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: Sydney
Fly:  8​h 15​min
1
Kerikeri
— 5 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
2
Russell
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
3
Auckland
— 5 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
4
Rotorua
— 6 nights
Fly:  3​h
5
Wellington
— 5 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
6
Picton
— 1 night
Fly:  4​h 15​min
7
Christchurch
— 5 nights
Drive:  3​h
8
Lake Tekapo
— 5 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
9
Dunedin
— 3 nights
bus:  5​h 15​min
10
Te Anau
— 6 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
11
Glenorchy
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h
12
Queenstown
— 6 nights
Fly:  5​h 45​min
End: Sydney

5
nights
Kerikeri

Kerikeri ©
Kerikeri, the largest town in Northland New Zealand, is a popular tourist destination about three hours drive north of Auckland, and 80 km north of the northern region's largest city, Whangarei. Step out of Kerikeri to go to Kaikohe and see The Northland Firehouse Museum Trust, which is approximately 30 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: take in nature's colorful creations at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, look for all kinds of wild species at Paihia Harbour, and contemplate the long history of Akeake Historic Reserve Track.

Take the guesswork out of planning a Kerikeri vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

Sydney, Australia to Kerikeri is an approximately 8.5-hour flight. You can also drive. Traveling from Sydney to Kerikeri, you'll lose 2 hours due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) so you can drive to Russell.

Things to do in Kerikeri

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Paihia, Kaikohe
Find places to stay Sep 7 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Spas
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour

4
nights
Russell

Russell ©
Russell, formerly known as Kororāreka, was the first permanent European settlement and sea port in New Zealand. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Russell: Paihia (Urupukapuka Island, Waitangi Golf Club, & more). And it doesn't end there: steep yourself in history at Pompallier Mission and Printery, kick back and relax at Oneroa Bay, learn about winemaking at Omata Estate, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

For reviews, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Russell trip itinerary planner.

Drive from Kerikeri to Russell in 1.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Auckland.

Things to do in Russell

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trip

Paihia
Find places to stay Sep 12 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Urupukapuka Island ©
Urupukapuka Island
Waitangi Golf Club ©
Waitangi Golf Club
St Paul's Anglican Church ©
St Paul's Anglican Church

5
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 out of town with these interesting Auckland side-trips: Waiheke Island (Wine Tours & Tastings & Connells Bay Sculpture Park). The adventure continues: take in panoramic vistas at Sky Tower, get to know the resident critters at Auckland Zoo, contemplate the geological forces at Mount Eden, and test your team's savvy at popular escape rooms.

For maps, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, use the Auckland tour planner .

You can drive from Russell to Auckland in 4 hours. In September in Auckland, expect temperatures between 15°C during the day and 15°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Sat) early enough to go by car to Rotorua.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Nature Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Waiheke Island
Find places to stay Sep 16 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Auckland War Memorial Museum ©
Auckland War Memorial Museum
Wine Tours & Tastings

6
nights
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.
Step out of Rotorua to go to Hamilton and see Hamilton Gardens, which is approximately 1h 25 min away. There's still lots to do: take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, look for all kinds of wild species at Rainbow Springs Nature Park, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and take a peaceful walk through Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest.

To find where to stay, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Rotorua trip planner .

Getting from Auckland to Rotorua by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a bus; or fly. Traveling from Auckland in September, expect nights in Rotorua to be slightly colder, around 10°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 19°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) early enough to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Whakaari White Island Volcano, Hamilton Gardens
Find places to stay Sep 21 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Horseback Riding Tours
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Zipline

5
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 the numerous day-trip ideas around Wellington: Southward Car Museum (in Paraparaumu) and Kereru Brewing Company (in Upper Hutt). Next up on the itinerary: examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, look for all kinds of wild species at ZEALANDIA Sanctuary, explore the striking landscape at Pinnacles Track, and take an in-depth tour of The Great War Exhibition.

To see photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Wellington trip itinerary builder tool .

You can fly from Rotorua to Wellington in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. In September in Wellington, expect temperatures between 16°C during the day and 10°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Wed) so you can go by car to Picton.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks Museums Wildlife

Side Trips

Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Wainui Lookout, Kapiti Island, Tonga Island Marine Reserve, Wellington Botanic Garden
Find places to stay Sep 27 — Oct 2:
Highlights from your plan
The Great War Exhibition ©
The Great War Exhibition
Wellington Cable Car ©
Wellington Cable Car

1
night
Picton

Picton ©
Take photo after stunning photo in Picton, the gateway to South Island.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Thu): see the interesting displays at The National Whale Centre, then do a tasting at Framingham Wines, and then explore the activities along Marlborough Sounds.

For maps, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Picton trip itinerary maker site .

Drive from Wellington to Picton in 3.5 hours. In October in Picton, expect temperatures between 19°C during the day and 11°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Thu) so you can travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Picton

Nature Parks Wineries

Side Trip

Framingham Wines
Find places to stay Oct 2 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Marlborough Sounds ©
Marlborough Sounds
Framingham Wines ©
Framingham Wines

5
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: Hanmer Springs (Hanmer Springs Adventure Centre & Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa), Charles Upham VC Statue (in Amberley) and Akaroa (Blue Pearls Gallery & Dolphin & Whale Watching). The adventure continues: admire the natural beauty at Christchurch Botanic Gardens, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Cardboard Cathedral, catch a ride on TranzAlpine Train, and enjoy some diversion at Margaret Mahy Family Playground.

To find photos, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Christchurch online visit planner .

You can fly from Picton to Christchurch in 4.5 hours. Other options are to take a train; or drive. Plan for a bit cooler nights when traveling from Picton in October since evenings lows in Christchurch dip to 6°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Lake Tekapo.

Things to do in Christchurch

Parks Tours Outdoors

Side Trips

Hanmer Springs, Akaroa, Ohinetahi Garden, Charles Upham VC Statue
Find places to stay Oct 3 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Christchurch Botanic Gardens ©
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
TranzAlpine Train ©
TranzAlpine Train

5
nights
Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo ©
Located in a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo offers evenings of stargazing and days of long walks.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Lake Tekapo: New Zealand Alpine Lavender Farm (in Pukaki) and Mt. Cook Village (Aoraki/Mt. Cook, Mueller Hut Route, & more). And it doesn't end there: hike along Hooker Valley Track, tour the pleasant surroundings at Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier walks, don't miss a visit to Mount Cook Alpine Memorial, and explore the activities along Lake Tekapo.

To see ratings, maps, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Lake Tekapo trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Dunedin.

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Mt. Cook Village, New Zealand Alpine Lavender Farm
Find places to stay Oct 8 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook
Mueller Hut Route ©
Mueller Hut Route
Sealy Tarns Track ©
Sealy Tarns Track

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.
Dunedin is known for historic sites, wildlife, museums, nature, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: see the interesting displays at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, steep yourself in history at Olveston Historic Home, explore the striking landscape at Otago Peninsula, and cast your line with a fishing tour.

To find photos, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Dunedin driving holiday planner.

Traveling by car from Lake Tekapo to Dunedin takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, bus, and train; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Wed) early enough to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Dunedin

Wildlife Parks Museums
Find places to stay Oct 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
The Royal Albatross Centre ©
The Royal Albatross Centre
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum ©
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum
Larnach Castle & Gardens ©
Larnach Castle & Gardens

6
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.
Step out of Te Anau to go to Milford Sound and see Bowen Falls, which is approximately 1h 05 min away. On the 19th (Sat), hike the day away at Dusky Track. Next up on the itinerary: explore the activities along Milford Sound, get outside with Bushbash - Day Wilderness Expeditions, identify plant and animal life at Doubtful Sound, and explore the landscape on two wheels at Lake 2 Lake Trail.

For maps, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Te Anau trip planner .

Getting from Dunedin to Te Anau by bus takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Glenorchy.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Fiordland National Park, Bowen Falls
Find places to stay Oct 16 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound
Gertrude Saddle ©
Gertrude Saddle

3
nights
Glenorchy

Glenorchy ©
Glenorchy is a small settlement at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu in the South Island region of Otago, New Zealand. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Glenorchy: Milford Foreshore Walk (in Milford) and Milford Sound (Humboldt Falls, Milford sound Hwy, & more). There's much more to do: trek along Hollyford Track, tour the pleasant surroundings at Lake Gunn, and experience rural life at Glenorchy Animal Experience.

To find traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Glenorchy trip planner .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Te Anau to Glenorchy. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Queenstown.

Things to do in Glenorchy

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trips

Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park, Milford Foreshore Walk
Find places to stay Oct 22 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Hollyford Track ©
Hollyford Track
Lake Marian Track ©
Lake Marian Track
Lake Gunn ©
Lake Gunn

6
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, spas, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, take a memorable tour with Tours, hit the slopes at Coronet Peak, and kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

For photos, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Queenstown trip planner .

Getting from Glenorchy to Queenstown by car takes about an hour. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Parks Tours
Find places to stay Oct 25 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Coronet Peak ©
Coronet Peak
The Remarkables Ski Area ©
The Remarkables Ski Area

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