59 days in New Zealand Itinerary

59 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island itinerary planner

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Route & dates

59 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Christchurch
1
Christchurch
— 12 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
Akaroa
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
3
Lake Tekapo
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h
4
Mt. Cook Village
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
5
Dunedin
— 2 nights
bus:  5​h 15​min
6
Te Anau
— 1 night
bus:  3​h 15​min
7
Queenstown
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
8
Fox Glacier
— 3 nights
Drive:  30​min
9
Franz Josef
— 17 nights
Drive:  7​h 15​min
10
Abel Tasman National Park
— 8 nights
bus:  4​h 45​min
11
Picton
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h 15​min
12
Hokitika
— 3 nights
Fly:  2​h 15​min
End: Christchurch

12
nights
Christchurch

Christchurch ©
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Christchurch is known for parks, museums, historic sites, zoos & aquariums, and shopping. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take in nature's colorful creations at Christchurch Botanic Gardens, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, take an in-depth tour of Canterbury Museum, and catch a ride on TranzAlpine Train.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Christchurch trip itinerary site .

If you are flying in from Singapore, the closest major airport is Christchurch International Airport. In December, daytime highs in Christchurch are 24°C, while nighttime lows are 12°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Akaroa.

Things to do in Christchurch

Parks Outdoors Tours

Side Trip

Ohinetahi Garden
Find places to stay Dec 7 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Christchurch Botanic Gardens ©
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
Canterbury Museum ©
Canterbury Museum
International Antarctic Centre ©
International Antarctic Centre

2
nights
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 20th (Sun): add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, then fulfill a lifelong dream with a swim-with-the-dolphins experience, and then get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 21st (Mon): stop by Little River Gallery, then look for all kinds of wild species at Hinewai Reserve, then take in nature's colorful creations at The Giants House, and finally admire the natural beauty at The Garden at French Farm.

To see photos, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, read Akaroa trip planner .

Traveling by car from Christchurch to Akaroa takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In December in Akaroa, expect temperatures between 24°C during the day and 12°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Mon) so you can go by car to Lake Tekapo.

Things to do in Akaroa

Wildlife Tours Outdoors

Side Trip

Little River Gallery
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Swim with Dolphins
Kayaking & Canoeing

2
nights
Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo
Located in a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo offers evenings of stargazing and days of long walks.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Tue): identify plant and animal life at Gem Alpaca Stud, then pause for some photo ops at Mackenzie Sheep Dog Statue, then take in the pleasant sights at Mount John University Observatory, and finally explore the activities along Lake Tekapo. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stroll through Mount John Summit Circuit Track, see Off-Road Tours, and then pause for some serene contemplation at The Church of the Good Shepherd.

Plan a Lake Tekapo trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

Drive from Akaroa to Lake Tekapo in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Wed) to allow time to drive to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trip

Gem Alpaca Stud
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo
Gem Alpaca Stud ©
Gem Alpaca Stud
Off-Road Tours

2
nights
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Thu): get outside with Aoraki/Mt. Cook, stroll through Hooker Valley Track, and then stroll through Kea Point Track. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 25th (Fri): explore the activities along Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier walks, then see the sky in a new way at Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, and then explore the activities along Lake Pukaki.

For more things to do, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, read Mt. Cook Village trip builder .

You can drive from Lake Tekapo to Mt. Cook Village in an hour. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Fri) so you can travel to Dunedin.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Lake Pukaki
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Kea Point Track ©
Kea Point Track

2
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.
On the 26th (Sat), explore the striking landscape at Otago Peninsula, then look for all kinds of wild species at The Royal Albatross Centre, and then take some stellar pictures from Flagstaff lookout and Hotere Garden. Here are some ideas for day two: get curious at Otago Museum, see the interesting displays at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, and then step into the grandiose world of Larnach Castle & Gardens.

To find maps, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Dunedin tour planner.

You can drive from Mt. Cook Village to Dunedin in 4 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Sun) early enough to catcht the bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Dunedin

Wildlife Parks Museums
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
The Royal Albatross Centre ©
The Royal Albatross Centre
Otago Peninsula ©
Otago Peninsula
Otago Museum ©
Otago Museum

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Mon): tour the pleasant surroundings at Lake Gunn, then hike along The Chasm Walk, and then explore the activities along Milford Sound. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: Head underground at Te Anau Glowworm Caves and then explore the activities along Doubtful Sound.

For traveler tips, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Te Anau trip planner .

Traveling by bus from Dunedin to Te Anau takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Tue) so you can take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

Lake Gunn
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound
Te Anau Glowworm Caves ©
Te Anau Glowworm Caves

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 30th (Wed): look for all kinds of wild species at Kiwi Birdlife Park, then get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, and then whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks. Keep things going the next day: get some thrills on the water with a speed boat tour, then get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, and then glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour.

For traveler tips and other tourist information, you can read our Queenstown trip builder tool .

You can take a bus from Te Anau to Queenstown in 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Thu) early enough to drive to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours Outdoors Adventure
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Zipline
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours

3
nights
Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier ©
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
On the 1st (Fri), explore the striking landscape of Fox Glacier, trek along Fox Glacier Te Moeka o Tuawe Valley Walk, and then explore the activities along Lake Matheson Walk. On the next day, enjoy the sand and surf at Gillespies Beach, then trek along Moraine Walk, and then take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour.

To find where to stay, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Fox Glacier trip builder website .

Getting from Queenstown to Fox Glacier by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. On the 3rd (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Franz Josef.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 3:
Highlights from your plan
Fox Glacier ©
Fox Glacier
Gillespies Beach ©
Gillespies Beach
Fox Glacier South Side Walk ©
Fox Glacier South Side Walk

17
nights
Franz Josef

Franz Josef ©
Located in the World Heritage Site that is home to its eponymous glacier, the town of Franz Josef provides a comfortable and welcoming rest spot for adventurers after a long day out on the ice.
Change things up with these side-trips from Franz Josef: Okarito (Okarito Lagoon & Okarito Trig Walk and Three Mile Lagoon), Harihari (Farwest Farm Tours & Harihari Coastal Walkway) and Petr Hlavacek Gallery (in Whataroa). Next up on the itinerary: tour the pleasant surroundings at Franz Josef Glacier, explore the activities along Lake Mapourika, see the world from above with a helicopter tour, and look for all kinds of wild species at West Coast Wildlife Centre.

To find reviews, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Franz Josef day trip planning tool .

Franz Josef is very close to Fox Glacier. You'll set off for Abel Tasman National Park on the 20th (Wed).

Things to do in Franz Josef

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trips

Harihari, Okarito, Petr Hlavacek Gallery
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier
Roberts Point Track ©
Roberts Point Track
West Coast Wildlife Centre ©
West Coast Wildlife Centre

8
nights
Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park ©
Pristine blue water, immaculate white sand, and a thick, temperate rainforest make Abel Tasman National Park a natural jewel on the northern coast of Tasmania's South Island.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Abel Tasman National Park: Takaka (Pupu Hydro Walkway, Anatoki Salmon, & more), Wharariki Beach Walking Track (in Puponga) and Heaphy Track (in Kahurangi National Park). The adventure continues: hike along Abel Tasman Coast Track, get outside with u-fly extreme, take in the local highlights with Walking tours, and Head underground at Ngarua Caves.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Abel Tasman National Park travel tool .

Explore your travel options from Franz Josef to Abel Tasman National Park with the Route module. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 28th (Thu) to allow enough time to take a bus to Picton.

Things to do in Abel Tasman National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Takaka, Motueka, Kahurangi National Park, Kaiteriteri, The Grove Scenic Reserve
Find places to stay Jan 20 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Abel Tasman Coast Track ©
Abel Tasman Coast Track
Heaphy Track ©
Heaphy Track
Wainui Falls Track ©
Wainui Falls Track

3
nights
Picton

Picton ©
Take photo after stunning photo in Picton, the gateway to South Island.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Fri): trek along Queen Charlotte Track. On the 30th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: contemplate the waterfront views at Queen Charlotte Sound, contemplate the waterfront views at Marlborough Sounds, and then see the interesting displays at The National Whale Centre.

To see traveler tips, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Picton journey builder site .

Getting from Abel Tasman National Park to Picton by bus takes about 5 hours. In January, daytime highs in Picton are 24°C, while nighttime lows are 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 31st (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Hokitika.

Things to do in Picton

Parks Nature Trails
Find places to stay Jan 28 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Marlborough Sounds ©
Marlborough Sounds
Queen Charlotte Track ©
Queen Charlotte Track
Queen Charlotte Sound ©
Queen Charlotte Sound

3
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. Start off your visit on the 1st (Mon): contemplate the long history of Shantytown Heritage Park, tour the pleasant surroundings at Pancake Rocks and Blowholes Walk, then hike along Truman Track, and finally indulge your thirst for a good beer at Monteith's Brewing Company. On the next day, stroll through Hokitika Beach, then look for all kinds of wild species at Westcoast Treetop Walk & Cafe, then hike along Tunnel Terrace Walk, and finally look for all kinds of wild species at Lake Kaniere.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Hokitika holiday planning app .

Getting from Picton to Hokitika by car takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of train, bus, and flight. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 3rd (Wed) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Hokitika

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Punakaiki, Greymouth
Find places to stay Jan 31 — Feb 3:
Highlights from your plan
Pancake Rocks and Blowholes Walk ©
Truman Track ©
Truman Track
Hokitika Gorge Walk ©
Hokitika Gorge Walk

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