57 days in New Zealand Itinerary

57 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

57 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Toronto
Fly:  29​h
1
Kaitaia
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
2
Paihia
— 5 nights
Fly + bus:  8​h 15​min
3
Akaroa
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 45​min
4
Hokitika
— 5 nights
5
Dunedin
— 6 nights
6
Te Anau
— 6 nights
bus:  2​h 30​min
7
Queenstown
— 6 nights
Fly:  3​h 15​min
8
Wellington
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
9
Hastings
— 5 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
10
Rotorua
— 6 nights
Drive:  3​h
11
Whitianga
— 5 nights
Fly:  23​h 45​min
End: Toronto

4
nights
Kaitaia

Kaitaia ©
Kaitaia is a town in the Far North District of New Zealand, at the base of the Aupouri Peninsula, about 160 km northwest of Whangarei. Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Ninety Mile Beach and Taipa Beach. Your inner history buff will appreciate Rangikapiti Pa Historic Reserve and Clendon House. Get out of town with these interesting Kaitaia side-trips: Village Arts Gallery (in Kohukohu), Opononi (Koutu Boulders & Tane Mahuta Walk) and Mangonui (Taumarumaru Scenic Reserve Walk, Exhibit A Gallery, & more). The adventure continues: take in the exciting artwork at Taute Gallery, examine the collection at Mathew's Vintage Museum, stroll through Rarawa Beach, and get into the urban bustle at Te Ahu Center.

To see ratings, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Kaitaia trip planner.

Toronto, Canada to Kaitaia is an approximately 29-hour flight. Traveling from Toronto to Kaitaia, you'll lose 17 hours due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Tue) so you can travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Kaitaia

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Mangonui, Opononi, Karikari Peninsula, Taipa, Tapotupotu Beach
Find places to stay Nov 30 — Dec 4:
Highlights from your plan
Ninety Mile Beach ©
Ninety Mile Beach
Tane Mahuta Walk ©
Tane Mahuta Walk
Coopers Beach ©
Coopers Beach

5
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.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Waitangi Treaty Grounds and The Stone Store & Kemp House - Kerikeri Mission Station. Take a break from the city and head to Paihia Harbour and Swim with Dolphins. Venture out of the city with trips to Russell (Flagstaff Hill Historic Reserve, Christ Church, & more), Scuba & Snorkeling (in Tutukaka) and Smugglers Bay Loop Track (in Whangarei Heads). There's still lots to do: surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, take in the dramatic scenery at Whangarei Falls, take in the architecture and atmosphere at St James Anglican Church, and look for gifts at South Sea Art.

To find photos and other tourist information, refer to the Paihia online visit planner .

You can drive from Kaitaia to Paihia in 1.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Sun) early enough to travel to Akaroa.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks Historic Sites Outdoors

Side Trips

Russell, Kerikeri, Smugglers Bay Loop Track, Whangarei Falls
Find places to stay Dec 4 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Christ Church ©
Christ Church

1
night
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.
On the 10th (Mon), add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, steep yourself in history at The Giant's House, then look for gifts at Fire & Ice - Gemstone Jewellery Specialists, and finally see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour. On your second day here, stop by Blue Pearls Gallery, stop by Little River Gallery, then tee off at Akaroa Golf Club, and finally take in the pleasant sights at Banks Peninsula.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Akaroa trip itinerary tool .

Getting from Paihia to Akaroa by combination of taxi, flight, and bus takes about 8.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus, ferry, train, and car. Expect a daytime high around 24°C in December, and nighttime lows around 12°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Tue) so you can go by car to Hokitika.

Things to do in Akaroa

Outdoors Tours Shopping

Side Trips

Little River Gallery, Banks Peninsula
Find places to stay Dec 9 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Kayaking & Canoeing
The Giant's House ©
The Giant's House
Dolphin & Whale Watching

5
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. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Hokitika Gorge Walk and Garth Wilson Jade. Get outdoors at Hokitika Beach and Coal Creek Track. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Hokitika: Greymouth (Monteith's Brewing Company, Nimmo Gallery + Store, & more). There's much more to do: look for gifts at William Steyn Stonepainter, look for all kinds of wild species at Westcoast Treetop Walk & Cafe, view the masterpieces at Hokitika Craft Gallery Co-op, and contemplate the long history of Shantytown Heritage Park.

Plan a Hokitika trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from Akaroa to Hokitika takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of car, train, and bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sun) so you can travel to Dunedin.

Things to do in Hokitika

Shopping Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Greymouth, Coal Creek Track
Find places to stay Dec 11 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Hokitika Gorge Walk ©
Hokitika Gorge Walk
Hokitika Beach ©
Hokitika Beach
Glow Worm Dell ©
Glow Worm Dell

6
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.
Popular historic sites such as Waikouaiti Beach and Nugget Point Lighthouse are in your itinerary. Visiting Nature & Wildlife Tours and Shag Point Nature Reserve will get you outdoors. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Dunedin: Nugget Point/Tokata Walks (in Balclutha) and Katiki Point Lighthouse (in Moeraki). There's still lots to do: steep yourself in history at Olveston Historic Home, step into the grandiose world of Larnach Castle & Gardens, learn more about the world around you at Otago Museum, and identify plant and animal life at Penguin Place.

To find photos, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, read our Dunedin trip planner .

Getting from Hokitika to Dunedin by flight takes about 5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sat) so you can drive to Te Anau.

Things to do in Dunedin

Wildlife Parks Tours

Side Trips

Nugget Point Lighthouse, Waikouaiti Beach, Katiki Point Lighthouse, Nugget Point/Tokata Walks, Iona Church
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Penguin Place ©
Penguin Place
Orokonui Ecosanctuary ©
Orokonui Ecosanctuary
Katiki Point Lighthouse ©
Katiki Point Lighthouse

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.
Get in touch with nature at Doubtful Sound and Hollyford Track. Step off the beaten path and head to Otautau Gallery and Lake Te Anau. On the 25th (Tue), hike the day away at Routeburn Track. On the 28th (Fri), hike the day away at Kepler Track. Next up on the itinerary: contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound, add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, and trek along The Chasm Walk.

To find photos, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, read Te Anau driving holiday planner.

Traveling by car from Dunedin to Te Anau takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Fri) so you can drive to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Routeburn Track, Kayaking & Canoeing, Hollyford Track, Otautau Gallery
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
The Chasm Walk ©
The Chasm Walk
Hollyford Track ©
Hollyford Track
Kepler Track ©
Kepler Track

6
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.
Visiting Otago Central Rail Trail and Wanaka will get you outdoors. Do some cultural sightseeing at Arrowtown Chinese Settlement and Ophir Post Office. On the 30th (Sun), spend an exhilarating day on the slopes at Coronet Peak. There's lots more to do: take the plunge with a skydiving experience, trek along Queenstown Hill, look for gifts at The Barn, and head outdoors with Arrowtown Village.

Take the guesswork out of planning a Queenstown vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

Drive from Te Anau to Queenstown in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Thu) so you can travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Parks Winter Sports

Side Trips

Arrowtown, Ophir Post Office, Otago Central Rail Trail, Wanaka
Find places to stay Dec 28 — Jan 3:
Highlights from your plan
Queenstown Hill ©
Queenstown Hill
Otago Central Rail Trail ©
Otago Central Rail Trail
Wanaka ©
Wanaka

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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Queen Charlotte Track and Wellington Museum. Step out of the city life by going to Oriental Bay and Matiu / Somes Island. Get out of town with these interesting Wellington side-trips: Blenheim (Blue Penguin New Zealand Gifts & Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre). There's much more to do: admire the landmark architecture of Old St Paul's, examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa), enjoy the sea views from East Harbour Regional Park, and take a memorable ride with Wellington Cable Car.

For where to stay, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Wellington day trip planning website .

Traveling by flight from Queenstown to Wellington takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, train, and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Expect a daytime high around 24°C in January, and nighttime lows around 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Mon) so you can drive to Hastings.

Things to do in Wellington

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Blenheim, Saint Mary's Church, Queen Charlotte Track
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Queen Charlotte Track ©
Queen Charlotte Track
Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre ©
Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre
Oriental Bay ©
Oriental Bay

5
nights
Hastings

Hastings ©
Hastings is a New Zealand city and is one of the two major urban areas in Hawke's Bay, on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand. Do some cultural sightseeing at Birdwoods Gallery and Alpha Domus Ltd.. Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at New Zealand Natural Clothing and New Zealand Wood and Jade. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Hastings: Artmosphere Gallery (in Waipawa) and River Rafting & Tubing (in Napier). Next up on the itinerary: identify plant and animal life at Cape Kidnappers, admire all the interesting features of Te Mata Peak, enjoy the sand and surf at Ocean Beach, and look for gifts at Telegraph Hill Olivery.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, use the Hastings journey planner .

Traveling by car from Wellington to Hastings takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sat) so you can drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Hastings

Parks Tours Shopping

Side Trips

Napier, Havelock North, Gannet Colony, Cape Kidnappers, Artmosphere Gallery
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Te Mata Peak ©
Te Mata Peak
Cape Kidnappers ©
Cape Kidnappers
River Rafting & Tubing

6
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.
Get a sense of the local culture at Buried Village of Te Wairoa and Government Gardens. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Horseback Riding Tours and Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Rotorua: Taupo (Huka Falls tracks & Aratiatia Rapids). The adventure continues: witness a stunning natural landmark at Waimangu Volcanic Valley, experience rural life at Agrodome, look for all kinds of wild species at Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park, and take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To find maps, ratings, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Rotorua trip planner .

You can drive from Hastings to Rotorua in 3 hours. Another option is to take a bus. January in Rotorua sees daily highs of 27°C and lows of 19°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Fri) early enough to drive to Whitianga.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Taupo, Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park, Okere Falls Track, Hells Gate, Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park ©
Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park
Waimangu Volcanic Valley ©
Waimangu Volcanic Valley
River Rafting & Tubing

5
nights
Whitianga

Whitianga ©
Whitianga is a town on the Coromandel Peninsula, in the Waikato Region of New Zealand's North Island. Visiting The Lost Spring and Hahei Beach Walk will get you outdoors. Head to Bread & Butter Gallery and The Coromandel Smoking Co.for some retail therapy. Get out of town with these interesting Whitianga side-trips: Opoutere Surf Beach (in Opoutere), Whangamata Beach (in Whangamata) and Hot Water Beach (in Hot Water Beach). And it doesn't end there: stroll through Whangapoua Beach, take in the spiritual surroundings of Mahamudra Centre for Universal Unity, don't miss a visit to Stu's Wild Pig Farm, and enjoy the sand and surf at New Chums Beach.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Whitianga trip itinerary builder website .

Traveling by car from Rotorua to Whitianga takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 26°C, and evening lows to 19°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Wed) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Whitianga

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Whangapoua, Matarangi, Whangamata Beach, Otama Beach, Opoutere Surf Beach
Find places to stay Jan 18 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Hahei Beach Walk ©
Hahei Beach Walk
Whangamata Beach ©
Whangamata Beach
Hot Water Beach ©
Hot Water Beach

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