48 days in New Zealand Itinerary

48 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

48 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Wellington
1
Wellington
— 3 nights
Fly:  4​h
2
Hokitika
— 4 nights
Fly:  2​h 15​min
3
Christchurch
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
4
Akaroa
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
5
Kaikoura
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h 15​min
6
Oamaru
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
7
Dunedin
— 4 nights
bus:  5​h 15​min
8
Te Anau
— 3 nights
bus:  3​h 15​min
9
Queenstown
— 5 nights
bus:  2​h 30​min
10
Wanaka
— 4 nights
bus + Fly:  5​h 15​min
11
Paihia
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
12
Auckland
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
13
Rotorua
— 5 nights
Fly:  3​h
End: Wellington

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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Queen Charlotte Track and Wine Tours & Tastings. Get a sense of the local culture at Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre and Old St Paul's. When in Wellington, make a side trip to see Marlborough Sounds in Picton, approximately 1h 15 min away. There's lots more to do: get engrossed in the history at Wellington Museum, learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Wellington Zoo, contemplate the waterfront views at Oriental Bay, and enjoy some diversion at ASB Sports Centre.

For photos, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Wellington travel route tool .

The Route module shows you travel options from your home to Wellington. In April, daily temperatures in Wellington can reach 20°C, while at night they dip to 14°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Wed) early enough to travel to Hokitika.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Blenheim, Picton
Find places to stay Apr 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Queen Charlotte Track ©
Queen Charlotte Track
Marlborough Sounds ©
Marlborough Sounds
Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre ©
Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre

4
nights
Hokitika

Hokitika ©
Hokitika is a township in the West Coast region of New Zealand's South Island, 40km south of Greymouth, and close to the mouth of the Hokitika River. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Hokitika Gorge Walk and Hokitika Beach. Get some cultural insight at Arthur's Pass Chapel and Wilderness Gallery. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Hokitika: Punakaiki (Pororari River Track & Pancake Rocks and Blowholes Walk), Greymouth (St Patrick's Parish & Point Elizabeth Walkway) and Coal Creek Track (in Runanga). There's still lots to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Lake Kaniere, get outside with Glow Worm Dell, pause for some serene contemplation at St Mary's Catholic Church, and take in the exciting artwork at Hokitika Craft Gallery Co-op.

For photos, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Hokitika online trip builder .

Traveling by flight from Wellington to Hokitika takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Sun) early enough to travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Hokitika

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Greymouth, Punakaiki, Coal Creek Track, Arthur's Pass Chapel
Find places to stay Apr 17 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Hokitika Beach ©
Hokitika Beach
Lake Kaniere ©
Lake Kaniere
Glow Worm Dell ©
Glow Worm Dell

4
nights
Christchurch

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Quake City and 185 Empty White Chairs - Earthquake Memorial. Get a sense of the local culture at Air Force Museum and Riccarton House & Bush. Step out of Christchurch with an excursion to Cave Stream Scenic Reserve in Castle Hill--about 1h 40 min away. On the 23rd (Tue), spend a relaxing day on the river with a rafting and tubing tour. There's lots more to do: let little ones run wild at Margaret Mahy Family Playground, explore the world behind art at Christchurch Art Gallery (Te Puna o Waiwhetu), explore the activities along Avon River, and stroll through Orana Wildlife Park.

To find ratings, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Christchurch trip planner .

Fly from Hokitika to Christchurch in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 20°C in April, and nighttime lows around 8°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Akaroa.

Things to do in Christchurch

Parks Adventure Tours

Side Trips

Kura Tawhiti Conservation Area, Cave Stream Scenic Reserve
Find places to stay Apr 21 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Riccarton House & Bush ©
Riccarton House & Bush
Avon River ©
Avon River

2
nights
Akaroa

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 26th (Fri): pause for some serene contemplation at Saint Peter's Anglican Church, admire all the interesting features of The Giant's House, paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour, then take in the exciting artwork at Lava gallery, and finally get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour. Here are some ideas for day two: look for all kinds of wild species at Hinewai Reserve, don't miss a visit to Orion Powerhouse Gallery, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Catholic St. Patrick's Akaroa, and finally get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Akaroa trip itinerary planning site .

You can drive from Christchurch to Akaroa in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. April in Akaroa sees daily highs of 20°C and lows of 8°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Sat) so you can drive to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Akaroa

Tours Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay Apr 25 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Hinewai Reserve ©
Hinewai Reserve
Kayaking & Canoeing
Saint Peter's Anglican Church ©
Saint Peter's Anglican Church

2
nights
Kaikoura

Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Sun): see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, then hike along Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Ohau Stream Walk, and finally have fun at The Emporium. On your second day here, surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, don't miss a visit to Ohau Point Seal Colony, then identify plant and animal life at Peninsula Seal Colony, then see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, and finally take in the exciting artwork at Art & Design Gallery.

To see traveler tips, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Kaikoura trip itinerary maker app .

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. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Mon) so you can go by car to Oamaru.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Outdoors Wildlife Parks
Find places to stay Apr 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Peninsula Seal Colony ©
Peninsula Seal Colony
Nature & Wildlife Tours

3
nights
Oamaru

Oamaru ©
Hayes Engineering Works & Homestead (inc Cafe) and Totara Estate are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Discover out-of-the-way places like Steampunk HQ and EnkleDooVery Korna. Venture out of the city with trips to The Vanished World Centre (in Duntroon), Katiki Point Lighthouse (in Moeraki) and Shag Point Nature Reserve (in Palmerston).

To see ratings, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Oamaru trip planner .

Getting from Kaikoura to Oamaru by car takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) so you can drive to Dunedin.

Things to do in Oamaru

Museums Wildlife Parks

Side Trips

Naseby, Hayes Engineering Works & Homestead (inc Cafe), EnkleDooVery Korna, Shag Point Nature Reserve, Katiki Point Lighthouse
Find places to stay Apr 29 — May 3:
Highlights from your plan
Katiki Point Lighthouse ©
Katiki Point Lighthouse
Whitestone City ©
Whitestone City

4
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.
Nugget Point/Tokata Walks and Nugget Point Lighthouse will appeal to history buffs. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Olveston Historic Home and Otago Museum. Step out of Dunedin with an excursion to Cannibal Bay in Owaka--about 2 hours away. There's much more to do: identify plant and animal life at Penguin Place, take in the architecture and atmosphere at First Church of Otago, contemplate the long history of Iona Church, and sample the tasty concoctions at Speight’s Brewery.

To see photos, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Dunedin trip planner .

Traveling by car from Oamaru to Dunedin takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) to allow enough time to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Dunedin

Parks Historic Sites Wildlife

Side Trips

Nugget Point Lighthouse, Cannibal Bay, Iona Church, Nugget Point/Tokata Walks
Find places to stay May 3 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
First Church of Otago ©
First Church of Otago
Nugget Point Lighthouse ©
Nugget Point Lighthouse
Orokonui Ecosanctuary ©
Orokonui Ecosanctuary

3
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Routeburn Track and Kayaking & Canoeing. Spend the 9th (Thu) exploring nature at Fiordland National Park (Te Wahipounamu). On the 11th (Sat), hike the day away at Kepler Track. There's still lots to do: explore the activities along Lake Te Anau and identify plant and animal life at Ivan Wilson Park.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Te Anau itinerary planner.

Traveling by bus from Dunedin to Te Anau takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Sat) early enough to take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Kayaking & Canoeing, Routeburn Track
Find places to stay May 7 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Routeburn Track ©
Routeburn Track
Kepler Track ©
Kepler Track
Kayaking & Canoeing

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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Arrowtown Chinese Settlement and Queenstown Arts Centre. Discover out-of-the-way places like Safaris and Queenstown Hill. The adventure continues: take a memorable drive along Glenorchy-Queenstown Road, see the world from above with a helicopter tour, get your game on at Fear Factory Queenstown, and take the plunge with a skydiving experience.

To find traveler tips, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Queenstown road trip tool .

Take a bus from Te Anau to Queenstown in 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Thu) early enough to take a bus to Wanaka.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Arrowtown, Little Paradise Dream Garden
Find places to stay May 11 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Arrowtown Chinese Settlement ©
Arrowtown Chinese Settlement
Thrillzone ©
Thrillzone
Lakes District Museum & Art Gallery ©

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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Roys Peak Track and Wanaka. Spend the 19th (Sun) on the water with a fishing tour. There's much more to do: get your game on at Puzzling World, hike along Rob Roy Track, take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, and stroll through Mount Iron Track.

To find reviews, photos, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Wanaka day trip planner.

Getting from Queenstown to Wanaka by bus takes about 2.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Mon) so you can travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay May 16 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Fishing Charters & Tours
Horseback Riding Tours
Roys Peak Track ©
Roys Peak Track

1
night
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.
On the 21st (Tue), glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour, look for all kinds of wild species at Paihia Harbour, see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, then contemplate the long history of The Stone Store & Kemp House - Kerikeri Mission Station, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at St James Anglican Church. On the 22nd (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas, stop by Paihia Bookshop, then steep yourself in history at Pompallier Mission and Printery, then pause for some serene contemplation at Christ Church, and finally contemplate the long history of Flagstaff Hill Historic Reserve.

For traveler tips, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Paihia tour planner.

Traveling by flight from Wanaka to Paihia takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of ferry and car. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Wed) early enough to drive to Auckland.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife Tours Outdoors

Side Trips

Russell, Kerikeri
Find places to stay May 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Parasailing & Paragliding
Scuba & Snorkeling
Christ Church ©
Christ Church

4
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.
Get some cultural insight at New Zealand Maritime Museum and Howick Historical Village. Discover out-of-the-way places like Tiritiri Matangi Island and Room Escape Games. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Auckland: Muriwai Gannet Colony (in Muriwai Beach), Wine Tours & Tastings (in Waiheke Island) and Piha Beach (in Piha). And it doesn't end there: get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, trek along Brick Bay Sculpture Trail, cruise along Waitakere Ranges, and identify plant and animal life at Goat Island Marine Reserve.

To find reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Auckland trip itinerary maker app .

You can drive from Paihia to Auckland in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. In May, plan for daily highs up to 18°C, and evening lows to 18°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Rotorua.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Piha, Muriwai Gannet Colony, Goat Island Marine Reserve, Wine Tours & Tastings, Brick Bay Sculpture Trail
Find places to stay May 22 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Muriwai Gannet Colony ©
Muriwai Gannet Colony
Goat Island Marine Reserve ©
Goat Island Marine Reserve
Brick Bay Sculpture Trail ©
Brick Bay Sculpture Trail

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 River Rafting & Tubing and Horseback Riding Tours. Visit Government Gardens and Buried Village of Te Wairoa for their historical value. Change things up with these side-trips from Rotorua: Aratiatia Rapids (in Taupo) and Mt Maunganui Main Beach (in Mount Maunganui). There's much more to do: get impressive views of Waimangu Volcanic Valley, admire all the interesting features of Agrodome, take in the natural beauty of Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park, and have some family-friendly fun at OGO Rotorua.

For photos, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Rotorua driving holiday planner .

Getting from Auckland to Rotorua by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a bus; or fly. Expect a bit cooler evenings in Rotorua when traveling from Auckland in May, with lows around 11°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Fri) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Mt Maunganui Main Beach, River Rafting & Tubing, Waimangu Volcanic Valley, Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave, Aratiatia Rapids
Find places to stay May 26 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Blue Lake Track ©
Blue Lake Track
St Michael's Catholic Church ©
St Michael's Catholic Church
Helium Gallery ©
Helium Gallery

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