38 days in New Zealand Itinerary

38 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand route planner

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Route & dates

38 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: London
Fly:  27​h
1
Auckland
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
2
Paihia
— 3 nights
+2
taxi + Fly + taxi:  3​h
3
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
4
Rotorua
— 5 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
5
Whakapapa
— 3 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  9​h 15​min
6
Te Anau
— 4 nights
bus:  3​h 15​min
7
Queenstown
— 3 nights
bus:  2​h 30​min
8
Wanaka
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
9
Mt. Cook Village
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h 30​min
10
Fox Glacier
— 3 nights
Drive:  6​h 45​min
11
Kaikoura
— 3 nights
bus + Fly:  31​h
End: London

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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Tiritiri Matangi Visitor Centre and Muriwai Gannet Colony. Take a break from the city and head to Dolphin & Whale Watching and Goat Island Marine Reserve. Take a break from Auckland with a short trip to Arataki Visitor Centre in Piha, about 32 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: enjoy breathtaking views from SkyTower and stroll through Cheltenham Beach.

To find ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Auckland journey builder .

London, UK to Auckland is an approximately 27-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of train and flight. The time zone changes from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to New Zealand Standard Time (NZST), which is usually a 12 hour difference. Traveling from London in February, things will get much hotter in Auckland: highs are around 26°C and lows about 26°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Fri) so you can go by car to Paihia.

Things to do in Auckland

Wildlife Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Goat Island Marine Reserve, Muriwai Gannet Colony, Arataki Visitor Centre, Cheltenham Beach
Find places to stay Feb 25 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Muriwai Gannet Colony ©
Muriwai Gannet Colony
Arataki Visitor Centre ©
Arataki Visitor Centre

3
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Paihia Harbour and Dolphin & Whale Watching. Get in touch with nature at Nature & Wildlife Tours and Scuba & Snorkeling. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Paihia: Whangarei Falls (in Whangarei) and Tane Mahuta Walk (in Opononi). There's lots more to do: fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour, hike along Kororipo Pa Historic Walk, and take in the dramatic scenery at Rainbow Falls.

To see traveler tips, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Paihia travel planning site .

Traveling by car from Auckland to Paihia takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Paihia

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Kerikeri, Whangarei Falls, Tane Mahuta Walk
Find places to stay Feb 28 — Mar 2:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Scuba & Snorkeling
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour

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 3rd (Tue), get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, explore the fascinating underground world of Ruakuri Cave, then Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves, and finally hike along Ruakuri Walk. On the next day, snap pictures at Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk, take in the dramatic scenery at Marakopa Falls, then get interesting insight from Tours, and finally Head underground at Caveworld.

To see maps, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, read Waitomo Caves trip itinerary builder website .

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Paihia to Waitomo Caves in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Mar 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Ruakuri Cave
Ruakuri Cave
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk
Caveworld ©
Caveworld

5
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.
Explore hidden gems such as Waimangu Volcanic Valley and Horseback Riding Tours. Escape the urban bustle at Huka Falls Walkway and River Rafting & Tubing. Venture out of the city with trips to Mount Maunganui (Mt Maunganui Main Beach & Mount Maunganui Base Track) and Taupo (Souvenir Outlet & Mountain Bike Hire & Kayaking & Canoeing). There's lots more to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave, take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, don't miss a visit to Amokura Glass, and stroll through Tikitapu Nature Walk.

To find reviews, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Rotorua online road trip planner .

Drive from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In March, daily temperatures in Rotorua can reach 26°C, while at night they dip to 18°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Whakapapa.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Taupo, Okere Falls, Tauranga, Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave, Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Find places to stay Mar 4 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Redwoods Treewalk ©
Redwoods Treewalk
River Rafting & Tubing
Waimangu Volcanic Valley ©
Waimangu Volcanic Valley

3
nights
Whakapapa

Whakapapa ©
Escape the urban bustle at Tongariro Alpine Crossing and Taranaki Falls. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Mount Ruapehu and Te Porere Redoubt. Change things up with a short trip to River Rafting & Tubing in Turangi (about 34 minutes away).

To find ratings, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, read Whakapapa road trip planner.

You can drive from Rotorua to Whakapapa in 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Thu) early enough to travel to Te Anau.

Things to do in Whakapapa

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Tongariro National Park, River Rafting & Tubing
Find places to stay Mar 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Mount Ruapehu ©
Mount Ruapehu
Taranaki Falls ©
Taranaki Falls

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.
Explore hidden gems such as Lake Te Anau and The Chasm Walk. Get outdoors at Milford Sound and Kepler Track. Get out of town with these interesting Te Anau side-trips: Kayaking & Canoeing (in Manapouri) and Milford Foreshore Walk (in Milford). There's much more to do: contemplate the waterfront views at Doubtful Sound, tour the pleasant surroundings at Hollyford Track, hike along Lake Gunn, and look for all kinds of wild species at Te Anau Bird Sanctuary.

For where to stay, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Te Anau road trip website .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Whakapapa to Te Anau. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) so you can catcht the bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Fiordland National Park, Milford Foreshore Walk, Kayaking & Canoeing
Find places to stay Mar 12 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound
Hollyford Track ©
Hollyford Track
Kepler Track ©
Kepler Track

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 discover tucked-away gems like Arrowtown Village and Ben Lomond Track. Get outdoors at Queenstown Hill and Skydiving. There's still lots to do: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, see Off-Road Tours, get your game on at Fear Factory Queenstown, and take a memorable tour with Tours.

Plan a Queenstown trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

Traveling by bus from Te Anau to Queenstown takes 3.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Fri) to allow enough time to take a bus to Wanaka.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trip

Arrowtown Village
Find places to stay Mar 17 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Ben Lomond Track ©
Ben Lomond Track
Queenstown Hill ©
Queenstown Hill
Fishing Charters & Tours

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Roys Peak Track and Mount Iron Track. Get in touch with nature at Wanaka and Canyoning & Rappelling Tours. There's much more to do: glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour, hike along Blue Pools Track, and take a memorable tour with Tours.

To find photos, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Wanaka day trip planner.

You can take a bus from Queenstown to Wanaka in 2.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors Parks Trails
Find places to stay Mar 20 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Roys Peak Track ©
Roys Peak Track
Wanaka ©
Wanaka
Mount Iron Track ©
Mount Iron Track

3
nights
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
Explore hidden gems such as Hooker Valley Track and Glencoe Walk. Visiting Aoraki/Mt. Cook and Lake Pukaki will get you outdoors. There's much more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Kea Point Track, trek along Sealy Tarns Track, and fly down the slopes at Ski The Tasman.

To find other places to visit, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Mt. Cook Village tour planner.

Explore your travel options from Wanaka to Mt. Cook Village with the Route module. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Thu) so you can drive to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Lake Pukaki
Find places to stay Mar 23 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Kea Point Track ©
Kea Point 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.
Take a break from the city and head to Lake Matheson Walk and Helicopter Tours. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Fox Glacier South Side Walk and Fox Glacier Hiking Trails. There's much more to do: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Fox Glacier, trek along Franz Josef Glacier, stroll through Moraine Walk, and enjoy the sand and surf at Gillespies Beach.

To see other places to visit, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Fox Glacier route planner .

You can drive from Mt. Cook Village to Fox Glacier in 5.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trip

Franz Josef Glacier
Find places to stay Mar 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Matheson Walk ©
Lake Matheson Walk
Fox Glacier ©
Fox Glacier
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.
On the 30th (Mon), hike along Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway, then identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas, and then hike along Ohau Stream Walk. On the next day, get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, make a trip to Ohau Point Seal Colony, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Peninsula Seal Colony.

For photos, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Kaikoura visit app .

Traveling by car from Fox Glacier to Kaikoura takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, flight, and train; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Wed) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Outdoors Parks Wildlife
Find places to stay Mar 29 — Apr 1:
Highlights from your plan
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway ©
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway
Scuba & Snorkeling
Peninsula Seal Colony ©
Peninsula Seal Colony

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