51 days in New Zealand Itinerary

51 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

51 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: London
Fly:  31​h
1
Dunedin
— 4 nights
2
Te Anau
— 6 nights
bus:  2​h 30​min
3
Queenstown
— 5 nights
bus:  2​h 30​min
4
Wanaka
— 3 nights
Fly:  5​h 15​min
5
Paihia
— 4 nights
Fly:  4​h 30​min
6
Napier
— 3 nights
7
Waitomo Caves
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
8
Rotorua
— 5 nights
Fly:  3​h
9
Wellington
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h
10
Blenheim
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h
11
Kaikoura
— 3 nights
12
Christchurch
— 3 nights
Fly:  28​h
End: London

4
nights
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Dunedin Botanic Garden and Penguin Place. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Dunedin: Moeraki Boulders (in Oamaru) and Nugget Point/Tokata Walks (in Balclutha). The adventure continues: get a new perspective on nature at Otago Museum, pause for some serene contemplation at First Church of Otago, tour the old-fashioned way with a train tour, and contemplate the long history of Olveston Historic Home.

For maps, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Dunedin online trip builder .

London, UK to Dunedin is an approximately 31-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of flight, taxi, and bus. You'll lose 12 hours traveling from London to Dunedin due to the time zone difference. On the 20th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Te Anau.

Things to do in Dunedin

Tours Wildlife Parks

Side Trips

Nugget Point/Tokata Walks, Moeraki Boulders Beach
Find places to stay Oct 15 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Rail Tours
Dunedin Botanic Garden ©
Dunedin Botanic Garden
Moeraki Boulders Beach ©
Moeraki Boulders Beach

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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Lake Te Anau and Kayaking & Canoeing. Spend the 22nd (Mon) exploring nature at Fiordland National Park (Te Wahipounamu). On the 24th (Wed), hike the day away at Routeburn Track. The adventure continues: contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound, identify plant and animal life at Doubtful Sound, hike along The Chasm Walk, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Gertrude Saddle.

For traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, read Te Anau tour itinerary planner .

Traveling by car from Dunedin to Te Anau takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Routeburn Track, Kayaking & Canoeing
Find places to stay Oct 20 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Routeburn Track ©
Routeburn Track
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Lake Te Anau ©
Lake Te Anau

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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Queenstown Hill and Coronet Peak. Next up on the itinerary: take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, take the plunge with a skydiving experience, explore and take pictures at Glenorchy-Queenstown Road, and have some family-friendly fun at Fear Factory Queenstown.

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

Traveling by car from Te Anau to Queenstown takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Wed) to allow enough time to take a bus to Wanaka.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Parks Nature

Side Trip

Little Paradise Dream Garden
Find places to stay Oct 26 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Glenorchy-Queenstown Road ©
Glenorchy-Queenstown Road
Helicopter Tours

3
nights
Wanaka

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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Wanaka and Canyoning & Rappelling Tours. Next up on the itinerary: take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, examine the collection at National Transport and Toy Museum, trek along Mount Iron Track, and do a tasting at Rippon Vineyard.

For where to stay, ratings, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Wanaka day trip planner .

You can take a bus from Queenstown to Wanaka in 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 3rd (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Oct 31 — Nov 3:
Highlights from your plan
Wanaka ©
Wanaka
Crossfire Wanaka ©
Crossfire Wanaka
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours

4
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Paihia Harbour and Nature & Wildlife Tours. The adventure continues: take in nature's colorful creations at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, steep yourself in history at The Stone Store & Kemp House - Kerikeri Mission Station, take in the dramatic scenery at Haruru Falls, and soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

For ratings, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Paihia day trip planning site .

Getting from Wanaka to Paihia by combination of flight and taxi takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of bus, car, and ferry. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Wed) so you can travel to Napier.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trip

Kerikeri
Find places to stay Nov 3 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour
Rainbow Falls ©
Rainbow Falls

3
nights
Napier

Napier ©
Enjoy the atmosphere and architecture of 1930s design in Napier, one of the best-preserved Art Deco cities in the world.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Wine Tours & Tastings and National Aquarium. Step out of Napier to go to Hastings and see Te Mata Peak, which is approximately 32 minutes away. There's still lots to do: take some stellar pictures from Bluff Hill Lookout, look for gifts at New Zealand Wood and Jade, don't miss a visit to Marine Parade, and look for all kinds of wild species at Cape Kidnappers.

To see maps, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Napier trip planner.

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Paihia to Napier in 4.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi, flight, and bus; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 10th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Napier

Parks Tours Wildlife

Side Trips

Te Mata Peak, Cape Kidnappers, Clifton Station Wool World
Find places to stay Nov 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Te Mata Peak ©
Te Mata Peak
Wine Tours & Tastings
Bluff Hill Lookout ©
Bluff Hill Lookout

3
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Ruakuri Cave and Ruakuri Walk. Change things up with these side-trips from Waitomo Caves: Hamilton Gardens (in Hamilton) and Te Awamutu Space Centre (in Kihikihi). And it doesn't end there: Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves, have some family-friendly fun at Kiwiana Leisure Park, take in the dramatic scenery at Marokopa Falls Walk, and pause for some photo ops at Statue of shearer.

To find reviews, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Waitomo Caves road trip planner.

Drive from Napier to Waitomo Caves in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Otorohanga, Te Awamutu Space Centre, Statue of shearer, Hamilton Gardens
Find places to stay Nov 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Ruakuri Cave
Ruakuri Cave
Caveworld ©
Caveworld

5
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park and Waimangu Volcanic Valley. Get out of town with these interesting Rotorua side-trips: Waiotapu Boardwalk/ Mud Pool (in Wai-O-Tapu), Hobbiton Movie Set (in Hinuera) and Huka Falls tracks (in Taupo). There's still lots to do: take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, take in nature's colorful creations at Government Gardens, relax in the rural setting at Agrodome, and look for all kinds of wild species at Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park.

To see maps, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Rotorua itinerary app .

Traveling by car from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In November in Rotorua, expect temperatures between 23°C during the day and 15°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Waimangu Volcanic Valley, Huka Falls Walkway, River Rafting & Tubing, Waiotapu Boardwalk/ Mud Pool, Hobbiton Movie Set
Find places to stay Nov 13 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Horseback Riding Tours
River Rafting & Tubing
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

4
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Wellington Zoo and Rimutaka Rail Trail. The adventure continues: examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa), indulge in some culinary diversions at a local gastronomic tour, get a sense of history and politics at Parliament Buildings, and take in nature's colorful creations at Wellington Botanic Garden.

For other places to visit, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, go to the Wellington trip itinerary maker website .

You can fly from Rotorua to Wellington in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. When traveling from Rotorua in November, plan for little chillier days and about the same nights in Wellington: temperatures range from 20°C by day to 13°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Blenheim.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks Outdoors Museums

Side Trip

Wellington Botanic Garden
Find places to stay Nov 18 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Oriental Bay ©
Oriental Bay
Old St Paul's ©
Old St Paul's

4
nights
Blenheim

Enjoy a heady holiday in Blenheim, the most populous town in the wine-growing region of Marlborough.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Wine Tours & Tastings and Centre of New Zealand. Explore Blenheim's surroundings by going to Queen Charlotte Track (in Picton) and Nelson (Botanical Gardens, Jens Hansen Gold and Silversmith, & more). Next up on the itinerary: see the interesting displays at Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, do a tasting at Bladen Wines, grab your bike and head to Wither Hills Mountainbike Park, and look for gifts at Blue Penguin New Zealand Gifts.

To see photos, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Blenheim visit website .

Getting from Wellington to Blenheim by flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of train and flight. In November in Blenheim, expect temperatures between 20°C during the day and 13°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Mon) early enough to catch the train to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Blenheim

Tours Parks Trails

Side Trips

Nelson, Renwick, Queen Charlotte Track
Find places to stay Nov 22 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Wine Tours & Tastings
Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre ©
Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre

3
nights
Kaikoura

Kaikoura ©
Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Ohau Point Seal Colony and Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway. There's still lots to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Peninsula Seal Colony, explore the fascinating underground world of Maori Leap Cave, take in the exciting artwork at Art & Design Gallery, and look for gifts at Kaikoura Cheese.

For traveler tips, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Kaikoura day trip planning website .

Take a train from Blenheim to Kaikoura in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Thu) to allow time to take a bus to Christchurch.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Parks Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay Nov 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway ©
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway
Ohau Point Seal Colony ©
Ohau Point Seal Colony
Peninsula Seal Colony ©
Peninsula Seal Colony

3
nights
Christchurch

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Dolphin & Whale Watching and Quake City. Explore Christchurch's surroundings by going to Akaroa (The Garden at French Farm, The Giant's House, & more) and Little River Gallery (in Little River). The adventure continues: admire the natural beauty at Christchurch Botanic Gardens, tour the pleasant surroundings at Hagley Park, let the kids burn off some steam at Margaret Mahy Family Playground, and make a trip to 185 Empty White Chairs - Earthquake Memorial.

To see reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Christchurch holiday builder website .

You can take a bus from Kaikoura to Christchurch in 3 hours. Other options are to take a train; or drive. In November, daily temperatures in Christchurch can reach 22°C, while at night they dip to 9°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Christchurch

Parks Museums Shopping

Side Trips

Akaroa, Little River Gallery
Find places to stay Nov 29 — Dec 2:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Hagley Park ©
Hagley Park
Banks Peninsula
Banks Peninsula

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