52 days in New Zealand Itinerary

52 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand trip itinerary maker

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

Route & dates

52 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Auckland
Drive:  3​h
1
Paihia
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h 30​min
2
Whitianga
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
Rotorua
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
4
New Plymouth
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h 15​min
5
Napier
— 2 nights
6
Wellington
— 4 nights
car:  27​h
7
Blenheim
— 3 nights
Drive:  6​h
8
Kaikoura
— 2 nights
9
Christchurch
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
10
Akaroa
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h
11
Oamaru
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
12
Dunedin
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
13
Queenstown
— 4 nights
14
Wanaka
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
15
Mt. Cook Village
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
16
Hokitika
— 3 nights
Drive:  6​h 45​min
End: Dunedin

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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Paihia Harbour and Swim with Dolphins. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Paihia: Tane Mahuta Walk (in Opononi), Whangarei Falls (in Whangarei) and Yakas Walk (in Waipoua Forest). The adventure continues: admire the sheer force of Rainbow Falls, discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, and view the masterpieces at Kings Theatre Creative.

To see where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Paihia day trip site .

Auckland Central to Paihia is an approximately 3-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also drive; or take a bus. On the 4th (Fri), you'll travel to Whitianga.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trips

Tane Mahuta Walk, Whangarei Falls, Kings Theatre Creative, Rainbow Falls, Yakas Walk
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 4:
Highlights from your plan
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour
Kings Theatre Creative ©
Kings Theatre Creative
Rainbow Falls ©
Rainbow Falls

3
nights
Whitianga

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 5th (Sat): admire the natural beauty at RAPAURA Watergardens, then look for all kinds of wild species at Stu's Wild Pig Farm, then take in the awesome beauty at Mount Paku, and finally get your game on at Fun Zone Adventure & Family Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: see the interesting displays at Mercury Bay Museum Whitianga, experience rural life at Whiti Farm Park, then take in the exciting artwork at Moko Artspace, then stroll through Hahei Beach Walk, and finally learn about winemaking at Purangi Estate Limited.

To find reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Whitianga road trip app .

Traveling by combination of taxi, flight, and shuttle from Paihia to Whitianga takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. In January, daytime highs in Whitianga are 26°C, while nighttime lows are 19°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Mon) so you can go by car to Rotorua.

Things to do in Whitianga

Parks Museums Nature

Side Trips

Mount Paku, RAPAURA Watergardens, Moko Artspace, Hahei Beach Walk
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Mount Paku ©
Mount Paku
Whiti Farm Park ©
Whiti Farm Park
Hahei Beach Walk ©
Hahei Beach Walk

3
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park and Rotorua Museum. Step out of Rotorua to go to Taupo and see Aratiatia Rapids, which is approximately 1h 15 min away. The adventure continues: contemplate the geological forces at Waimangu Volcanic Valley, get your game on at OGO Rotorua, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Blue Lake Track.

To see where to stay, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Rotorua vacation planner.

Getting from Whitianga to Rotorua by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 27°C, and evening lows to 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Thu) so you can drive to New Plymouth.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park, Aratiatia Rapids, Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park ©
Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park
aMAZEme ©
aMAZEme
St. Lukes Anglican Church ©
St. Lukes Anglican Church

3
nights
New Plymouth

New Plymouth ©
Where other cities run, New Plymouth prefers to stroll.
On the 11th (Fri), head off the coast to Paritutu Rock, trek along Ratapihipihi Scenic Reserve Walk, admire the natural beauty at Pukeiti, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Tupare, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Taranaki Cathedral, Church of St Mary. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: hike along Te Henui Walkway, then take in the views from Te Rewa Rewa Bridge, then don't miss a visit to Port Taranaki Walkway, and finally kick back and relax at Back Beach.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the New Plymouth planning tool .

You can drive from Rotorua to New Plymouth in 4 hours. Other options are to fly; or do a combination of bus and flight. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Napier.

Things to do in New Plymouth

Parks Outdoors Trails
Find places to stay Jan 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Pukeiti ©
Pukeiti
Tupare ©
Tupare
Paritutu Rock ©
Paritutu Rock

2
nights
Napier

Napier ©
Enjoy the atmosphere and architecture of 1930s design in Napier, one of the best-preserved Art Deco cities in the world.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Gannet Colony and Moana Park Winery. Step out of Napier with an excursion to Ocean Beach in Hastings--about 36 minutes away. The adventure continues: take in the dramatic scenery at Shine Falls, learn about winemaking at Elephant Hill Estate Winery, trek along Ahuriri Estuary Walk, and look for gifts at The Department of Curiosities and Fine Things.

Make your Napier itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.

Traveling by flight from New Plymouth to Napier takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Napier

Parks Outdoors Shopping

Side Trips

Hastings, Gannet Colony, Elephant Hill Estate Winery
Find places to stay Jan 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Gannet Colony ©
Gannet Colony
Moana Park Winery ©
Moana Park Winery
Sunken Gardens ©
Sunken Gardens

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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Southward Car Museum and Walking tours. Spend the 18th (Fri) spotting exotic species with a safari tour. And it doesn't end there: tour the pleasant surroundings at Scorching Bay, take a peaceful walk through Otari-Wilton's Bush Native Botanic Garden, take in nature's colorful creations at Lady Norwood Rose Garden, and make a trip to Cape Palliser Lighthouse.

To find other places to visit, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Wellington trip planning tool .

You can fly from Napier to Wellington in 3.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. January in Wellington sees daily highs of 24°C and lows of 17°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sat) so you can travel to Blenheim.

Things to do in Wellington

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trips

Cape Palliser Lighthouse, Southward Car Museum
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Scorching Bay ©
Scorching Bay
Walking tours
Cape Palliser Lighthouse ©
Cape Palliser Lighthouse

3
nights
Blenheim

Blenheim ©
Enjoy a heady holiday in Blenheim, the most populous town in the wine-growing region of Marlborough.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Pollard Park and Kayaking & Canoeing. Get out of town with these interesting Blenheim side-trips: Nelson (Tahunanui Beach, Natureland Zoo, & more), Lochmara Lodge Marlborough Sounds Wildlife Recovery Centre (in Picton) and Jester House Cafe and Tame Eels (in Motueka). There's still lots to do: explore the activities along Picton Sound, relax in the rural setting at Hedgerows Hydroponic Strawberries, shop like a local with Allan Scott Family Winemakers, and learn about winemaking at Wither Hills Cellar Door.

To find ratings, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Blenheim route builder app .

You can take a train from Kaikoura to Blenheim in 2 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or drive. In February, plan for daily highs up to 24°C, and evening lows to 17°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sun) so you can travel to Napier.

Things to do in Blenheim

Parks Outdoors Adventure

Side Trips

Nelson, Picton, Kayaking & Canoeing
Find places to stay Jan 20 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Pollard Park ©
Pollard Park
Kayaking & Canoeing
Tahunanui Beach ©
Tahunanui Beach

2
nights
Kaikoura

Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
On the 24th (Thu), try for a hole-in-one at The Emporium, Head underground at Maori Leap Cave, experience rural life at Lavendyl Lavender Farm, then don't miss a visit to Ohau Point Seal Colony, and finally get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. On your second day here, look for gifts at Kaikoura Cheese, take an in-depth tour of Kaikoura Museum, relax in the rural setting at The Point Sheep Shearing Show, then steep yourself in history at Fyffe House, and finally discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

For more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Kaikoura journey planner.

You can take a train from Blenheim to Kaikoura in 2 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or drive. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Fri) so you can catcht the bus to Christchurch.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Jan 23 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Scuba & Snorkeling
The Point Sheep Shearing Show ©
The Point Sheep Shearing Show

3
nights
Christchurch

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like River Rafting & Tubing and Horseback Riding Tours. Next up on the itinerary: shop like a local with Cashel Street, take in the dramatic natural features at Sumner Beach (Cave Rock), wander the streets of Port Hills, and do a tasting at Pegasus Bay Winery.

For ratings, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Christchurch trip itinerary builder site .

Traveling by bus from Kaikoura to Christchurch takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. In January in Christchurch, expect temperatures between 26°C during the day and 13°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Akaroa.

Things to do in Christchurch

Outdoors Tours Adventure
Find places to stay Jan 25 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Room Escape Games
Port Hills ©
Port Hills

2
nights
Akaroa

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 29th (Tue): pause for some serene contemplation at Saint Peter's Anglican Church, stop by Blue Pearls Gallery, look for gifts at Fire & Ice - Gemstone Jewellery Specialists, then enjoy the sea views from Akaroa Lighthouse, and finally add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour. Here are some ideas for day two: look for gifts at Pot Pourri, get engrossed in the history at Akaroa Museum, steep yourself in history at The Giant's House, look for all kinds of wild species at Hinewai Reserve, then make a trip to Orion Powerhouse Gallery, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Catholic St. Patrick's Akaroa.

For other places to visit, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Akaroa online journey maker .

You can drive from Christchurch to Akaroa in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. In January, daily temperatures in Akaroa can reach 25°C, while at night they dip to 13°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Oamaru.

Things to do in Akaroa

Historic Sites Parks Shopping
Find places to stay Jan 28 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Akaroa Lighthouse ©
Akaroa Lighthouse
Hinewai Reserve ©
Hinewai Reserve
Akaroa Museum ©
Akaroa Museum

3
nights
Oamaru

Oamaru ©
Explore hidden gems such as Sanctum Grove Equine and Adventure Books. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Oamaru: Stoneridge Horsetreks (in Kurow), Naseby Ice Luge (in Naseby) and The Vanished World Centre (in Duntroon).

To see traveler tips, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Oamaru day trip site .

Traveling by car from Akaroa to Oamaru takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sat) so you can catcht the bus to Dunedin.

Things to do in Oamaru

Parks Museums Shopping

Side Trips

The Vanished World Centre, Hampden Stores, Trotters Gorge Scenic Reserve, Naseby Ice Luge
Find places to stay Jan 30 — Feb 2:
Highlights from your plan
Sanctum Grove Equine ©
Sanctum Grove Equine
The New Zealand Whisky Company ©
The New Zealand Whisky Company
Totara Estate ©
Totara Estate

4
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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Tunnel Beach Track and Nugget Point/Tokata Walks. Go for a jaunt from Dunedin to Balclutha to see Clutha River about 1h 40 min away. There's much more to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Orokonui Ecosanctuary, pause for some serene contemplation at First Church of Otago, kick back and relax at Aramoana Beach, and test your problem-solving skills at popular escape rooms.

Plan a Dunedin trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

Take a bus from Oamaru to Dunedin in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Wed) so you can go by car to Queenstown.

Things to do in Dunedin

Parks Outdoors Tours

Side Trip

Balclutha
Find places to stay Feb 2 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Orokonui Ecosanctuary ©
Orokonui Ecosanctuary
Walking tours
Signal Hill ©
Signal Hill

4
nights
Queenstown

Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Queenstown Hill and Otago Central Rail Trail. The adventure continues: admire all the interesting features of Glenorchy-Queenstown Road, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, get your game on at Fear Factory Queenstown, and head outdoors with Arrowtown Village.

For reviews, maps, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Queenstown day trip planning app .

Drive from Oamaru to Queenstown in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Sun) early enough to catcht the bus to Wanaka.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Tours Trails

Side Trips

Otago Central Rail Trail, Arrowtown Village
Find places to stay Feb 6 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Otago Central Rail Trail ©
Otago Central Rail Trail
Wine Tours & Tastings

4
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. There's still lots to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Mount Iron Track, learn about winemaking at Rippon Vineyard, take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, and hike along Roys Peak Track.

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

You can take a bus from Queenstown to Wanaka in 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Thu) early enough to travel to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors Parks Tours
Find places to stay Feb 10 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Wanaka ©
Wanaka
Rippon Vineyard ©
Rippon Vineyard
Roys Peak Track ©
Roys Peak Track

3
nights
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Hooker Valley Track and Lake Pukaki. Explore Mt. Cook Village's surroundings by going to Lake Tekapo (Earth and Sky, Mount John University Observatory, & more), Three Creeks (in Burkes Pass) and Fox Glacier (Fox Glacier & Lake Matheson Walk).

To see where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, read Mt. Cook Village road trip tool .

You can drive from Wanaka to Mt. Cook Village in 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Hokitika.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Lake Tekapo, Fox Glacier, Lake Pukaki, Three Creeks, Hooker Valley Track
Find places to stay Feb 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Lake Matheson Walk ©
Lake Matheson Walk
Lake Pukaki ©
Lake Pukaki

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. Discover out-of-the-way places like West Coast Scenic Waterways and Hokitika Glass Studio. Change things up with these side-trips from Hokitika: Greymouth (Westland Recreation Centre, Shades Of Jade, & more) and Arthur's Pass National Park (Arthur's Pass Walking Track & Devils Punchbowl Walking Track). There's still lots to do: stop by Garth Wilson Jade, admire the sheer force of Dorothy Falls, take an in-depth tour of Hokitika Museum, and shop like a local with Hokitika Craft Gallery Co-op.

For more things to do, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Hokitika trip planner.

Drive from Mt. Cook Village to Hokitika in 6 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Hokitika

Shopping Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Greymouth, Arthur's Pass National Park
Find places to stay Feb 17 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Garth Wilson Jade ©
Garth Wilson Jade
Hokitika Museum ©
Hokitika Museum
Shades Of Jade ©
Shades Of Jade

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