40 days in New Zealand & Ashburton Itinerary

40 days in New Zealand & Ashburton Itinerary

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Route & dates

40 days in New Zealand & Ashburton Itinerary

Start: London, United Kingdom
Fly:  27​h
1
Auckland, New Zealand
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
2
Paihia, New Zealand
— 4 nights
taxi + Fly:  3​h
3
Tauranga, New Zealand
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
4
Taupo, New Zealand
— 4 nights
Fly:  2​h 45​min
5
Wellington, New Zealand
— 3 nights
Fly:  2​h 15​min
6
Nelson, New Zealand
— 1 night
bus + train:  4​h 45​min
7
Kaikoura, New Zealand
— 1 night
Drive:  6​h 15​min
8
Mt. Cook Village, New Zealand
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
9
Wanaka, New Zealand
— 2 nights
bus:  2​h 30​min
10
Queenstown, New Zealand
— 4 nights
bus:  3​h 15​min
11
Te Anau, New Zealand
— 7 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  39​h
12
Ashburton, United Kingdom
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
End: London, United Kingdom

3
nights
Auckland, New Zealand

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.
Auckland is known for nature, museums, nightlife, parks, and zoos & aquariums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: enjoy breathtaking views from SkyTower, brush up on your military savvy at Auckland War Memorial Museum, indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area, and get to know the resident critters at Auckland Zoo.

To find other places to visit, ratings, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Auckland visit planner .

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. Traveling from London to Auckland, you'll lose 12 hours due to the time zone difference. Plan for much warmer temperatures traveling from London in February, with highs in Auckland at 26°C and lows at 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Paihia.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Nature Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Cheltenham Beach
Find places to stay Feb 23 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Auckland War Memorial Museum ©
Auckland War Memorial Museum
Wine Tours & Tastings

4
nights
Paihia, New Zealand

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.
Explore Paihia's surroundings by going to Russell (Pompallier Mission and Printery & Tapeka Point Track). There's still lots to do: steep yourself in history at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, look for all kinds of wild species at Paihia Harbour, get interesting insight from Tours, and step off the mainland to explore Urupukapuka Island.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, read Paihia online travel 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. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Tauranga.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Russell, Kings Theatre Creative
Find places to stay Feb 27 — Mar 2:
Highlights from your plan
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Scuba & Snorkeling
Urupukapuka Island ©
Urupukapuka Island

2
nights
Tauranga, New Zealand

Tauranga ©
The largest city in the Bay of Plenty, Tauranga features extensive sandy beaches, well-maintained hiking paths, and a good range of accommodations.
On the 2nd (Mon), make a trip to Hobbiton Movie Set, stroll through Mt Maunganui Main Beach, and then hike along Mount Maunganui Summit Track. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 3rd (Tue): hike along Mount Maunganui Base Track, then walk around McLaren Falls Park, and then get interesting insight from Tours.

For maps, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Tauranga tour itinerary planning tool .

Getting from Paihia to Tauranga by combination of taxi and flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: fly; or drive. March in Tauranga sees daily highs of 26°C and lows of 18°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Wed) early enough to drive to Taupo.

Things to do in Tauranga

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Hobbiton Movie Set, Zipline
Find places to stay Mar 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Hobbiton Movie Set ©
Hobbiton Movie Set
Zipline
McLaren Falls Park ©
McLaren Falls Park

4
nights
Taupo, New Zealand

The resort town of Taupo lies on the banks of Lake Taupo, the largest body of water in the whole of Australasia.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Taupo: Turangi (Volcanic Activity Centre & River Rafting & Tubing) and Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland (in Rotorua). There's lots more to do: hike along Tongariro Alpine Crossing, don't miss a visit to Maori Rock Carvings, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and take in the dramatic scenery at Huka Falls Walkway.

To find where to stay, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Taupo trip itinerary planner .

You can drive from Tauranga to Taupo in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sun) so you can travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Taupo

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Turangi, Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Find places to stay Mar 4 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

3
nights
Wellington, New Zealand

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: examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, steep yourself in history at Wellington Cable Car, admire the natural beauty at Wellington Botanic Garden, and learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Wellington Zoo.

To see reviews, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Wellington day trip planning app .

Traveling by flight from Taupo to Wellington takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and flight. In March, daytime highs in Wellington are 22°C, while nighttime lows are 16°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Wed) early enough to travel to Nelson.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks Museums Wildlife

Side Trips

Hapuka Estuary Walk, Wellington Botanic Garden
Find places to stay Mar 8 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Wellington Botanic Garden ©
Wellington Botanic Garden
Wellington Cable Car ©
Wellington Cable Car

1
night
Nelson, New Zealand

Nelson ©
Put on your shades to enjoy the sights of Nelson, one of the sunniest cities in New Zealand.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Wed): see the interesting displays at World of WearableArt & Classic Car Museum, stroll around Founders Park, then don't miss a visit to Centre of New Zealand, and finally admire the natural beauty at Queen's Gardens.

For photos, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, read our Nelson trip builder app .

Fly from Wellington to Nelson in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of ferry and car. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Nelson

Parks Museums
Find places to stay Mar 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Founders Park ©
Founders Park
Centre of New Zealand ©
Centre of New Zealand

1
night
Kaikoura, New Zealand

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 12th (Thu): trek along Ohau Stream Walk, then stop by Kaikoura Cheese, then hike along Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway, and finally see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour. On the next day, see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour and then make a trip to Ohau Point Seal Colony.

To find traveler tips, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Kaikoura vacation planner.

Getting from Nelson to Kaikoura by combination of bus and train takes about 5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Fri) early enough to travel to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Outdoors Parks Trails
Find places to stay Mar 12 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway ©
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Scuba & Snorkeling

3
nights
Mt. Cook Village, New Zealand

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Mt. Cook Village: Lake Tekapo (Mount John University Observatory & Lake Tekapo). Next up on the itinerary: head outdoors with Aoraki/Mt. Cook, hike along Glencoe Walk, stroll through Governors Bush Walk, and contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Pukaki.

For where to stay, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, read Mt. Cook Village online journey builder .

Traveling by car from Kaikoura to Mt. Cook Village takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Mon) early enough to travel to Wanaka.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Lake Tekapo, Lake Pukaki
Find places to stay Mar 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook
Kea Point Track ©
Kea Point Track

2
nights
Wanaka, New Zealand

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.
On the 17th (Tue), contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Wanaka and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Mount Aspiring National Park. On the next day, trek along Roys Peak Track.

To plan Wanaka vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Mt. Cook Village to Wanaka. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Wed) early enough to take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Wanaka

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay Mar 16 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Mount Aspiring National Park ©
Mount Aspiring National Park
Lake Wanaka ©
Lake Wanaka
Roys Peak Track ©
Roys Peak Track

4
nights
Queenstown, New Zealand

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, identify plant and animal life at Kiwi Birdlife Park, take a memorable drive along Glenorchy-Queenstown Road, and explore the activities along Lake Wakatipu.

To find maps, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Queenstown trip planner .

Getting from Wanaka to Queenstown by bus takes about 2.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Mar 18 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Zipline

7
nights
Te Anau, New Zealand

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). On the 27th (Fri), hike the day away at Routeburn Track. There's lots more to do: explore the activities along Milford Sound, stroll through Kepler Track, identify plant and animal life at Te Anau Bird Sanctuary, and trek along The Chasm Walk.

For traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Te Anau holiday maker .

You can take a bus from Queenstown to Te Anau in 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 29th (Sun) to allow time for travel to Ashburton.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Fiordland National Park, Milford Foreshore Walk, Routeburn Track
Find places to stay Mar 22 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound
Hollyford Track ©
Hollyford Track

2
nights
Ashburton, United Kingdom

Ashburton ©
Ashburton is a small town on the south-southeastern edge of Dartmoor in Devon, adjacent to the A38.It was formerly important as a stannary town (a centre for the administration of tin-mining), and remains the largest town within the National Park, with a population of around 3,800, increasing to 4,170 in 2011. Kick off your visit on the 30th (Mon): get your game on at Virtual Jet Centre.

To see where to stay, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Ashburton online trip itinerary builder .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Te Anau to Ashburton. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 12 hours traveling from Te Anau to Ashburton. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Wed) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Ashburton

Historic Sites Fun & Games Museums

Side Trips

Buckfastleigh, The Jolly Roger, Virtual Jet Centre
Find places to stay Mar 30 — Apr 1:
Highlights from your plan
Virtual Jet Centre ©
Virtual Jet Centre
Buckfast Abbey ©
Buckfast Abbey
Pennywell Farm ©
Pennywell Farm

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