52 days in New Zealand Itinerary

52 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand trip itinerary maker

Plan created by another user.Make it yours

Route & dates

Start: Christchurch
Bus:  4 h
1
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
— 4 nights
Bus:  5 h 15 min
2
Wanaka
— 4 nights
Bus:  2 h 30 min
3
Queenstown
— 7 nights
Bus:  3 h 15 min
4
Te Anau
— 6 nights
Fly:  7 h 15 min
5
Auckland
— 5 nights
Drive:  3 h
6
Paihia
— 4 nights
+2
Taxi + Fly + Taxi:  3 h
7
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h
8
Rotorua
— 6 nights
Drive:  2 h 30 min
9
Tongariro National Park
— 5 nights
Fly:  4 h
10
Wellington
— 5 nights
Fly:  6 h
11
Kaikoura
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h
End: Christchurch

4
nights
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) ©
Explore hidden gems such as Hooker Valley Track and Sentinel Rock Walk. Visiting Aoraki/Mt. Cook and Lake Pukaki will get you outdoors. Venture out of the city with trips to Franz Josef Glacier (in Franz Josef) and Fox Glacier (River Walk, Fox Glacier South Side Walk, &more).

To find ratings, photos, maps, and tourist information, read our Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) trip maker tool.

Christchurch to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) is an approximately 4.5-hour bus ride. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Fri) early enough to take a bus to Wanaka.

Things to do in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Fox Glacier, Franz Josef, Lake Pukaki, Hapuka Estuary Walk
Highlights from your plan
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Lake Matheson Walk ©
Lake Matheson Walk

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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Roys Peak Track and Crossfire Wanaka. Get outdoors at Fishing Charters & Tours and Mount Iron Track. Spend the 9th (Tue) exploring nature at Mount Aspiring National Park. Next up on the itinerary: get your game on at Puzzling World, learn about winemaking at Rippon Vineyard, contemplate the waterfront views at Wanaka, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Blue Pools Track.

To find traveler tips, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Wanaka visit planner.

Getting from Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) to Wanaka by bus takes about 6 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Tue) so you can take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Wanaka

Parks Outdoors Trails
Highlights from your plan
Roys Peak Track ©
Roys Peak Track
Wanaka ©
Wanaka
Mount Iron Track ©
Mount Iron Track

7
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 explore the less-touristy side of things at Glenorchy-Queenstown Road and Queenstown Hill. Escape the urban bustle at Ben Lomond Track and Otago Central Rail Trail. Take a break from Queenstown with a short trip to Three Miners Vineyard in Alexandra, about 1h 20 min away. There's lots more to do: get outside with Arrowtown Village, look for all kinds of wild species at Kiwi Birdlife Park, explore the activities along Lake Wakatipu, and have some family-friendly fun at Dark Ride.

To see maps, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Queenstown trip planner.

Traveling by bus from Wanaka to Queenstown takes 3 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Tue) to allow time to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Arrowtown, Three Miners Vineyard, Otago Central Rail Trail
Highlights from your plan
Glenorchy-Queenstown Road ©
Glenorchy-Queenstown Road
Otago Central Rail Trail ©
Otago Central Rail Trail
Queenstown Hill ©
Queenstown Hill

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.
Step off the beaten path and head to The Chasm Walk and Milford sound Hwy. Escape the urban bustle at Kepler Track and Milford Sound. There's lots more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Mirror Lakes Walk, hike along Lake Marian Track, explore the activities along Lake Te Anau, and explore the landscape on two wheels at Lake 2 Lake Trail.

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

Take a bus from Queenstown to Te Anau in 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Mon) so you can travel to Auckland.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Fiordland National Park, Milford sound Hwy
Highlights from your plan
The Chasm Walk ©
The Chasm Walk
Kepler Track ©
Kepler Track
Mirror Lakes Walk ©
Mirror Lakes Walk

5
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 discover tucked-away gems like Orewa Beach and One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie). Escape the urban bustle at Tiritiri Matangi Visitor Centre and Piha Beach. Get out of town with these interesting Auckland side-trips: Brick Bay Sculpture Trail (in Snells Beach), Piha (Arataki Visitor Centre & Kitekite Falls) and Warkworth (Goat Island Marine Reserve & Sheepworld). There's much more to do: stroll around Cornwall Park, make a trip to SkyTower, contemplate the geological forces at Rangitoto Island, and stroll through Nelson Street Cycleway.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Auckland online vacation planner.

Fly from Te Anau to Auckland in 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of bus, ferry, and car. In June, daily temperatures in Auckland can reach 15°C, while at night they dip to 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sat) early enough to drive to Paihia.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Piha, Warkworth, Brick Bay Sculpture Trail, Matakana War Memorial, Orewa Beach
Highlights from your plan
Orewa Beach ©
Orewa Beach
Tiritiri Matangi Visitor Centre ©
Tiritiri Matangi Visitor Centre
Goat Island Marine Reserve ©
Goat Island Marine Reserve

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.
Visit Christ Church and Pompallier Mission and Printery for their historical value. You'll discover tucked-away gems like The Parrot Place and Whangarei Falls. There's lots more to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Paihia Harbour, admire all the interesting features of Opua Forest Lookout Track, explore the landscape on two wheels at Twin Coast Cycle Trail Northland, and take in the dramatic scenery at Rainbow Falls.

To see where to stay, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, read Paihia online travel route planner.

Traveling by car from Auckland to Paihia takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Wed) to allow time to travel to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks Historic Sites Outdoors

Side Trips

Kerikeri, Russell, Whangarei Falls, Twin Coast Cycle Trail Northland
Highlights from your plan
The Parrot Place ©
The Parrot Place
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour
Whangarei Falls ©
Whangarei Falls

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 2nd (Thu): stroll through Ruakuri Walk, experience rural life at Roselands Farm Park, explore the fascinating underground world of Ruakuri Cave, thenHead underground at Caveworld, and finally Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves. On the 3rd (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the dramatic natural features at Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk, thentake in the dramatic scenery at Marakopa Falls, thenexplore the fascinating underground world of Aranui Cave, and finally head outdoors with Waitomo Clay Birds.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Waitomo Caves online journey planner.

Getting from Paihia to Waitomo Caves by combination of taxi and flight takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: drive; or fly. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Aranui Cave
Highlights from your plan
Ruakuri Cave
Ruakuri Cave
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk
Caveworld ©
Caveworld

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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Redwoods Treewalk and Mount Maunganui Base Track. Get some historical perspective at Government Gardens and Te Puia. Change things up with these side-trips from Rotorua: Taupo (Great Lake Taupo, Huka Falls Walkway, &more) and Mount Maunganui (Mt Maunganui Main Beach & Mount Maunganui Summit Track). The adventure continues: contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Rotorua, witness a stunning natural landmark at Kuirau Park, identify plant and animal life at Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park, and get impressive views of Waimangu Volcanic Valley.

To find maps, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Rotorua trip itinerary planning app.

Getting from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus. In July, plan for daily highs up to 17°C, and evening lows to 7°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Taupo, Tauranga, Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave
Highlights from your plan
Huka Falls Walkway
Huka Falls Walkway
Waimangu Volcanic Valley ©
Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Mt Maunganui Main Beach ©
Mt Maunganui Main Beach

5
nights
Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park ©
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Ohakune Old Coach Road and Te Porere Redoubt. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Mount Ruapehu and Tongariro National Trout Centre. When in Tongariro National Park, make a side trip to see Schnapps Mini Golf in National Park Village, approximately National Park Village away. The adventure continues: admire the sheer force of Mangawhero Falls, trek along Tongariro Northern Circuit, stroll through Whakapapa Nature Walk, and go from sight to sight with Tongariro Crossing Shuttles.

For maps, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Tongariro National Park trip itinerary maker tool.

Traveling by car from Rotorua to Tongariro National Park takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Tue) early enough to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Tongariro National Trout Centre, Schnapps Mini Golf
Highlights from your plan
Ohakune Old Coach Road ©
Ohakune Old Coach Road
Mount Ruapehu ©
Mount Ruapehu
Horsemtrails ©
Horsemtrails

5
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.
Visiting Otari-Wilton's Bush Native Botanic Garden and Oriental Bay will get you outdoors. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Matiu / Somes Island and Queen Charlotte Track. Change things up with a short trip to Pukaha National Wildlife Centre in Masterton (about 1h 55 min away). And it doesn't end there: see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, get engrossed in the history at The Great War Exhibition, get your game on at Carlucci Land, and ponder the world of politics at New Zealand Parliament.

To see maps, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Wellington trip site.

Traveling by flight from Tongariro National Park to Wellington takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and train. In July, plan for daily highs up to 14°C, and evening lows to 8°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sun) so you can travel to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Wellington Botanic Garden, Pukaha National Wildlife Centre, Queen Charlotte Track
Highlights from your plan
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Queen Charlotte Track ©
Queen Charlotte Track
Oriental Bay ©
Oriental Bay

3
nights
Kaikoura

Kaikoura ©
Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Mon): tour the pleasant surroundings at Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway and then identify plant and animal life at Peninsula Seal Colony. Keep things going the next day: see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, make a trip to Ohau Point Seal Colony, and then hike along Ohau Stream Walk.

To find reviews, photos, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Kaikoura day trip tool.

Traveling by flight from Wellington to Kaikoura takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus; or do a combination of ferry and train. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 22nd (Wed) to allow enough time to drive back home.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Parks Outdoors Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway ©
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway
Peninsula Seal Colony ©
Peninsula Seal Colony
Ohau Stream Walk ©
Ohau Stream Walk

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