35 days in New Zealand Itinerary

35 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand itinerary planner

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Route & dates

35 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Brisbane
Fly:  6​h 45​min
1
Christchurch
— 2 nights
Drive:  6​h 15​min
2
Queenstown
— 4 nights
bus:  3​h 15​min
3
Te Anau
— 3 nights
bus:  6​h 30​min
4
Wanaka
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
5
Mt. Cook Village
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h
6
Lake Tekapo
— 1 night
Drive:  6​h
7
Franz Josef
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
8
Hokitika
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
9
Punakaiki
— 1 night
bus:  5​h 15​min
10
Abel Tasman National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  6​h 30​min
11
Whakapapa
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
12
Taupo
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h
13
Waimangu
— 2 nights
Drive:  30​min
14
Rotorua
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
15
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
16
Hahei
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
17
Auckland
— 3 nights
Fly:  6​h 45​min
End: Brisbane

2
nights
Christchurch

Christchurch ©
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Sun): pause for some photo ops at Chalice Sculpture, take in nature's colorful creations at Christchurch Botanic Gardens, and then catch a ride on TranzAlpine Train. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: see the interesting displays at International Antarctic Centre, get engrossed in the history at Canterbury Museum, then pause for some serene contemplation at Cardboard Cathedral, and finally get your game on at Velocity Karts.

To see more things to do, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Christchurch trip planner.

Brisbane, Australia to Christchurch is an approximately 7-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight. The time zone changes from Australian Eastern Standard Time (Queensland) to New Zealand Standard Time, which is usually a 2 hour difference. Prepare for slightly colder weather when traveling from Brisbane in December: high temperatures in Christchurch hover around 24°C and lows are around 12°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Queenstown.

Things to do in Christchurch

Tours Transportation Museums
Find places to stay Dec 7 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Velocity Karts ©
Velocity Karts
Christchurch Botanic Gardens ©
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
TranzAlpine Train ©
TranzAlpine Train

4
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, identify plant and animal life at Kiwi Birdlife Park, take in nature's colorful creations at Queenstown Garden, and get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To find more things to do, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Queenstown travel route planning tool .

You can fly from Christchurch to Queenstown in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Fri) early enough to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Tours Fun & Games
Find places to stay Dec 9 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Zipline

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.
Te Anau is known for nature, trails, nightlife, wildlife, and adventure. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: explore the activities along Milford Sound, trek along The Chasm Walk, identify plant and animal life at Doubtful Sound, and stroll through Lake Gunn.

To see traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Te Anau trip planner .

You can take a bus from Queenstown to Te Anau in 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Mon) to allow time to take a bus to Wanaka.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Lake Gunn
Find places to stay Dec 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound
Lake Te Anau ©
Lake Te Anau

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.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Tue): get interesting insight from Tours and then explore the activities along Lake Wanaka. Keep things going the next day: appreciate the history behind Wanaka War Memorial and then hike along Roys Peak Track.

Plan my day in Wanaka using traveler tips and tourist information provided by Inspirock.

You can take a bus from Te Anau to Wanaka in 6.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Wed) early enough to travel to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors Parks Trails
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours
Lake Wanaka ©
Lake Wanaka
Roys Peak Track ©
Roys Peak Track

2
nights
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
On the 19th (Thu), hike along Kea Point Track, then trek along Hooker Valley Track, and then contemplate the waterfront views at Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier walks. On the 20th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: trek along Glencoe Walk, then look and learn at Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, then get outside with Aoraki/Mt. Cook, and finally contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Pukaki.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Mt. Cook Village trip planner .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Wanaka to Mt. Cook Village. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Fri) so you can go by car to Lake Tekapo.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Lake Pukaki
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook
Kea Point Track ©
Kea Point Track

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 21st (Sat): go for a walk through Mount John University Observatory, then pause for some serene contemplation at The Church of the Good Shepherd, and then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Tekapo.

To see more things to do, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, read our Lake Tekapo travel planning tool .

Traveling by car from Mt. Cook Village to Lake Tekapo takes an hour. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sat) to allow time to drive to Franz Josef.

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Parks Historic Sites Nature
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo
The Church of the Good Shepherd ©
The Church of the Good Shepherd
Mount John University Observatory ©
Mount John University Observatory

2
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.
On the 22nd (Sun), identify plant and animal life at Fox Glacier, tour the pleasant surroundings at Moraine Walk, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Franz Josef Glacier. Here are some ideas for day two: take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour and then identify plant and animal life at West Coast Wildlife Centre.

For photos, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Franz Josef trip itinerary app .

Traveling by car from Lake Tekapo to Franz Josef takes 6 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) early enough to go by car to Hokitika.

Things to do in Franz Josef

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trip

Fox Glacier
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Fox Glacier ©
Fox Glacier
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier
Helicopter Tours

2
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. For reviews, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Hokitika trip planning site .

Drive from Franz Josef to Hokitika in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. You will have some time to spend on the 25th (Wed) before leaving for Punakaiki.

Things to do in Hokitika

Parks Historic Sites Wildlife

Side Trip

Greymouth
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Hokitika Gorge Walk ©
Hokitika Gorge Walk
Shantytown Heritage Park ©
Shantytown Heritage Park
Garth Wilson Jade ©
Garth Wilson Jade

1
night
Punakaiki

Punakaiki ©
Punakaiki is a small community on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand, between Westport and Greymouth. Start off your visit on the 25th (Wed): trek along Cape Foulwind Walkway, hike along Pororari River Track, and then hike along Pancake Rocks and Blowholes Walk. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the striking landscape of Paparoa National Park and then trek along Truman Track.

To see more things to do, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Punakaiki trip planner .

Traveling by car from Hokitika to Punakaiki takes 1.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Thu) so you can catcht the bus to Abel Tasman National Park.

Things to do in Punakaiki

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Cape Foulwind Walkway, Paparoa National Park
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Cape Foulwind Walkway ©
Cape Foulwind Walkway
Truman Track ©
Truman Track
Pancake Rocks and Blowholes Walk ©
Pancake Rocks and Blowholes Walk

2
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.
On the 27th (Fri), enjoy the sand and surf at Kaiteriteri Beach and then take in the local highlights with Walking tours. Keep things going the next day: admire the sheer force of Wainui Falls Track and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Abel Tasman Coast Track.

For maps, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Abel Tasman National Park trip itinerary builder tool .

Traveling by bus from Punakaiki to Abel Tasman National Park takes 5.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Whakapapa.

Things to do in Abel Tasman National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trip

Kaiteriteri Beach
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Abel Tasman Coast Track ©
Abel Tasman Coast Track
Wainui Falls Track ©
Wainui Falls Track
Walking tours

2
nights
Whakapapa

Start off your visit on the 29th (Sun): take in the dramatic scenery at Tawhai Falls, then hike along Tongariro Alpine Crossing, and then admire the sheer force of Taranaki Falls. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 30th (Mon): grab your bike and head to Ohakune Old Coach Road and then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

To find traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, read our Whakapapa online tour itinerary maker .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Abel Tasman National Park to Whakapapa. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) early enough to drive to Taupo.

Things to do in Whakapapa

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Tongariro National Park, River Rafting & Tubing
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Ohakune Old Coach Road ©
Ohakune Old Coach Road

1
night
Taupo

The resort town of Taupo lies on the banks of Lake Taupo, the largest body of water in the whole of Australasia.
Start off your visit on the 31st (Tue): make a trip to Aratiatia Rapids, find something for the whole family at Huka Prawn Park, then admire the sheer force of Huka Falls Walkway, and finally push the limits with an extreme tour.

To find maps, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Taupo trip planner .

Getting from Whakapapa to Taupo by car takes about 1.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Tue) so you can drive to Waimangu.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks Outdoors Theme Parks
Find places to stay Dec 30 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway
Huka Prawn Park ©
Huka Prawn Park

2
nights
Waimangu

Waimangu ©
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Wed): explore the striking landscape of Waiotapu Boardwalk/ Mud Pool, contemplate the waterfront views at The Bridge at Waiotapu Stream, then explore the activities along Lake Rotomahana, and finally take in the dramatic scenery at Tarawera Falls. On your second day here, contemplate the geological forces at Waimangu Volcanic Valley.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, read Waimangu trip builder .

Traveling by car from Taupo to Waimangu takes an hour. In December, plan for daily highs up to 25°C, and evening lows to 17°C. On the 2nd (Thu), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waimangu

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Wai-O-Tapu, Tarawera Falls
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 2:
Highlights from your plan
Waimangu Volcanic Valley ©
Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Tarawera Falls ©
Tarawera Falls
Lake Rotomahana ©
Lake Rotomahana

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Fri): kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, then make a trip to Te Puia, and then take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 4th (Sat): trot along with a tour on horseback, identify plant and animal life at Redwoods Treewalk, then delve into the lush surroundings at Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest, then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Rotokakahi, and finally do a tasting at Volcanic Hills Winery.

To see maps, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Rotorua day trip planning app .

Rotorua is just a short distance from Waimangu. In January in Rotorua, expect temperatures between 27°C during the day and 19°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) early enough to drive to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Horseback Riding Tours
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Zipline

2
nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Sun): Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves, get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, then explore the fascinating underground world of Ruakuri Cave, and finally stroll through Ruakuri Walk. Keep things going the next day: admire all the interesting features of Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk, take in the dramatic scenery at Marakopa Falls, then Head underground at Caveworld, and finally let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

For reviews, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, go to the Waitomo Caves trip planner.

Traveling by car from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Mon) so you can travel to Hahei.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk

1
night
Hahei

Hahei ©
Start off your visit on the 7th (Tue): take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mount Paku, shop like a local with The Little Gallery, then witness a stunning natural landmark at Hot Water Beach, and finally stroll through Cathedral Cove Walk.

For more things to do, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Hahei online tour itinerary maker .

Traveling by car from Waitomo Caves to Hahei takes 3.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 26°C in January, and nighttime lows around 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Tue) early enough to drive to Auckland.

Things to do in Hahei

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Tairua, Hot Water Beach
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Hot Water Beach ©
Hot Water Beach
Cathedral Cove Walk ©
Cathedral Cove Walk
Mount Paku ©
Mount Paku

3
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.
Auckland is known for nature, museums, nightlife, parks, and zoos & aquariums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take in panoramic vistas at SkyTower, brush up on your military savvy at Auckland War Memorial Museum, contemplate the geological forces at Mount Eden, and awaken your taste buds at some of the top wineries in the area.

To find maps, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Auckland attractions website .

You can drive from Hahei to Auckland in 2.5 hours. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from Hahei in January: highs in Auckland hover around 22°C, while lows dip to 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Fri) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Nature
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Auckland War Memorial Museum ©
Auckland War Memorial Museum
Wine Tours & Tastings

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