37 days in New Zealand Itinerary

37 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand travel route planner

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Route & dates

37 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Toronto
Fly:  26​h
1
Queenstown
— 4 nights
bus:  3​h 15​min
2
Te Anau
— 4 nights
Drive:  5​h 15​min
3
Mt. Cook Village
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
4
Wanaka
— 4 nights
bus:  4​h
5
Fox Glacier
— 4 nights
Drive:  5​h 45​min
6
Akaroa
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
7
Kaikoura
— 2 nights
+2
train + bus + Fly:  8​h
8
Rotorua
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h
9
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights
+2
taxi + Fly + taxi:  3​h
10
Paihia
— 4 nights
Fly:  25​h
End: Toronto

4
nights
Queenstown

Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Take a break from the city and head to Queenstown Trail and Dudley's Cottage Arrowtown. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Fishing Charters & Tours and Lake Hayes Walkway. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Queenstown: Wooing Tree Vineyard (in Cromwell), Roxburgh (Clutha Gold Trail & Roxburgh Gorge Trail) and Tobins Track (in Arrowtown). And it doesn't end there: get interesting insight from Tours, view the masterpieces at Queenstown Arts Centre, have some family-friendly fun at Fear Factory Queenstown, and walk around Village Green.

To find ratings, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, read Queenstown travel route planner .

Toronto, Canada to Queenstown is an approximately 26-hour flight. You can also do a combination of ferry and flight; or do a combination of shuttle and flight. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to New Zealand Standard Time (NZST) is 17 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Mon) to allow time to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Arrowtown, Roxburgh, Wooing Tree Vineyard
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Fishing Charters & Tours
Lake Hayes Walkway ©
Lake Hayes Walkway
Zipline

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 outdoors at Hollyford Track and Mirror Lakes Walk. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Milford sound Hwy and Kowhai Gifts & Souvenirs. When in Te Anau, make a side trip to see Milford Foreshore Walk in Milford, approximately 1h 15 min away. There's lots more to do: explore the activities along Milford Sound, hike along Lake Gunn, identify plant and animal life at Te Anau Bird Sanctuary, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Lake Marian Track.

To find ratings, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Te Anau trip maker app .

You can take a bus from Queenstown to Te Anau in 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trips

Fiordland National Park, Milford sound Hwy, Milford Foreshore Walk
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Milford sound Hwy ©
Milford sound Hwy
Hollyford Track ©
Hollyford Track
Mirror Lakes Walk ©
Mirror Lakes Walk

3
nights
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Hooker Valley Track and Kea Point Track. Take a break from the city and head to Sealy Tarns Track and Glencoe Walk. Venture out of the city with trips to Mount John Summit Circuit Track (in Lake Tekapo), Gem Alpaca Stud (in Fairlie) and Three Creeks (in Burkes Pass). Next up on the itinerary: tour the pleasant surroundings at Mueller Hut Route and trek along Red Tarns Track.

To see ratings, photos, maps, and other tourist information, read our Mt. Cook Village trip itinerary planner.

Explore your travel options from Te Anau to Mt. Cook Village with the Route module. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Mon) early enough to travel to Wanaka.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trips

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Gem Alpaca Stud, Three Creeks, Mount John Summit Circuit Track
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Kea Point Track ©
Kea Point Track
Sealy Tarns Track ©
Sealy Tarns Track

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 Fishing Charters & Tours and Roys Bay Recreational Reserve. Visiting Blue Pools Track and Rob Roy Track will get you outdoors. Venture out of the city with trips to Haast (Wharekai Te Kou & Gates of Haast). There's still lots to do: look for gifts at Outside Sports, take a memorable drive along Haast Pass, get outside with Oxbow The Adventure Co., and trek along Isthmus Peak Track.

For traveler tips, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Wanaka trip planner .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Mt. Cook Village to Wanaka. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Fri) early enough to catcht the bus to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Haast, Fantail Falls, Haast Pass
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Fishing Charters & Tours
Fantail Falls ©
Fantail Falls
Gates of Haast ©
Gates of Haast

4
nights
Fox Glacier

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 West Coast Wildlife Centre and Copland Track. Get in touch with nature at Fox Glacier and Andris Apse Gallery. Explore Fox Glacier's surroundings by going to Sentinel Rock Walk (in Franz Josef) and Ship Creek Walks (in Haast). The adventure continues: explore the striking landscape at Franz Josef Glacier, enjoy some diversion at Franz Josef Clay Target Shooting, trek along Minnehaha Walk, and stroll through Fox Glacier Te Moeka o Tuawe Valley Walk.

For other places to visit, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, read Fox Glacier road trip planning tool .

Getting from Wanaka to Fox Glacier by bus takes about 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Tue) so you can drive to Akaroa.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Franz Josef, Ship Creek Walks, Bruce Bay
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier
Fox Glacier ©
Fox Glacier
West Coast Wildlife Centre ©
West Coast Wildlife Centre

1
night
Akaroa

The French heritage and colonial architecture of Akaroa has broad appeal to anthropologists, historians, architects--and just about anyone with an eye for beautiful, historical buildings and a palate for fine dining.
On the 30th (Wed), look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas, stop by Fire & Ice - Gemstone Jewellery Specialists, then view the masterpieces at The Giants House, and finally look for all kinds of wild species at Hinewai Reserve.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Akaroa sightseeing planner .

Traveling by car from Fox Glacier to Akaroa takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. In December, daytime highs in Akaroa are 24°C, while nighttime lows are 12°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Wed) early enough to drive to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Akaroa

Wildlife Parks Shopping
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Hinewai Reserve ©
Hinewai Reserve
The Giants House ©
The Giants House

2
nights
Kaikoura

Kaikoura ©
Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
On the 31st (Thu), trek along Ohau Stream Walk, then Head underground at Maori Leap Cave, then view the masterpieces at Art & Design Gallery, and finally get interesting insight from Tours. On your second day here, hike along Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway, then take an in-depth tour of Kaikoura Museum, then see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, and finally stop by Kaikoura Cheese.

For reviews, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, read our Kaikoura road trip planner .

You can drive from Akaroa to Kaikoura in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and train; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Fri) early enough to travel to Rotorua.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Outdoors Parks Trails
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway ©
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway
Ohau Stream Walk ©
Ohau Stream Walk
Nature & Wildlife Tours

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.
Get outdoors at Waimangu Volcanic Valley and Mt Maunganui Main Beach. You'll discover tucked-away gems like River Rafting & Tubing and Redwoods Treewalk. Explore Rotorua's surroundings by going to Papamoa Beach (in Papamoa), Mount Maunganui Base Track (in Mount Maunganui) and Tauranga Farmer's Market (in Tauranga). The adventure continues: look for all kinds of wild species at Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, and do a tasting at Volcanic Hills Winery.

Plan my day in Rotorua using traveler tips and tourist information provided by Inspirock.

Traveling by combination of train and flight from Kaikoura to Rotorua takes 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, bus, and flight; or do a combination of train, bus, and flight. January in Rotorua sees daily highs of 27°C and lows of 19°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Wed) so you can go by car to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Tauranga, Papamoa Beach, Waiotapu Boardwalk/ Mud Pool, Waimangu Volcanic Valley, River Rafting & Tubing
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Mt Maunganui Main Beach ©
Mt Maunganui Main Beach
River Rafting & Tubing
Waimangu Volcanic Valley ©
Waimangu Volcanic Valley

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.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Thu): trek along Ruakuri Walk, then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, then explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, and finally Head underground at Footwhistle Glowworm Cave. Here are some ideas for day two: take a peaceful walk through Yarndley's Bush, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, then explore the fascinating underground world of Ruakuri Cave, and finally take in the views from Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk.

For ratings and more tourist information, go to the Waitomo Caves journey app .

You can drive from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Fri) so you can travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trip

Yarndley's Bush
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk
Ruakuri Cave
Ruakuri Cave
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves

4
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 Poor Knights Island Marine Reserve will get you outdoors. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Nature & Wildlife Tours and Bream Head Coast Walks. When in Paihia, make a side trip to see Waro Limestone Scenic Reserve Walk in Hikurangi, approximately 46 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour, get engrossed in the history at Kawakawa Memorial Library Centre, and take in the dramatic scenery at Haruru Falls.

To see reviews, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Paihia trip site .

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. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Tue) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Whangarei, Kawakawa Memorial Library Centre, Waro Limestone Scenic Reserve Walk, St James Anglican Church
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Scuba & Snorkeling
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour

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