35 days in New Zealand Itinerary

35 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand itinerary planner

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

Route & dates

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.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Sun): pause for some photo ops at Chalice Sculpture, then walk around Christchurch Botanic Gardens, and then catch a ride on TranzAlpine Train. On the 9th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: see the interesting displays at International Antarctic Centre, then take an in-depth tour of Canterbury Museum, then pause for some serene contemplation at Cardboard Cathedral, and finally get your game on at Velocity Karts.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Christchurch trip planner.

Brisbane, Australia to Christchurch is an approximately 7- hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight. You'll lose 2 hours traveling from Brisbane to Christchurch due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Brisbane in December, things will get a bit cooler in Christchurch: highs are around 24°C and lows about 12°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Mon) early enough to travel to Queenstown.

Things to do in Christchurch

Transportation Tours 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, and wildlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, and identify plant and animal life at Kiwi Birdlife Park.

To find maps, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Queenstown trip builder.

Traveling by flight from Christchurch to Queenstown takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Fri) so you can catch the 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, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound, Head underground at Te Anau Glowworm Caves, identify plant and animal life at Doubtful Sound, and hike along Lake Gunn.

To find reviews, photos, and tourist information, use the Te Anau trip itinerary maker site.

Take a bus from Queenstown to Te Anau in 3.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Mon) to allow enough 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): take a memorable tour with Tours and then explore the activities along Lake Wanaka. On your second day here, pause for some photo ops at Wanaka War Memorial and then trek along Roys Peak Track.

For ratings, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Wanaka driving holiday planner.

Getting from Te Anau to Wanaka by bus takes about 6.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Wed) to allow time 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.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Thu): tour the pleasant surroundings at Kea Point Track, then hike along Hooker Valley Track, and then explore the activities along Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier walks. Here are some ideas for day two: stroll through Glencoe Walk, see the sky in a new way at Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, then get outside with Aoraki/Mt. Cook, and finally explore the activities along Lake Pukaki.

To find reviews, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, read our Mt. Cook Village trip tool.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Wanaka to Mt. Cook Village. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Fri) early enough to drive 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): take in panoramic vistas at Mount John University Observatory, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at The Church of the Good Shepherd, and then explore the activities along Lake Tekapo.

To find where to stay, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Lake Tekapo trip builder.

You can drive from Mt. Cook Village to Lake Tekapo in an hour. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) so you can drive to Franz Josef.

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Nature Historic Sites Parks
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), tour the pleasant surroundings at Moraine Walk and then hike along Franz Josef Glacier. Here are some ideas for day two: take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour and then look for all kinds of wild species at West Coast Wildlife Centre.

For where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Franz Josef itinerary builder app.

Drive from Lake Tekapo to Franz Josef in 6 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Hokitika.

Things to do in Franz Josef

Parks Tours Trails

Side Trip

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

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. To see traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, use the Hokitika trip itinerary site.

Drive from Franz Josef to Hokitika in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. On the 25th (Wed), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Punakaiki.

Things to do in Hokitika

Wildlife Historic Sites Parks

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. Kick off your visit on the 25th (Wed): trek along Cape Foulwind Walkway, hike along Pororari River Track, and then explore the striking landscape at Pancake Rocks and Blowholes Walk. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 26th (Thu): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Paparoa National Park and then hike along Truman Track.

To see reviews, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Punakaiki day trip site.

You can drive from Hokitika to Punakaiki in 1.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Thu) early enough to catch the bus to Abel Tasman National Park.

Things to do in Punakaiki

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trips

Paparoa National Park, Cape Foulwind Walkway
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), kick back and relax at Kaiteriteri Beach and then get the lay of the land with Walking tours. Keep things going the next day: take in the dramatic scenery at Wainui Falls Track and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Abel Tasman Coast Track.

For where to stay, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Abel Tasman National Park driving holiday planner.

Take a bus from Punakaiki to Abel Tasman National Park in 5.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Sat) early enough 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

The country's largest ski resort brings winter sports enthusiasts from all over New Zealand, while a series of short volcano walks as well as numerous alpine crossings make it easy to hike on your Whakapapa trip throughout the year.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Sun): admire the sheer force of Tawhai Falls, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Tongariro Alpine Crossing, and then admire the sheer force of Taranaki Falls. Keep things going the next day: get to know the fascinating history of Ohakune Old Coach Road and then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour.

For other places to visit, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Whakapapa trip planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Abel Tasman National Park to Whakapapa. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) to allow time 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): don't miss a visit 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 see reviews, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Taupo trip itinerary planner.

Drive from Whakapapa to Taupo in 1.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Tue) early enough to go by car 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 ©
On the 1st (Wed), witness a stunning natural landmark at Waiotapu Boardwalk/ Mud Pool, contemplate the waterfront views at The Bridge at Waiotapu Stream, then explore the activities along Lake Rotomahana, and finally admire the sheer force of Tarawera Falls. On the next day, contemplate the geological forces at Waimangu Volcanic Valley.

To find photos, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Waimangu road trip planner.

You can drive from Taupo to Waimangu in an hour. In December, daily temperatures in Waimangu can reach 25°C, while at night they dip to 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 2nd (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waimangu

Nature Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Wai-O-Tapu, Waimangu Volcanic Valley, Tarawera Falls
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 2:
Highlights from your plan
Waimangu Volcanic Valley ©
Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Tarawera Falls ©
Tarawera Falls
Waiotapu Boardwalk/ Mud Pool ©
Waiotapu Boardwalk/ Mud Pool

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.
On the 3rd (Fri), kick your exploration up a notch at categoryPhrases.alias.some_of_the_top_local_zipline_courses_and_adventure_parks, then take in the natural beauty of Te Puia, and then witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. Keep things going the next day: take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, look for all kinds of wild species at Redwoods Treewalk, then take a peaceful walk through Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest, then explore the activities along Lake Rotokakahi, and finally do a tasting at Volcanic Hills Winery.

To find ratings, photos, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Rotorua sightseeing tool.

Rotorua is just a stone's throw from Waimangu. In January, plan for daily highs up to 27°C, and evening lows to 19°C. 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

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.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Sun): explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, then Head underground at Ruakuri Cave, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Ruakuri Walk. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 6th (Mon): take in the views from Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk, then 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.

To see more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Waitomo Caves route planner.

You can drive from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves in 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

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

1
night
Hahei

Hahei ©
Start off your visit on the 7th (Tue): take in the awesome beauty at Mount Paku, get a taste of the local shopping with The Little Gallery, then take in the natural beauty of Hot Water Beach, and finally trek along Cathedral Cove Walk.

To find photos, maps, ratings, and tourist information, use the Hahei route builder website.

Getting from Waitomo Caves to Hahei by car takes about 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 Nature Outdoors

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, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: enjoy breathtaking views from SkyTower, observe the fascinating underwater world at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium, do a tasting at Foxes Island, and get to know the resident critters at Auckland Zoo.

For ratings, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Auckland journey planner.

Drive from Hahei to Auckland in 2.5 hours. Expect a bit cooler weather when traveling from Hahei in January: highs in Auckland hover around 22°C, while lows dip to 22°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) so you can 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 Museum ©
Auckland Museum
Auckland Zoo ©
Auckland Zoo

Similar Plans

39 days in China & Taiwan BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, shopping, popular & hidden gems Preferences: October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, shopping Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 14 days in Christchurch BY A USER FROM SWEDEN June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems Preferences: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Slow & easy 17 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM SWEDEN June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems Preferences: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Slow & easy 17 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems Preferences: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Slow & easy 23 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM INDIA January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular sights Preferences: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 10 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems Preferences: November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Slow & easy 11 days in Queenstown BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems Preferences: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 7 days in Rarotonga & Auckland BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, hidden gems Preferences: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Medium 58 days in Asia, South Pacific & United States BY A USER FROM GERMANY October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife, popular sights Preferences: October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 1 day in Auckland BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA October, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular sights Preferences: October, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 15 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE November, kids, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife, slow & easy, popular sights Preferences: November, kids, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Slow & easy 8 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA January, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, hidden gems Preferences: January, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Medium
See more plans