37 days in New Zealand Itinerary

37 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

37 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Perth
Fly:  10​h
1
Auckland
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
2
Paihia
— 4 nights
+2
Taxi + Fly + Taxi:  3​h
3
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
4
Rotorua
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
5
Turangi
— 4 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  8​h
6
Kaikoura
— 1 night
Drive:  6​h 45​min
7
Fox Glacier
— 3 nights
Bus:  4​h 45​min
8
Wanaka
— 4 nights
Bus:  2​h 30​min
9
Queenstown
— 4 nights
Bus:  3​h 15​min
10
Te Anau
— 4 nights
Bus:  5​h 15​min
11
Dunedin
— 2 nights
Fly:  12​h 45​min
End: Perth

2
nights
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.
Get outdoors at Tiritiri Matangi Visitor Centre and Piha Beach. Step off the beaten path and head to Dolphin & Whale Watching and Muriwai Gannet Colony. Get out of town with these interesting Auckland side-trips: Goat Island Marine Reserve (in Warkworth) and Arataki Visitor Centre (in Piha).

To find other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Auckland vacation planning tool .

Perth, Australia to Auckland is an approximately 10-hour flight. You'll lose 4 hours traveling from Perth to Auckland due to the time zone difference. When traveling from Perth in December, plan for colder days and about the same nights in Auckland: temperatures range from 20°C by day to 20°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Paihia.

Things to do in Auckland

Wildlife Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Piha, Muriwai Gannet Colony, Goat Island Marine Reserve
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Muriwai Gannet Colony ©
Muriwai Gannet Colony
Arataki Visitor Centre ©
Arataki Visitor Centre

4
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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like The Kauri Museum and KeriKeri New Zealand. Escape the urban bustle at Paihia Harbour and Whangarei Falls. When in Paihia, make a side trip to see Tane Mahuta Walk in Opononi, approximately 1h 30 min away. And it doesn't end there: get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, make a short side trip with Day Trips, discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, and take in the dramatic scenery at Rainbow Falls.

To see traveler tips, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Paihia trip planner .

Traveling by car from Auckland to Paihia takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Tue) early enough to travel to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Paihia

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Kerikeri, Tane Mahuta Walk, The Kauri Museum, Whangarei Falls
Find places to stay Dec 13 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour
Scuba & Snorkeling
Nature & Wildlife Tours

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.
On the 18th (Wed), get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, then explore the fascinating underground world of Ruakuri Cave, then Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves, and finally hike along Ruakuri Walk. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 19th (Thu): Head underground at Caveworld, get interesting insight from Tours, then admire the sheer force of Marakopa Falls, and finally take in the views from Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Waitomo Caves trip planner .

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 19th (Thu) so you can drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk
Ruakuri Cave
Ruakuri Cave
Caveworld ©
Caveworld

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.
Get outdoors at Waimangu Volcanic Valley and Mt Maunganui Main Beach. Do some cultural sightseeing at Helium Gallery and the Zeus Gallery. Explore Rotorua's surroundings by going to Mount Maunganui Base Track (in Mount Maunganui), Ohope Beach (in Whakatane) and Huka Falls Walkway (in Taupo). The adventure continues: take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, look for all kinds of wild species at Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park, get your game on at OGO Rotorua, and hike along Tikitapu Nature Walk.

For other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Rotorua travel planner .

Getting from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus. In December in Rotorua, expect temperatures between 25°C during the day and 17°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) early enough to drive to Turangi.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Tauranga, River Rafting & Tubing, Ohope Beach, Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave, Huka Falls Walkway
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Mt Maunganui Main Beach ©
Mt Maunganui Main Beach
Waimangu Volcanic Valley ©
Waimangu Volcanic Valley

4
nights
Turangi

Turangi ©
Turangi is a small town on the west bank of the Tongariro River, 50 kilometres south-west of Taupo on the North Island Volcanic Plateau of New Zealand. Get some cultural insight at Tongariro Alpine Crossing and Ohakune Old Coach Road. Escape the urban bustle at Mount Ruapehu and Taranaki Falls. There's much more to do: stroll through Horsemtrails, look for all kinds of wild species at Tongariro National Trout Centre, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Te Porere Redoubt, and trek along Whakapapa Nature Walk.

To see photos, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Turangi attractions website .

Getting from Rotorua to Turangi by car takes about 2 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) early enough to travel to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Turangi

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trip

Tongariro National Park
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Mount Ruapehu ©
Mount Ruapehu
Horsemtrails ©
Horsemtrails

1
night
Kaikoura

Kaikoura ©
Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Sat): tour the pleasant surroundings at Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway and then hike along Ohau Stream Walk. On the 29th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: look for all kinds of wild species at Peninsula Seal Colony and then take a memorable tour with Tours.

To find photos, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Kaikoura online itinerary planner .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Turangi to Kaikoura. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sun) so you can drive to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Outdoors Parks Trails
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway ©
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway
Scuba & Snorkeling
Peninsula Seal Colony ©
Peninsula Seal Colony

3
nights
Fox Glacier

A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Hooker Valley Track and Helicopter Tours. Step out of the city life by going to Lake Matheson Walk and Franz Josef Glacier. Next up on the itinerary: take in the awesome beauty at Fox Glacier, trek along Fox Glacier Hiking Trails, enjoy the sand and surf at Gillespies Beach, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Moraine Walk.

For maps, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Fox Glacier trip maker app .

Traveling by car from Kaikoura to Fox Glacier takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, bus, and flight; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Wed) to allow time to take a bus to Wanaka.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Franz Josef Glacier, Hooker Valley Track
Find places to stay Dec 29 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Helicopter Tours
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Lake Matheson Walk ©
Lake Matheson Walk

4
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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Roys Peak Track and Fishing Charters & Tours. Get outdoors at Wanaka and Canyoning & Rappelling Tours. There's lots more to do: trek along Mount Iron Track, get interesting insight from Tours, trot along with a tour on horseback, and stroll through Blue Pools Track.

To find traveler tips, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Wanaka travel app .

Getting from Fox Glacier to Wanaka by bus takes about 5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) early enough to catcht the bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Fishing Charters & Tours
Roys Peak Track ©
Roys Peak Track
Wanaka ©
Wanaka

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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Glenorchy-Queenstown Road and Queenstown Hill. Get a sense of the local culture at Chard Farm Winery and Queenstown Arts Centre. The adventure continues: see Off-Road Tours, get outside with Arrowtown Village, take the plunge with a skydiving experience, and get your game on at Fear Factory Queenstown.

To see ratings, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, read our Queenstown online tour planner .

You can take a bus from Wanaka to Queenstown in 2.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Thu) so you can take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trip

Arrowtown Village
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Queenstown Hill ©
Queenstown Hill
Safaris
Glenorchy-Queenstown Road ©
Glenorchy-Queenstown Road

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.
Get in touch with nature at Milford Sound and Kayaking & Canoeing. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Lake Te Anau and Milford Foreshore Walk. Go for a jaunt from Te Anau to Milford Sound to see Milford sound Hwy about 56 minutes away. There's much more to do: hike along Hollyford Track, look for all kinds of wild species at Doubtful Sound, tour the pleasant surroundings at The Chasm Walk, and contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Gunn.

To find photos, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Te Anau online road trip planner .

Traveling by bus from Queenstown to Te Anau takes 3.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Mon) to allow enough time to take a bus to Dunedin.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Fiordland National Park, Kayaking & Canoeing, Milford sound Hwy, Milford Foreshore Walk
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Hollyford Track ©
Hollyford Track
Milford sound Hwy ©
Milford sound Hwy

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.
On the 14th (Tue), trek along Tunnel Beach Track, then steep yourself in history at Olveston Historic Home, then look and learn at Otago Museum, and finally look for all kinds of wild species at Penguin Place. On the next day, look for all kinds of wild species at Orokonui Ecosanctuary, admire the natural beauty at Dunedin Botanic Garden, and then don't miss a visit to The World's Steepest Street.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Dunedin attractions planner.

Traveling by bus from Te Anau to Dunedin takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Wed) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Dunedin

Parks Wildlife Museums
Find places to stay Jan 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Penguin Place ©
Penguin Place
Orokonui Ecosanctuary ©
Orokonui Ecosanctuary
Tunnel Beach Track ©
Tunnel Beach Track

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