36 days in New Zealand Itinerary

36 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand attractions planner

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Route & dates

36 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Toronto
Fly:  22​h
1
Auckland
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
2
Waitomo Caves
— Few hours
Drive:  3​h 30​min
3
Tongariro National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
4
Rotorua
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h
5
Papamoa
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h 30​min
6
Orewa
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
7
Paihia
— 3 nights
Fly:  1​h 30​min
8
Christchurch
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 30​min
9
Punakaiki
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 30​min
10
Fox Glacier
— 1 night
bus:  4​h
11
Wanaka
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
12
Glenorchy
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h
13
Queenstown
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
14
Invercargill
— 1 night
Travel:  3​h 30​min
15
Stewart Island
— 2 nights
Travel:  4​h
16
Curio Bay
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
17
Dunedin
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
18
Oamaru
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​min
19
Mt. Cook Village
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h
20
Christchurch
— 1 night
Fly:  25​h
End: Toronto

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.
Tiritiri Matangi Island has been added to your itinerary. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: step off the mainland to explore Tiritiri Matangi Island.

To see more things to do, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Auckland vacation planner .

Toronto, Canada to Auckland is an approximately 22.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 17 hours traveling from Toronto to Auckland. Traveling from Toronto in October, Auckland is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 57°F. You'll have a few hours on the 26th (Sat) to wrap things up before traveling to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Auckland

Wildlife Parks Nature
Find places to stay Oct 23 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Tiritiri Matangi Visitor Centre ©
Tiritiri Matangi Visitor Centre

few
hours
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Waitomo Caves as well as Ruakuri Walk.

To see ratings, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Waitomo Caves trip planner.

You can drive from Auckland to Waitomo Caves in 3 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a train. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 26th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks Outdoors Trails
Find places to stay Oct 26 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk

2
nights
Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park ©
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Mead's Wall as well as Taranaki Falls. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 27th (Sun): trek along Silica Rapids Track, hike along Rotopounamu Track, and then hike along Mead's Wall.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, read our Tongariro National Park trip planner .

Drive from Waitomo Caves to Tongariro National Park in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car; or do a combination of train and car. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 28th (Mon) to allow time for the car ride to Rotorua.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trip

Ohakune Carrot Adventure Park
Find places to stay Oct 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Silica Rapids Track ©
Silica Rapids Track
Taranaki Falls ©
Taranaki Falls
Rotopounamu Track ©
Rotopounamu Track

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Mon): stroll through Okere Falls Track.

To find maps, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Rotorua road trip planning tool .

You can drive from Tongariro National Park to Rotorua in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of car and bus. In October, daily temperatures in Rotorua can reach 65°F, while at night they dip to 52°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Wed) so you can drive to Papamoa.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Waimangu Volcanic Valley, Great Lake Taupo, Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave, Okere Falls Track
Find places to stay Oct 28 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Waimangu Volcanic Valley ©
Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Blue Lake Track ©
Blue Lake Track
Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave ©

3
nights
Papamoa

Papamoa ©
Papamoa Beach is a suburb of Tauranga, located about 11 kilometres from the city centre. Take a break from the city and head to Papamoa Beach and Otarawairere Bay. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Red Barn Gifts Co-op - Simply Handmade@the Red Barn and Kiwifruit Country. There's still lots to do: stroll around Papamoa Hills Cultural Heritage Regional Park, look for all kinds of wild species at Experience Comvita, admire the natural beauty at Looking Glass Garden, and don't miss a visit to Kiwi 360.

To find maps, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Papamoa online trip itinerary builder .

Traveling by car from Rotorua to Papamoa takes an hour. In October in Papamoa, expect temperatures between 65°F during the day and 52°F at night. On the 2nd (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Orewa.

Things to do in Papamoa

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Te Puke, Paengaroa, Whakaari White Island Volcano, Red Barn Gifts Co-op - Simply Handmade@the Red Barn, Otarawairere Bay
Find places to stay Oct 30 — Nov 2:
Highlights from your plan
Whakaari White Island Volcano ©
Whakaari White Island Volcano
Papamoa Beach ©
Papamoa Beach
Experience Comvita ©
Experience Comvita

1
night
Orewa

Orewa ©
Orewa, a town in New Zealand's North Island, lies on the Hibiscus Coast, just north of the base of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula and 40 kilometres north of central Auckland. For reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Orewa trip planner .

Traveling by car from Papamoa to Orewa takes 3.5 hours. While traveling from Papamoa, expect slightly colder days and a bit warmer nights in Orewa, ranging from highs of 63°F to lows of 62°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Sun) so you can travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Orewa

Wildlife Parks Nature

Side Trips

Bohemian Museum, Mahurangi Regional Park
Find places to stay Nov 2 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Bohemian Museum ©
Bohemian Museum
Orewa Lookout ©
Orewa Lookout

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 in touch with nature at Trounson Kauri Park and Four Sisters Walk. Explore hidden gems such as Waitangi National Trust & Treaty House and Wairere Boulders. Venture out of the city with trips to Te Matua Ngahere Walk (in Waipoua Forest) and Manginangina Kauri Walk (in Kerikeri). Next up on the itinerary: take in the architecture and atmosphere at St James Anglican Church.

For more things to do, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Paihia tour planner .

You can drive from Orewa to Paihia in 3 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Waipoua Forest, Kerikeri, Waitangi National Trust & Treaty House, Trounson Kauri Park, Wairere Boulders
Find places to stay Nov 3 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Trounson Kauri Park ©
Trounson Kauri Park
Wairere Boulders ©
Wairere Boulders
Manginangina Kauri Walk ©
Manginangina Kauri Walk

1
night
Christchurch

Christchurch
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
For reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Christchurch trip itinerary builder app .

Traveling by flight from Paihia to Christchurch takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus, ferry, and train. Expect a daytime high around 66°F in November, and nighttime lows around 46°F. You will have some time to spend on the 7th (Thu) before leaving for Punakaiki.

Things to do in Christchurch

Tours Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Nov 6 — 7:

1
night
Punakaiki

Punakaiki ©
Punakaiki is a small community on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand, between Westport and Greymouth. To see maps, photos, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Punakaiki online vacation planner .

Traveling by car from Christchurch to Punakaiki takes 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 8th (Fri) to allow time for travel to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Punakaiki

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay Nov 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Pororari River Track ©
Pororari River Track
Truman Track ©
Truman Track
Pancake Rocks and Blowholes Walk ©

1
night
Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier ©
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
To see other places to visit, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Fox Glacier itinerary builder tool .

Traveling by car from Punakaiki to Fox Glacier takes 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 9th (Sat) to allow enough time to take a bus to Wanaka.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trip

Franz Josef
Find places to stay Nov 8 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Tatare Tunnels Walk ©
Tatare Tunnels Walk
Peters Pool Walk ©
Peters Pool Walk
Minnehaha Walk ©
Minnehaha Walk

2
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.
To find traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, read Wanaka tour itinerary planner .

You can take a bus from Fox Glacier to Wanaka in 4 hours. On the 11th (Mon), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Glenorchy.

Things to do in Wanaka

Parks Nature
Find places to stay Nov 9 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Mount Aspiring National Park ©
Mount Aspiring National Park

2
nights
Glenorchy

Glenorchy ©
Glenorchy is a small settlement at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu in the South Island region of Otago, New Zealand. You've now added High Country Horses to your itinerary. Get in touch with nature at Mitre Peak and Bowen Falls. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Milford Foreshore Walk and Monkey Creek. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Glenorchy: Milford Sound (Milford sound Hwy, Tutoko Suspension Bridge, & more) and Key Summit Track (in Milford). There's still lots to do: contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Gunn, don't miss a visit to Glenorchy Waterfront Reserve, and look for gifts at Access Glenorchy at The Trading Post.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Glenorchy trip itinerary planning site .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Wanaka to Glenorchy. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Queenstown.

Things to do in Glenorchy

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Milford Sound, Milford, Fiordland National Park
Find places to stay Nov 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Milford sound Hwy ©
Milford sound Hwy
Mitre Peak ©
Mitre Peak
Lake Gunn ©
Lake Gunn

1
night
Queenstown

Queenstown
Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Thu): scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour.

To see other places to visit, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Queenstown trip planner .

Getting from Glenorchy to Queenstown by car takes about an hour. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Invercargill.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Nov 13 — 14:

1
night
Invercargill

Invercargill ©
Invercargill is the southernmost and westernmost city in New Zealand, and one of the southernmost cities in the world. To see other places to visit, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Invercargill route maker .

Drive from Queenstown to Invercargill in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Fri) early enough to travel to Stewart Island.

Things to do in Invercargill

Parks Wildlife Outdoors
Find places to stay Nov 14 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Classic Motorcycle Mecca ©
Classic Motorcycle Mecca
Invercargill Brewery ©
Invercargill Brewery

2
nights
Stewart Island

Stewart Island ©
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Ulva Island as well as Beaks and Feathers. Kick off your visit on the 16th (Sat): head off the coast to Ulva Island, then examine the collection at Rakiura Museum, then take in the local highlights with Beaks and Feathers, and finally take a memorable tour with Tours.

For photos, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Stewart Island online trip planner .

Explore your travel options from Invercargill to Stewart Island with the Route module. You will leave for Curio Bay on the 17th (Sun).

Things to do in Stewart Island

Tours Wildlife Outdoors
Find places to stay Nov 15 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Beaks and Feathers ©
Beaks and Feathers
Ulva Island ©
Ulva Island
Rakiura Museum ©
Rakiura Museum

2
nights
Curio Bay

Curio Bay ©
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Curio Bay Natural Heritage Centre and Papatowai Beach. Get outdoors at McLean Falls and Porpoise Bay. Change things up with these side-trips from Curio Bay: McLean Falls Walk (in Chaslands) and Papatowai (McLean Falls, Lake Wilkie, & more).

To see reviews, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Curio Bay trip itinerary planning tool .

Explore your travel options from Stewart Island to Curio Bay with the Route module. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Tue) early enough to travel to Dunedin.

Things to do in Curio Bay

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Papatowai, McLean Falls Walk, Curio Bay, Waikawa Museum and Information Centre
Find places to stay Nov 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Wilkie ©
Lake Wilkie
Curio Bay ©
Curio Bay
McLean Falls ©
McLean Falls

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Wed): kick back and relax at Aramoana Beach, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, get great views at Signal Hill, then look for all kinds of wild species at Orokonui Ecosanctuary, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at First Church of Otago. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 21st (Thu): surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour.

Discover how to plan a Dunedin trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

You can drive from Curio Bay to Dunedin in 3 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 21st (Thu) to allow time for the car ride to Oamaru.

Things to do in Dunedin

Wildlife Outdoors Tours
Find places to stay Nov 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Orokonui Ecosanctuary ©
Orokonui Ecosanctuary
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Aramoana Beach ©
Aramoana Beach

1
night
Oamaru

Oamaru ©
On the 21st (Thu), look for gifts at Adventure Books and then don't miss a visit to Oamaru's Victorian Precinct.

To find ratings, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Oamaru road trip planning website .

Drive from Dunedin to Oamaru in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Fri) to allow time to travel to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Oamaru

Wildlife Shopping Parks

Side Trip

Trotters Gorge Scenic Reserve
Find places to stay Nov 21 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Trotters Gorge Scenic Reserve ©
Trotters Gorge Scenic Reserve
Oamaru's Victorian Precinct ©
Oamaru's Victorian Precinct
Totara Estate ©
Totara Estate

2
nights
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
On the 23rd (Sat), trek along Mount John Summit Circuit Track, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Ohau, then take in nature's colorful creations at New Zealand Alpine Lavender, then admire all the interesting features of New Zealand Alpine Lavender Farm, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Kea Point Track. On the 24th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: trek along Red Tarns Track and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Mueller Hut Route.

To find photos, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Mt. Cook Village online sightseeing planner .

Getting from Oamaru to Mt. Cook Village by car takes about 2.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Sun) so you can travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Twizel, New Zealand Alpine Lavender Farm, Kea Point Track, Mount John Summit Circuit Track
Find places to stay Nov 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Kea Point Track ©
Kea Point Track
Mueller Hut Route ©
Mueller Hut Route
Lake Ohau ©
Lake Ohau

1
night
Christchurch

Christchurch
For ratings, maps, photos, and tourist information, read our Christchurch visit planner .

Traveling by car from Mt. Cook Village to Christchurch takes 4 hours. You will leave for Waitomo Caves on the 25th (Mon).

Things to do in Christchurch

Tours Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Nov 24 — 25:

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