27 days in New Zealand Itinerary

27 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand trip planner

This plan was created by another user. Make it your plan

Route & dates

Start: Christchurch
1
Christchurch
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h
2
Lake Tekapo
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h
3
Arrowtown
— Few hours
Drive:  30 min
4
Queenstown
— 5 nights
Bus:  2 h 30 min
5
Wanaka
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h 30 min
6
Haast
— Few hours
Drive:  3 h 45 min
7
Hokitika
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h
8
Christchurch
— 1 night
Bus:  3 h
9
Kaikoura
— 1 day
Bus:  2 h 30 min
10
Picton
— Few hours
Drive:  3 h 30 min
11
Wellington
— 2 nights
Drive:  4 h 30 min
12
Tongariro National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  1 h 45 min
13
Taupo
— 1 day
Drive:  1 h 15 min
14
Rotorua
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h 45 min
15
Auckland
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h 30 min
16
Thames
— 1 night
Drive:  1 h 30 min
17
Whitianga
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h 45 min
18
Auckland
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h
19
Paihia
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h
20
Auckland
— 1 night
End: Auckland

1
night
Christchurch

Christchurch ©
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Start off your visit on the 27th (Sun): see the interesting displays at International Antarctic Centre, take an in-depth tour of Canterbury Museum, then walk around Christchurch Botanic Gardens, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at Cardboard Cathedral.

For reviews, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Christchurch driving holiday planner.

If you are flying in from Australia, the closest major aiport is Christchurch International Airport. In December, plan for daily highs up to 24°C, and evening lows to 12°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Mon) early enough to drive to Lake Tekapo.

Things to do in Christchurch

Museums Parks Historic Sites
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Canterbury Museum ©
Canterbury Museum
Christchurch Botanic Gardens ©
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
International Antarctic Centre ©
International Antarctic Centre

1
night
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 28th (Mon): view the masterpieces at Burkes Pass Gallery, take in panoramic vistas at Mount John University Observatory, then pause for some serene contemplation at The Church of the Good Shepherd, and finally contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Tekapo.

Start your trip to Lake Tekapo by creating a personalized itinerary on Inspirock.

Getting from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Arrowtown.

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Parks Historic Sites Nature

Side Trip

Burkes Pass Gallery
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo
Mount John University Observatory ©
Mount John University Observatory
The Church of the Good Shepherd ©
The Church of the Good Shepherd

few
hours
Arrowtown

Arrowtown ©
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Tue): take in the exciting artwork at Lakes District Museum & Art Gallery, look for gifts at Old Fashioned Costume Photography, and then get outside with Arrowtown Village.

For ratings, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Arrowtown road trip site.

Drive from Lake Tekapo to Arrowtown in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 29th (Tue) to allow time for the car ride to Queenstown.

Things to do in Arrowtown

Shopping Outdoors Museums
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Lakes District Museum & Art Gallery ©
Lakes District Museum & Art Gallery
Arrowtown Village ©
Arrowtown Village

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, and wildlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, trek along Ben Lomond Track, and take in nature's colorful creations at Queenstown Gardens.

Plan my trip to Queenstown with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.

Queenstown is very close to Arrowtown. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sun) early enough to catch the bus to Wanaka.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Dec 29 — Jan 3:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Queenstown Gardens ©
Queenstown Gardens
Peregrine Wines ©
Peregrine Wines

2
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.
On the 3rd (Sun), take a memorable tour with Tours and then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Wanaka. Here are some ideas for day two: pause for some photo ops at Wanaka War Memorial and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Roys Peak Track.

For more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Wanaka tour site.

Traveling by bus from Queenstown to Wanaka takes 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Haast.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors Parks Trails
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours
Lake Wanaka ©
Lake Wanaka
Roys Peak Track ©
Roys Peak Track

few
hours
Haast

Haast
Haast is an area in the Westland District territorial authority on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island. Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your Haast trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Wanaka to Haast. On the 5th (Tue), you're off to Hokitika.

Things to do in Haast

Parks Outdoors Tours
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 6:

1
night
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. On the 5th (Tue), look for all kinds of wild species at Westcoast Treetop Walk & Cafe, tour the pleasant surroundings at Hokitika Beach, then take in the exciting artwork at Wilderness Gallery, then take in the exciting artwork at Hokitika Craft Gallery, and finally look for all kinds of wild species at Hokitika Gorge Walk.

For reviews, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Hokitika road trip planning app.

Getting from Haast to Hokitika by car takes about 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Hokitika

Parks Beaches Historic Sites

Side Trip

Greymouth
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Wilderness Gallery ©
Wilderness Gallery
Shantytown Heritage Park ©
Shantytown Heritage Park
Hokitika Beach ©
Hokitika Beach

1
night
Christchurch

Christchurch
To plan Christchurch vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

Traveling by flight from Hokitika to Christchurch takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. On the 7th (Thu), you'll travel to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Christchurch

Tours Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 7:

1
day
Kaikoura

Kaikoura ©
Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Thu): hike along Ohau Stream Walk and then stroll through Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway.

For photos, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Kaikoura attractions planner.

Getting from Christchurch to Kaikoura by bus takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a train; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Thu) early enough to take a bus to Picton.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Trails Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway ©
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway
Ohau Stream Walk ©
Ohau Stream Walk

few
hours
Picton

Picton
Take photo after stunning photo in Picton, the gateway to South Island.
To find photos, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, read Picton trip itinerary tool.

You can take a bus from Kaikoura to Picton in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 24°C in January, and nighttime lows around 17°C. You'll set off for Wellington on the 7th (Thu).

Things to do in Picton

Tours Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 8:

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Fri): admire the natural beauty at Wellington Botanic Garden, then get a sense of history and politics at New Zealand Parliament, then catch a ride on Wellington Cable Car, and finally examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take an in-depth tour of Wellington Museum, then take an in-depth tour of The Great War Exhibition, and then look for all kinds of wild species at ZEALANDIA Sanctuary.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Wellington trip itinerary planner.

Drive from Picton to Wellington in 3.5 hours. In January, plan for daily highs up to 24°C, and evening lows to 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

Wellington Botanic Garden
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
ZEALANDIA Sanctuary ©
ZEALANDIA Sanctuary
Wellington Botanic Garden ©
Wellington Botanic Garden

1
night
Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park ©
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
On the 10th (Sun), take in the dramatic scenery at Tawhai Falls, trek along Tongariro Alpine Crossing, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Taranaki Falls.

To find ratings, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Tongariro National Park trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by combination of flight and taxi from Wellington to Tongariro National Park takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Mon) so you can go by car to Taupo.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Parks Trails Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 10 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Taranaki Falls ©
Taranaki Falls
Tawhai Falls ©
Tawhai Falls

1
day
Taupo

The resort town of Taupo lies on the banks of Lake Taupo, the largest body of water in the whole of Australasia.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Mon): see the world from above with a helicopter tour and then push the limits with an extreme tour.

To see traveler tips, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Taupo trip planner.

Traveling by car from Tongariro National Park to Taupo takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of taxi and shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Mon) early enough to take a bus to Rotorua.

Things to do in Taupo

Tours Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Helicopter Tours

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Mon): identify plant and animal life at Redwoods Treewalk.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, read Rotorua trip itinerary tool.

Traveling by bus from Taupo to Rotorua takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive. January in Rotorua sees daily highs of 27°C and lows of 19°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Wed) so you can drive to Auckland.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Nature Adventure
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Te Puia ©
Te Puia
Redwoods Treewalk ©
Redwoods Treewalk

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Wed): get impressive views of Mount Eden, then brush up on your military savvy at Auckland Museum, then stop by Pauanesia, and finally don't miss a visit to SkyTower. Here are some ideas for day two: meet the residents at Auckland Zoo, then listen to music at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium, and then have some family-friendly fun at Virtual Reality Studio.

For traveler tips, ratings, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Auckland trip itinerary builder website.

You can drive from Rotorua to Auckland in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and flight. Traveling from Rotorua in January, you will find days in Auckland are a bit cooler (22°C), and nights are about the same (22°C). Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Thames.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Museums
Find places to stay Jan 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Auckland Zoo ©
Auckland Zoo
SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium ©
SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium

1
night
Thames

Thames ©
Thames is a town at the southwestern end of the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand's North Island. Kick off your visit on the 15th (Fri): discover the riches below the earth's surface at Goldmine Experience, then admire the natural beauty at RAPAURA Watergardens, then stop by Watercolor Studio Gallery, and finally take in the natural beauty of Miranda Hot Springs.

For reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Thames trip planner.

Getting from Auckland to Thames by car takes about 1.5 hours. While traveling from Auckland, expect a bit warmer days and little chillier nights in Thames, ranging from highs of 26°C to lows of 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Sat) early enough to drive to Whitianga.

Things to do in Thames

Parks Nature Shopping
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
RAPAURA Watergardens ©
RAPAURA Watergardens
Goldmine Experience ©
Goldmine Experience
Miranda Hot Springs ©
Miranda Hot Springs

1
night
Whitianga

Whitianga is a town on the Coromandel Peninsula, in the Waikato Region of New Zealand's North Island. Start off your visit on the 16th (Sat): make a trip to The Lost Spring and then take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

For traveler tips, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, read Whitianga trip maker app.

You can drive from Thames to Whitianga in 1.5 hours. In January, plan for daily highs up to 26°C, and evening lows to 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Auckland.

Things to do in Whitianga

Tours Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 16 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Boat Tours & Water Sports
The Lost Spring ©
The Lost Spring

1
night
Auckland

Auckland ©
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Sun): get impressive views of Mount Eden, brush up on your military savvy at Auckland Museum, then look for gifts at Pauanesia, and finally take in panoramic vistas at SkyTower.

For maps, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Auckland trip planner.

You can drive from Whitianga to Auckland in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. When traveling from Whitianga in January, plan for a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Auckland: temperatures range from 22°C by day to 22°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Paihia.

Things to do in Auckland

Museums Parks Nature
Find places to stay Jan 17 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Mount Eden ©
Mount Eden
Auckland Museum ©
Auckland Museum

3
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.
When in Paihia, make a side trip to see Manginangina Kauri Walk in Kerikeri, approximately Kerikeri away. And it doesn't end there: admire all the interesting features of Waitangi Treaty Grounds, identify plant and animal life at Paihia Harbour, steep yourself in history at KeriKeri New Zealand, and get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

For where to stay, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Paihia trip itinerary maker.

Drive from Auckland to Paihia in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Thu) so you can go by car to Auckland.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Kerikeri, Haruru Falls
Find places to stay Jan 18 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour

1
night
Auckland

Auckland ©
Start off your visit on the 21st (Thu): contemplate the geological forces at Mount Eden, brush up on your military savvy at Auckland Museum, then stop by Pauanesia, and finally make a trip to SkyTower.

To find out how to plan a trip to Auckland, use our trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by car from Paihia to Auckland takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. On the 22nd (Fri), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in Auckland

Museums Parks Nature
Find places to stay Jan 21 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Mount Eden ©
Mount Eden
Auckland Museum ©
Auckland Museum

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