55 days in New Zealand Itinerary

55 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

55 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Bournemouth
+2
Train + Bus + Fly:  33 h
1
Paihia
— 4 nights
Drive:  3 h
2
Auckland
— 4 nights
Drive:  1 h 30 min
3
Hamilton
— 2 nights
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
— 4 nights
Fly:  3 h
8
Christchurch
— 4 nights
Drive:  5 h
9
Fox Glacier
— 5 nights
Drive:  5 h 30 min
10
Mt. Cook Village
— 4 nights
Drive:  3 h
11
Queenstown
— 5 nights
Bus:  3 h 15 min
12
Te Anau
— 7 nights
+2
Bus + Fly + Train:  35 h
End: Bournemouth

4
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.
Explore Paihia's surroundings by going to Russell (Pompallier Mission and Printery & Tapeka Point Track). And it doesn't end there: contemplate the long history of Waitangi Treaty Grounds, get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, get in on the family fun at Action World, and see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

To find other places to visit, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Paihia trip maker website .

Bournemouth, UK to Paihia is an approximately 33-hour combination of train and flight. You can also do a combination of train, flight, and bus. Traveling from Bournemouth to Paihia, you'll lose 12 hours due to the time zone difference. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sun) early enough to go by car to Auckland.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trip

Russell
Find places to stay Jan 29 — Feb 2:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Dolphin & Whale Watching

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.
When in Auckland, make a side trip to see Wine Tours & Tastings in Waiheke Island, approximately 1h 40 min away. There's much more to do: take in panoramic vistas at SkyTower, enjoy the sand and surf at Cheltenham Beach, stop by Pauanesia, and take an in-depth tour of Auckland War Memorial Museum.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Auckland road trip app .

Getting from Paihia to Auckland by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. In February, daily temperatures in Auckland can reach 26°C, while at night they dip to 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Thu) early enough to drive to Hamilton.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Nature Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Cheltenham Beach, Wine Tours & Tastings
Find places to stay Feb 2 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Auckland Museum ©
Auckland Museum
Wine Tours & Tastings

2
nights
Hamilton

Hamilton ©
On the banks of the Waikato River lies Hamilton, a pretty, active city on North Island.
On the 7th (Fri), take in nature's colorful creations at Hamilton Gardens, head outdoors with Raglan Rock, and then take in the dramatic scenery at Bridal Veil Falls. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 8th (Sat): experience rural life at Ruakura Berry Farm, don't miss a visit to Hobbiton Movie Set, and then take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour.

For where to stay, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Hamilton day trip planning app .

You can drive from Auckland to Hamilton in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Sat) early enough to take a bus to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Hamilton

Tours Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Raglan, Hobbiton Movie Set, Helicopter Tours
Find places to stay Feb 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Hobbiton Movie Set ©
Hobbiton Movie Set
Hamilton Gardens ©
Hamilton Gardens
Helicopter Tours

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: explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, snap pictures at Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk, get outside with Waitomo Clay Birds, and take a memorable tour with Tours.

To see photos, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Waitomo Caves online trip builder .

Getting from Hamilton to Waitomo Caves by bus takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: drive. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Tue) early enough to travel to Whakapapa.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Kapiti Island, Aranui Cave
Find places to stay Feb 8 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
River Rafting & Tubing
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk

4
nights
Whakapapa

Step out of Whakapapa with an excursion to River Rafting & Tubing in Turangi--about 34 minutes away.

For traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, read our Whakapapa day trip tool .

You can drive from Waitomo Caves to Whakapapa in 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sat) 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 Feb 11 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Ohakune Old Coach Road ©
Ohakune Old Coach Road

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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Taupo: Rotorua (Lady Knox Geyser, Horseback Riding Tours, & more). The adventure continues: take a memorable tour with Tours, admire the sheer force of Huka Falls Walkway, witness a stunning natural landmark at Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley, and make a trip to Aratiatia Rapids.

To find more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, read Taupo itinerary planning app .

Traveling by car from Whakapapa to Taupo takes 1.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Rotorua
Find places to stay Feb 15 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

4
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.
Explore Wellington's surroundings by going to Picton (Queen Charlotte Track & Marlborough Sounds). And it doesn't end there: see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, get a sense of history and politics at New Zealand Parliament, catch a ride on Wellington Cable Car, and get to know the resident critters at Wellington Zoo.

For ratings and more tourist information, you can read our Wellington trip builder website .

Fly from Taupo to Wellington in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and flight. In February, plan for daily highs up to 24°C, and evening lows to 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trips

Picton, Wellington Botanic Garden
Find places to stay Feb 20 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Queen Charlotte Track ©
Queen Charlotte Track
Wellington Botanic Garden ©
Wellington Botanic Garden

4
nights
Christchurch

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Explore Christchurch's surroundings by going to Geraldine Observatory (in Geraldine), Dolphin & Whale Watching (in Akaroa) and Little River Gallery (in Little River). There's lots more to do: take in nature's colorful creations at Christchurch Botanic Gardens, get around town with Christchurch Gondola, examine the collection at International Antarctic Centre, and take an in-depth tour of Canterbury Museum.

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

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. Traveling from Wellington in February, Christchurch is a bit cooler at night with lows of 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Christchurch

Tours Transportation Museums

Side Trips

Little River Gallery, Geraldine Observatory, Ohinetahi Garden, Dolphin & Whale Watching
Find places to stay Feb 24 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Christchurch Botanic Gardens ©
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
TranzAlpine Train ©
TranzAlpine Train

5
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 still lots to do: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Fox Glacier, explore the activities along Lake Matheson Walk, trek along Mount Fox Route, and stroll through Moraine Walk.

For ratings, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Fox Glacier vacation planner .

You can drive from Christchurch to Fox Glacier in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trip

Franz Josef
Find places to stay Feb 28 — Mar 4:
Highlights from your plan
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier
Fox Glacier South Side Walk ©
Fox Glacier South Side Walk
Gillespies Beach ©
Gillespies Beach

4
nights
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
Change things up with a short trip to Lake Tekapo in Lake Tekapo (about 58 minutes away). There's still lots to do: trek along Hooker Valley Track, stroll through Kea Point Track, see the sky in a new way at Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, and head outdoors with Aoraki/Mt. Cook.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Mt. Cook Village road trip app .

Traveling by car from Fox Glacier to Mt. Cook Village takes 5.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Sun) early enough to travel to Queenstown.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Lake Pukaki, Lake Tekapo
Find places to stay Mar 4 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook
Kea Point Track ©
Kea Point 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: get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, see Off-Road Tours, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and savor the flavors at Food & Drink.

To see more things to do, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Queenstown trip itinerary planner.

Drive from Mt. Cook Village to Queenstown in 3 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Fri) to allow time to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Tours Fun & Games
Find places to stay Mar 8 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Zipline

7
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 find plenty of places to visit near Te Anau: Milford Sound (Bowen Falls & Milford sound Hwy) and Milford Foreshore Walk (in Milford). On the 18th (Wed), hike the day away at Routeburn Track. There's lots more to do: explore the activities along Milford Sound, look for all kinds of wild species at Doubtful Sound, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and trek along Lake Marian Track.

Ask Inspirock to suggest an itinerary and make planning a trip to Te Anau fast, fun, and easy.

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

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound, Routeburn Track, Milford Foreshore Walk
Find places to stay Mar 13 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound
Hollyford Track ©
Hollyford Track

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