier ©
Fox Glacier
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier

4
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.
Change things up with a short trip to Milford Foreshore Walk in Milford (about 1h 15 min away). There's still lots to do: contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound, stroll through The Chasm Walk, take some stellar pictures from Te Anau Lion Lookout Point, and trek along Lake Gunn.

To see where to stay, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, read Te Anau journey site .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Mt. Cook Village to Te Anau. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 31st (Fri) so you can catcht the bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trips

Fiordland National Park, Milford Foreshore Walk
Find places to stay Jan 27 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound
Hollyford Track ©
Hollyford Track

4
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.
Queenstown is known for fun & games, adventure, wildlife, nature, and spas. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, get some thrills on the water with a speed boat tour, awaken your taste buds at some of the top wineries in the area, and identify plant and animal life at Kiwi Birdlife Park.

To see maps, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Queenstown attractions planner .

Traveling by bus from Te Anau to Queenstown takes 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours Outdoors Fun & Games
Find places to stay Jan 31 — Feb 4:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Zipline

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.
Wellington is known for museums, wildlife, classes, nature, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, look for all kinds of wild species at ZEALANDIA Sanctuary, catch a ride on Wellington Cable Car, and get engrossed in the history at The Great War Exhibition.

To see photos, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Wellington road trip planning website .

Getting from Queenstown to Wellington by flight takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of car and ferry. In February, plan for daily highs up to 24°C, and evening lows to 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Fri) early enough to travel to Rotorua.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks Museums Wildlife

Side Trip

Wellington Botanic Garden
Find places to stay Feb 4 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Wellington Botanic Garden ©
Wellington Botanic Garden
Wellington Cable Car ©
Wellington Cable Car

4
nights
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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Rotorua: Hobbiton Movie Set (in Hinuera) and Taupo (Huka Honey Hive, Adrenaline & Extreme Tours, & more). Next up on the itinerary: take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, get your game on at OGO Rotorua, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and don't miss a visit to Amokura Glass.

For more things to do, maps, reviews, and tourist information, read Rotorua trip maker website .

Traveling by flight from Wellington to Rotorua takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. In February, daytime highs in Rotorua are 28°C, while nighttime lows are 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Whakapapa.

Things to do in Rotorua

Tours Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Taupo, Hobbiton Movie Set
Find places to stay Feb 7 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway

4
nights
Whakapapa

Step out of Whakapapa to go to Turangi and see River Rafting & Tubing, which is approximately 34 minutes away.

For other places to visit, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Whakapapa tour builder site .

You can drive from Rotorua to Whakapapa in 2.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sat) so you can travel to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Whakapapa

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Tongariro National Park, River Rafting & Tubing
Find places to stay Feb 11 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Ohakune Old Coach Road ©
Ohakune Old Coach Road

3
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.
Waitomo Caves is known for nature, adventure, wildlife, trails, and outdoors. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves, snap pictures at Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk, hike along Ruakuri Walk, and get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

For traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Waitomo Caves online visit planner .

Getting from Whakapapa to Waitomo Caves by car takes about 2.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Tue) so you can travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Kapiti Island, Aranui Cave
Find places to stay Feb 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
River Rafting & Tubing
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk

5
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.
Paihia is known for wildlife, historic sites, nature, adventure, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take in nature's colorful creations at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, take a memorable tour with Tours, steep yourself in history at The Stone Store & Kemp House - Kerikeri Mission Station, and identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas.

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

Do a combination of taxi and flight from Waitomo Caves to Paihia in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and flight. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife Parks Outdoors

Side Trip

Kerikeri
Find places to stay Feb 18 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Dolphin & Whale Watching

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