40 days in New Zealand Itinerary

40 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

40 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Montpellier
Fly + Drive:  36​h
1
Whitianga
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
2
Waihi Beach
— 4 nights
Drive:  6​h 15​min
3
Paihia
— 4 nights
Fly + bus:  8​h
4
Akaroa
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h 15​min
5
Dunedin
— 3 nights
bus:  5​h 30​min
6
Wanaka
— 3 nights
bus:  2​h 30​min
7
Queenstown
— 5 nights
bus:  3​h 15​min
8
Te Anau
— 10 nights
Fly:  37​h
End: Montpellier

3
nights
Whitianga

Whitianga ©
Whitianga is a town on the Coromandel Peninsula, in the Waikato Region of New Zealand's North Island. We've included these beaches for you: Opito Bay Beach and Matarangi Beach. Bring the kids along to Whangapoua Beach and Otama Beach. Explore Whitianga's surroundings by going to Mahamudra Centre for Universal Unity (in Colville), Pauanui Beach (in Pauanui) and Hahei Beach Walk (in Hahei). There's lots more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at New Chums Beach, take in the natural beauty of The Lost Spring, examine the collection at Mercury Bay Museum Whitianga, and identify plant and animal life at Mill Creek Bird & Animal Encounters.

To find reviews, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Whitianga road trip planning site .

Montpellier, France to Whitianga is an approximately 36-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 11 hours traveling from Montpellier to Whitianga. Traveling from Montpellier in March, expect Whitianga to be somewhat warmer, temps between 26°C and 18°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sat) early enough to travel to Waihi Beach.

Things to do in Whitianga

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Kuaotunu, Whangapoua, Mahamudra Centre for Universal Unity, Matarangi Beach, Hahei Beach Walk
Find places to stay Mar 20 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Hahei Beach Walk ©
Hahei Beach Walk
New Chums Beach ©
New Chums Beach
Matarangi Beach ©
Matarangi Beach

4
nights
Waihi Beach

Waihi Beach ©
Waihi Beach is a coastal town at the western end of the Bay of Plenty in New Zealand's North Island. Visiting Opoutere Surf Beach and Anzac Bay will get you outdoors. Discover out-of-the-way places like Whangamata Beach and Karangahake Gorge Historic Walkway. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Waihi Beach: Bullswool Farm Park (in Paeroa) and Wairere Falls Track (in Okauia). The adventure continues: enjoy the sand and surf at Whiritoa Beach, tour the pleasant surroundings at Tuapiro Point, trek along Katikati Bird Walk - Uretara Estuary & Yeoman Walkway, and identify plant and animal life at Katikati Bird Gardens.

To find out how to plan a trip to Waihi Beach, use our trip itinerary maker.

Getting from Whitianga to Waihi Beach by car takes about 2 hours. Expect a daytime high around 26°C in March, and nighttime lows around 18°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Wed) so you can travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Waihi Beach

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Katikati, Karangahake Gorge Historic Walkway, Bullswool Farm Park, Whangamata Beach, Opoutere Surf Beach
Find places to stay Mar 23 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Whangamata Beach ©
Whangamata Beach
Opoutere Surf Beach ©
Opoutere Surf Beach
Anzac Bay ©
Anzac Bay

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.
Popular historic sites such as Waitangi Treaty Grounds and Waitangi National Trust & Treaty House are in your itinerary. Family-friendly places like Scuba & Snorkeling and Paihia Harbour will thrill your kids. Change things up with these side-trips from Paihia: Whangaroa Harbour (in Whangaroa) and Manginangina Kauri Walk (in Kerikeri). There's lots more to do: glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour, take in the architecture and atmosphere at St James Anglican Church, surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, and get in on the family fun at Action World.

To find photos, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Paihia itinerary builder website .

You can drive from Waihi Beach to Paihia in 5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Akaroa.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

Kerikeri, Whangaroa Harbour, Waitangi National Trust & Treaty House
Find places to stay Mar 27 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Scuba & Snorkeling
Parasailing & Paragliding

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.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Mon): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Catholic St. Patrick's Akaroa, then pause for some serene contemplation at Saint Peter's Anglican Church, then see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, and finally get close to the beloved marine mammals with a swim-with-the-dolphins experience. Keep things going the next day: stop by Pot Pourri, get engrossed in the history at Akaroa Museum, then contemplate the long history of The Giant's House, and finally identify plant and animal life at Hinewai Reserve.

To see ratings, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, read Akaroa road trip planning site .

Do a combination of taxi, flight, and bus from Paihia to Akaroa in 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus, car, and ferry. In April in Akaroa, expect temperatures between 20°C during the day and 8°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Tue) early enough to drive to Dunedin.

Things to do in Akaroa

Wildlife Outdoors Tours
Find places to stay Mar 31 — Apr 2:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Hinewai Reserve ©
Hinewai Reserve
Swim with Dolphins

3
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.
Get outdoors at Orokonui Ecosanctuary and Moeraki Boulders. Your inner history buff will appreciate Nugget Point/Tokata Walks and Katiki Point Lighthouse. Step out of Dunedin to go to Palmerston and see Shag Point Nature Reserve, which is approximately 48 minutes away. Spend the 5th (Fri) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. The adventure continues: enjoy the sand and surf at Aramoana Beach, pause for some serene contemplation at First Church of Otago, don't miss a visit to The World's Steepest Street, and identify plant and animal life at Otago Peninsula.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Dunedin holiday maker app .

Getting from Akaroa to Dunedin by car takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of taxi, bus, and train. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sat) to allow enough time to take a bus to Wanaka.

Things to do in Dunedin

Wildlife Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Shag Point Nature Reserve, Katiki Point Lighthouse, Nugget Point/Tokata Walks
Find places to stay Apr 2 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Orokonui Ecosanctuary ©
Orokonui Ecosanctuary
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Aramoana Beach ©
Aramoana Beach

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.
Visiting Fishing Charters & Tours and Mount Aspiring National Park will get you outdoors. Discover out-of-the-way places like Blue Pools Track and Diamond Lake & Rocky Mountain walks. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Wanaka: Knights Point Lookout (in Haast) and Monro Beach (in Lake Moeraki). There's lots more to do: relax in the rural setting at Wanaka Lavender Farm, appreciate the history behind Wanaka War Memorial, admire the sheer force of Thunder Creek Falls, and glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour.

Before you visit Wanaka, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

You can take a bus from Dunedin to Wanaka in 5.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Wed) early enough to catcht the bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Knights Point Lookout, Monro Beach
Find places to stay Apr 6 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Diamond Lake & Rocky Mountain walks ©
Fishing Charters & Tours
Parasailing & Paragliding

5
nights
Queenstown

Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Arrowtown Chinese Settlement and Kawarau Suspension Bridge. Get in touch with nature at Moke Lake and Kiwi Birdlife Park. Fill the 13th (Sat) with unforgettable perspectives with a canyoning and rapelling tour. On the 11th (Thu), enjoy an adventurous day among the treetops at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks. And it doesn't end there: contemplate the waterfront views at Arrow River, explore the landscape on two wheels at Queenstown Trail, trek along Ben Lomond Track, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Lake Hayes Walkway.

For reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Queenstown trip planner .

Traveling by bus from Wanaka to Queenstown takes 2.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Mon) to allow enough time to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Arrowtown, Kawarau Suspension Bridge
Find places to stay Apr 10 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Lake Hayes Walkway ©
Lake Hayes Walkway
Kiwi Birdlife Park ©
Kiwi Birdlife Park

10
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.
Visiting Hump Ridge Track and Kepler Track will get you outdoors. Bring the kids along to Milford sound Hwy and Te Anau Bird Sanctuary. Step out of Te Anau with an excursion to Southern Discoveries - Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory in Milford Sound--about 1h 05 min away. On the 22nd (Mon), hike the day away at Hollyford Track. On the 19th (Fri), hike the day away at Routeburn Track. Next up on the itinerary: explore the activities along Milford Sound, hike along Gertrude Saddle, stroll through Lake Marian Track, and explore the fascinating underground world of Te Anau Glowworm Caves.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Te Anau using our trip planner.

You can take a bus from Queenstown to Te Anau in 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Thu) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trips

Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound, Routeburn Track, Hump Ridge Track
Find places to stay Apr 15 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Hollyford Track ©
Hollyford Track
Kepler Track ©
Kepler Track

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