60 days in New Zealand Itinerary

60 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand trip planner

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Route & dates

60 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Vail
+2
Shuttle + Fly + Bus:  26 h
1
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h
2
Rotorua
— 8 nights
Drive:  2 h 45 min
3
Napier
— 4 nights
Bus + Fly:  3 h 30 min
4
Wellington
— 7 nights
Fly:  3 h
5
Christchurch
— 6 nights
Drive:  4 h 30 min
6
Dunedin
— 4 nights
Bus:  5 h 15 min
7
Te Anau
— 4 nights
Bus:  3 h 15 min
8
Queenstown
— 8 nights
Bus:  2 h 30 min
9
Wanaka
— 7 nights
Bus + Fly:  5 h 15 min
10
Paihia
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h
11
Auckland
— 6 nights
Fly + Shuttle:  23 h
End: Vail

1
night
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.
On the 3rd (Tue), explore the fascinating underground world of Ruakuri Cave and then hike along Ruakuri Walk. Keep things going the next day: take an in-depth tour of PioPio and districts museum,, admire the sheer force of Marokopa Falls Walk, then snap pictures at Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk, and finally explore the fascinating underground world of Caveworld.

To see ratings, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Waitomo Caves day trip site .

Vail, USA to Waitomo Caves is an approximately 26-hour combination of car and flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Vail to Waitomo Caves is 19 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Wed) so you can drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trip

PioPio and districts museum,
Find places to stay Dec 3 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Ruakuri Cave
Ruakuri Cave
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk
Caveworld ©
Caveworld

8
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.
Popular historic sites such as Government Gardens and Buried Village of Te Wairoa are in your itinerary. Explore hidden gems such as Waimangu Volcanic Valley and Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave. Change things up with these side-trips from Rotorua: Mount Maunganui (Mount Maunganui Base Track & Mt Maunganui Main Beach), Monmouth Redoubt (in Tauranga) and Ohope Beach (in Whakatane). There's much more to do: add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, look for all kinds of wild species at Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park, and witness a stunning natural landmark at Waikite Valley Thermal Pools.

To find reviews and other tourist information, read Rotorua itinerary website .

You can drive from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua in 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 71°F, and evening lows to 59°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Napier.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Taupo, Tauranga, Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave, Ohope Beach, River Rafting & Tubing
Find places to stay Dec 4 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park ©
Ohope Beach ©
Ohope Beach
Eat Street ©
Eat Street

4
nights
Napier

Napier ©
Enjoy the atmosphere and architecture of 1930s design in Napier, one of the best-preserved Art Deco cities in the world.
Get outdoors at Te Mata Peak and Cape Kidnappers. Appreciate the collections at Birdwoods Gallery and VIVA Gallery. And it doesn't end there: savor the flavors at Food & Drink, get great views at Bluff Hill Lookout, contemplate the long history of Otatara Pa Historic Reserve Walk, and do a tasting at Mission Estate Winery.

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

Drive from Rotorua to Napier in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Napier

Tours Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Otatara Pa Historic Reserve Walk, Te Mata Peak, Birdwoods Gallery, Cape Kidnappers
Find places to stay Dec 12 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Mission Estate Winery ©
Mission Estate Winery
Cape Kidnappers ©
Cape Kidnappers
Birdwoods Gallery ©
Birdwoods Gallery

7
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.
Old St Paul's and Edwin Fox Maritime Museum will appeal to history buffs. Get a sense of the local culture at Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre and Cable Car Museum. Venture out of the city with trips to Picton (Queen Charlotte Track, Marlborough Sounds, & more), Wine Tours & Tastings (in Blenheim) and Kayaking & Canoeing (in Havelock). The adventure continues: explore the activities along Oriental Bay, get a sense of history and politics at New Zealand Parliament, appreciate the history behind Paddy the Wanderer Monument, and look for all kinds of wild species at Staglands Wildlife Reserve.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Wellington road trip planner.

You can fly from Napier to Wellington in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In December, daytime highs in Wellington are 67°F, while nighttime lows are 56°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) early enough to travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Picton, Blenheim
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Queen Charlotte Track ©
Queen Charlotte Track
Marlborough Sounds ©
Marlborough Sounds
Edwin Fox Maritime Museum ©
Edwin Fox Maritime Museum

6
nights
Christchurch

Christchurch ©
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Step out of the city life by going to Dolphin & Whale Watching and River Rafting & Tubing. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like The Giant's House and Riccarton House & Bush. Explore Christchurch's surroundings by going to Akaroa (Swim with Dolphins, Britomart Monument, & more). And it doesn't end there: examine the collection at Air Force Museum of New Zealand, explore the world behind art at Christchurch Art Gallery (Te Puna o Waiwhetu), pause for some photo ops at John Robert Godley Statue, and take in the pleasant sights at Banks Peninsula.

To find out how to plan a trip to Christchurch, use our trip itinerary maker.

You can fly from Wellington to Christchurch in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry and train. Traveling from Wellington in December, Christchurch is little chillier at night with lows of 51°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sun) so you can go by car to Dunedin.

Things to do in Christchurch

Tours Outdoors Adventure

Side Trip

Akaroa
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
The Giants House ©
The Giants House
Kayaking & Canoeing
Air Force Museum of New Zealand ©
Air Force Museum of New Zealand

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.
Get some historical perspective at Nugget Point/Tokata Walks and St. Paul's Cathedral. Escape the urban bustle at Penguin Place and Tunnel Beach Track. When in Dunedin, make a side trip to see Moeraki Boulders Beach in Oamaru, approximately 1h 30 min away. There's lots more to do: tour in style with a train tour, indulge your thirst for a good beer at Speight’s Brewery, steep yourself in history at Olveston Historic Home, and see the sky in a new way at Otago Museum.

To find reviews and more tourist information, read our Dunedin online trip itinerary planner .

Traveling by car from Christchurch to Dunedin takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Thu) early enough to catcht the bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Dunedin

Parks Tours Museums

Side Trips

Nugget Point/Tokata Walks, Moeraki Boulders Beach
Find places to stay Dec 29 — Jan 2:
Highlights from your plan
Penguin Place ©
Penguin Place
St. Paul's Cathedral ©
St. Paul's Cathedral
Tunnel Beach Track ©
Tunnel Beach Track

4
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 Lake Te Anau and Routeburn Track. Discover out-of-the-way places like The Chasm Walk and Statue of Stag. Change things up with these side-trips from Te Anau: Manapouri (Wild Wool Gallery & Kayaking & Canoeing). On the 6th (Mon), hike the day away at Kepler Track. There's still lots to do: explore the activities along Lake Gunn.

To find photos, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Te Anau road trip website .

Traveling by bus from Dunedin to Te Anau takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Manapouri, Routeburn Track, Statue of Stag, Lake Gunn
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Te Anau ©
Lake Te Anau
Kepler Track ©
Kepler Track
The Chasm Walk ©
The Chasm Walk

8
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Arrowtown Village and Glenorchy-Queenstown Road. Your inner history buff will appreciate Arrowtown Chinese Settlement and Kawarau Suspension Bridge. Step out of Queenstown to go to Mount Creighton and see Little Paradise Dream Garden, which is approximately 30 minutes away. There's still lots to do: hike along Queenstown Hill, see exotic creatures in open habitats at a safari tour, take an in-depth tour of Lakes District Museum & Art Gallery, and take the plunge with a skydiving experience.

For reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Queenstown tour site .

Take a bus from Te Anau to Queenstown in 3.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Tue) so you can catcht the bus to Wanaka.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Arrowtown, Kawarau Suspension Bridge, Otago Central Rail Trail, Little Paradise Dream Garden
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Lakes District Museum & Art Gallery ©
Otago Central Rail Trail ©
Otago Central Rail Trail
Ben Lomond Track ©
Ben Lomond Track

7
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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at National Transport and Toy Museum and The Picture Lounge. Explore hidden gems such as Roys Peak Track and Wanaka. The adventure continues: cast your line with a fishing tour, get your game on at Puzzling World, take a memorable tour with Tours, and trek along Mount Iron Track.

For ratings, photos, and more tourist information, read Wanaka journey planner.

Getting from Queenstown to Wanaka by bus takes about 2.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Roys Peak Track ©
Roys Peak Track
Mount Iron Track ©
Mount Iron Track
Fishing Charters & Tours

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Wed): tour the pleasant surroundings at Kororipo Pa Historic Walk, then contemplate the long history of The Stone Store & Kemp House - Kerikeri Mission Station, then admire the sheer force of Rainbow Falls, and finally look for all kinds of wild species at Paihia Harbour. On the 23rd (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: appreciate the extensive heritage of Waro Limestone Scenic Reserve Walk, steep yourself in history at Pompallier Mission and Printery, and then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

For photos, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, read Paihia online road trip planner .

You can fly from Wanaka to Paihia in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of ferry and car. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Thu) to allow time to drive to Auckland.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites

Side Trips

Kerikeri, Pompallier Mission and Printery, Waro Limestone Scenic Reserve Walk
Find places to stay Jan 21 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Rainbow Falls ©
Rainbow Falls
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Pompallier Mission and Printery ©
Pompallier Mission and Printery

6
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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Piha Beach and Goat Island Marine Reserve. Visiting Dolphin & Whale Watching and Muriwai Gannet Colony will get you outdoors. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Auckland: Hahei Beach Walk (in Hahei), Whitianga (The Lost Spring & Whitianga Rock Walk) and Arataki Visitor Centre (in Piha). There's still lots to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Orewa Beach, see the interesting displays at New Zealand Maritime Museum, contemplate the geological forces at One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie), and take in the spiritual surroundings of Masjid-e-Umar Mosque.

To see maps, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Auckland day trip planner.

Getting from Paihia to Auckland by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. January in Auckland sees daily highs of 66°F and lows of 66°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Whitianga, Piha, Muriwai Gannet Colony, Orewa Beach, Hahei Beach Walk
Find places to stay Jan 23 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Arataki Visitor Centre ©
Arataki Visitor Centre
Piha Beach ©
Piha Beach
Muriwai Gannet Colony ©
Muriwai Gannet Colony

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