45 days in New Zealand Itinerary

45 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand journey planner

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Route & dates

45 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  8​h
1
Paihia
— 5 nights
Drive:  3​h
2
Auckland
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
3
Hamilton
— 1 night
bus:  1​h 15​min
4
Waitomo Caves
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
5
Whakapapa
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
6
Taupo
— 5 nights
Fly:  2​h 45​min
7
Wellington
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h
8
Christchurch
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h
9
Fox Glacier
— 4 nights
Drive:  5​h 30​min
10
Mt. Cook Village
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h 15​min
11
Te Anau
— 5 nights
bus:  3​h 15​min
12
Queenstown
— 5 nights
Fly:  5​h 45​min
End: Sydney

5
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.
Take a break from Paihia with a short trip to Bream Head Coast Walks in Whangarei, about 1h 35 min away. Next up on the itinerary: steep yourself in history at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, look for all kinds of wild species at Paihia Harbour, and get interesting insight from Tours.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Paihia attractions planner .

Sydney, Australia to Paihia is an approximately 8-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus. You'll lose 2 hours traveling from Sydney to Paihia due to the time zone difference. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) so you can go by car to Auckland.

Things to do in Paihia

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Kerikeri, Bream Head Coast Walks
Find places to stay Dec 7 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Bream Head Coast Walks ©
Bream Head Coast Walks
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Scuba & Snorkeling

3
nights
Auckland

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: take in panoramic vistas at SkyTower, brush up on your military savvy at Auckland War Memorial Museum, get your game on at Sky Screamer Reverse Bungy, and get to know the resident critters at Auckland Zoo.

To see other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Auckland holiday maker app .

Traveling by car from Paihia to Auckland takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 20°C, and evening lows to 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sun) so you can drive to Hamilton.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Nature Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Cheltenham Beach
Find places to stay Dec 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Auckland War Memorial Museum ©
Auckland War Memorial Museum
Wine Tours & Tastings

1
night
Hamilton

Hamilton ©
On the banks of the Waikato River lies Hamilton, a pretty, active city on North Island.
On the 16th (Mon), examine the collection at Waikato Museum, then stroll around Hamilton Gardens, and then head outdoors with The Don Rowlands Centre Lake Karapiro.

For traveler tips, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Hamilton trip maker app .

Getting from Auckland to Hamilton by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a train. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Mon) early enough to catcht the bus to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Hamilton

Outdoors Parks Museums

Side Trip

The Don Rowlands Centre Lake Karapiro
Find places to stay Dec 15 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Hamilton Gardens ©
Hamilton Gardens
Waikato Museum ©
Waikato Museum

3
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.
Waitomo Caves is known for nature, adventure, wildlife, trails, and outdoors. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves, admire the sheer force of Marakopa Falls, get outside with Waitomo Clay Birds, and take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

For maps, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Waitomo Caves trip site .

Traveling by bus from Hamilton to Waitomo Caves takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Thu) early enough to travel to Whakapapa.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Kapiti Island, Aranui Cave
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
River Rafting & Tubing
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk

4
nights
Whakapapa

When in Whakapapa, make a side trip to see River Rafting & Tubing in Turangi, approximately 34 minutes away.

To find where to stay, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Whakapapa trip builder app .

Drive from Waitomo Caves to Whakapapa in 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) early enough to drive to Taupo.

Things to do in Whakapapa

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Tongariro National Park, River Rafting & Tubing
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Horsemtrails ©
Horsemtrails

5
nights
Taupo

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: Hobbiton Movie Set (in Hinuera) and Rotorua (Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, Zipline, & more). There's much more to do: get interesting insight from Tours, get in on the family fun at Huka Prawn Park, don't miss a visit to Aratiatia Rapids, and look for gifts at Huka Honey Hive.

To see more things to do, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Taupo itinerary site .

You can drive from Whakapapa to Taupo in 1.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Taupo

Tours Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Rotorua, Hobbiton Movie Set
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway

3
nights
Wellington

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: see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, admire the natural beauty at Wellington Botanic Garden, identify plant and animal life at ZEALANDIA Sanctuary, and ponder the world of politics at New Zealand Parliament.

For other places to visit, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Wellington road trip planner.

Getting from Taupo to Wellington by flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of bus and flight. In December, daily temperatures in Wellington can reach 22°C, while at night they dip to 15°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Tue) early enough to travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks Museums Outdoors

Side Trips

Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Wellington Botanic Garden, Catchpool Loop Walk
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Wellington Botanic Garden ©
Wellington Botanic Garden
Wellington Cable Car ©
Wellington Cable Car

3
nights
Christchurch

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Christchurch: Dolphin & Whale Watching (in Akaroa) and Little River Gallery (in Little River). There's much more to do: walk around Christchurch Botanic Gardens, take in panoramic vistas at Christchurch Gondola, take in nature's colorful creations at Ohinetahi Garden, and let the kids burn off some steam at Margaret Mahy Family Playground.

For traveler tips, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Christchurch day trip site .

Traveling by flight from Wellington to Christchurch takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry and train. Expect a bit cooler evenings in Christchurch when traveling from Wellington in December, with lows around 12°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) early enough to drive to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Christchurch

Transportation Tours Parks

Side Trips

Ohinetahi Garden, Little River Gallery, Dolphin & Whale Watching
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 3:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Christchurch Botanic Gardens ©
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
TranzAlpine Train ©
TranzAlpine Train

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.
When in Fox Glacier, make a side trip to see Sentinel Rock Walk in Franz Josef, approximately 32 minutes away. There's lots more to do: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Fox Glacier, trek along Moraine Walk, tour the pleasant surroundings at Minnehaha Walk, and see the world from above with a helicopter tour.

To see photos, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Fox Glacier trip builder .

Getting from Christchurch to Fox Glacier by car takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) so you can drive to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trip

Franz Josef
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Fox Glacier ©
Fox Glacier
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier
Gillespies Beach ©
Gillespies Beach

3
nights
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
Step out of Mt. Cook Village to go to Lake Tekapo and see Lake Tekapo, which is approximately 58 minutes away. There's much more to do: trek along Hooker Valley Track, fly down the slopes at Ski The Tasman, tour the pleasant surroundings at Kea Point Track, and head outdoors with Aoraki/Mt. Cook.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Mt. Cook Village online tour planner .

Drive from Fox Glacier to Mt. Cook Village in 5.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) so you can travel to Te Anau.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Lake Tekapo
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook
Mueller Hut Route ©
Mueller Hut Route

5
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.
Change things up with a short trip to Milford Foreshore Walk in Milford (about 1h 15 min away). On the 15th (Wed), hike the day away at Routeburn Track. There's still lots to do: contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound, trek along Lake Gunn, tour the pleasant surroundings at The Chasm Walk, and identify plant and animal life at Doubtful Sound.

Find out how to plan Te Anau trip without stress by asking Inspirock to help create an itinerary.

Explore your travel options from Mt. Cook Village to Te Anau with the Route module. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) to allow time to take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Fiordland National Park, Milford Foreshore Walk, Routeburn Track
Find places to stay Jan 10 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound
Hollyford Track ©
Hollyford Track

5
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.
Queenstown is known for fun & games, adventure, wildlife, nature, and spas. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown, see Off-Road Tours, have fun at Break One, and take a memorable tour with Tours.

For reviews, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Queenstown trip itinerary planner.

You can take a bus from Te Anau to Queenstown in 3.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Mon) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours Outdoors Fun & Games
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Zipline

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