31 days in New Zealand Itinerary

31 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand Trip Planner

Route & dates

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Los Angeles
Fly:
19​h
Rotorua
— 5 nights
Drive:
2​h 15​min
Waitomo Caves
— 3 nights
+3
Drive + Fly + taxi + bus:
6​h 15​min
Kaikoura
— 2 nights
Drive:
5​h 15​min
Lake Tekapo
— 2 nights
bus:
2​h 30​min
Wanaka
— 1 night
bus:
1​h 15​min
Queenstown
— 4 nights
Drive:
2​h
Te Anau
— 4 nights
Drive:
3​h 45​min
Dunedin
— 3 nights
Fly:
7​h
Hahei
— 2 nights
Drive:
2​h 15​min
Auckland
— 3 nights
Fly:
17​h
Los Angeles

4
days
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 explore the less-touristy side of things at River Rafting & Tubing and Lake Rotorua. Get some historical perspective at Government Gardens and St. Faith's Anglican Church. Take a break from Rotorua with a short trip to Huka Falls in Taupo, about 1:20 hours away. There's lots more to do: take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, learn about winemaking at Volcanic Hills Winery, relax in the rural setting at Agrodome, and contemplate the long history of Tamaki Maori Village.

To see ratings, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Rotorua itinerary builder.

Los Angeles, USA to Rotorua is an approximately 19-hour flight. The time zone changes from Pacific Standard Time to New Zealand Standard Time, which is usually a 20 hour difference. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Thu) early enough to go by car to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Nature Sightseeing

Side Trips

Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park, Huka Falls tracks, River Rafting & Tubing, Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Accommodations
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Highlights from your plan
Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park
Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Huka Falls tracks

3
days
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Ruakuri Cave and Caveworld. Get outdoors at Waitomo Glowworm Caves and Waitomo Big Bird & Miniature Animal Petting Farm. There's still lots to do: explore and take pictures at Cape Reinga, tour the pleasant surroundings at Waitomo Adventures - Lost World 4 Hr Option, get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, and head off the coast to Kapiti Island.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Waitomo Caves travel itinerary planner.

Drive from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks Tours Nature

Side Trips

North Island, Waitomo Big Bird & Miniature Animal Petting Farm
Accommodations
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Highlights from your plan
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Caveworld
Cape Reinga

2
days
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 5th (Sun): hike along Ohau Waterfall Walk and Seal Pups. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway.

To find photos, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Kaikoura trip itinerary maker.

Do a combination of car and flight from Waitomo Caves to Kaikoura in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Lake Tekapo.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Trails Parks Tours
Accommodations
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Highlights from your plan
Ohau Stream Walk
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway

2
days
Lake Tekapo

Located in a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo offers evenings of stargazing and days of long walks.
On the 7th (Tue), relax in the rural setting at High Country Salmon and then explore the activities along Lake Pukaki. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 8th (Wed): take in the architecture and atmosphere at Church of the Good Shepherd, explore the activities along Lake Tekapo, then relax in the rural setting at Gem Alpaca Stud, and finally take in the natural beauty of Tekapo Springs.

For where to stay, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, use the Lake Tekapo online itinerary creator.

Getting from Kaikoura to Lake Tekapo by car takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Thu) so you can go by car to Wanaka.

Things to do in Lake Tekapo

Parks Nature Sightseeing

Side Trips

High Country Salmon, Gem Alpaca Stud, Lake Pukaki
Accommodations
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Highlights from your plan
Lake Pukaki
Tekapo Springs
Gem Alpaca Stud

2
days
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.
On the 9th (Thu), hit the slopes at Wanaka and then take in the awesome beauty at Mount Iron. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the activities along Lake Wanaka, take in breathtaking views at Deep Canyon, and then do a tasting at Rippon.

To see traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Wanaka online itinerary creator.

Traveling by car from Lake Tekapo to Wanaka takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Fri) early enough to drive to Queenstown.

Things to do in Wanaka

Parks Nature Winter Sports
Accommodations
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Highlights from your plan
Wanaka
Mount Iron Track
Deep Canyon

4
days
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 Walter Peak High Country Farm and Dark Ride. Step out of the city life by going to Ben Lomond Walkway and Kiwi Birdlife Park. There's much more to do: get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, cross one thing off your bucket list with a skydiving experience, and try to win big at Skycity Casino.

To find reviews, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Queenstown sightseeing planner.

Getting from Wanaka to Queenstown by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Tue) so you can go by car to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours Adventure Parks
Accommodations
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Highlights from your plan
Parasailing & Paragliding
Walter Peak High Country Farm
Ben Lomond Walkway

4
days
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Kepler Track and Lake Te Anau. Get outdoors at Doubtful Sound and Te Anau Glowworm Caves. And it doesn't end there: stroll through Gertrude Saddle, see the world from above with a helicopter tour, and add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour.

To see ratings, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Te Anau itinerary planner.

You can drive from Queenstown to Te Anau in 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus. On the 18th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Dunedin.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Trails Nature
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Te Anau.
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Highlights from your plan
Lake Te Anau
Doubtful Sound
Kepler Track

2
days
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.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Sun): examine the collection at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, then stroll through Tunnel Beach, and then identify plant and animal life at Otago Peninsula. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 20th (Mon): admire the striking features of Olveston Historic Home, step into the grandiose world of Larnach Castle & Gardens, then look for all kinds of wild species at Penguin Place, and finally identify plant and animal life at The Royal Albatross Centre.

To see maps, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Dunedin holiday planner.

You can drive from Te Anau to Dunedin in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Tue) so you can travel to Hahei.

Things to do in Dunedin

Parks Wildlife Areas Sightseeing
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Dunedin.
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Highlights from your plan
Otago Peninsula
Penguin Place
Tunnel Beach Track

2
days
Hahei

Kick off your visit on the 21st (Tue): add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour. On your second day here, enjoy the sand and surf at Hahei Beach Walk, explore the activities along Cathedral Cove, and then witness a stunning natural landmark at Hot Water Beach.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Hahei tour planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Dunedin to Hahei. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Thu) early enough to travel to Auckland.

Things to do in Hahei

Parks Tours Beaches

Side Trip

Hot Water Beach
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Hahei.
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Highlights from your plan
Hot Water Beach
Kayaking & Canoeing
Hahei Beach Walk

4
days
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.
Take a break from the city and head to Piha Beach and Orewa Beach. Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Sunset Beach and Karekare Beach. There's much more to do: cruise along Waitakere Ranges, stop by Pauanesia, make a trip to Sky Tower, and head off the coast to Tiritiri Matangi Island.

To find maps, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Auckland itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Hahei to Auckland takes 2.5 hours. In February, daily temperatures in Auckland can reach 72°F, while at night they dip to 72°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Beaches Nature

Side Trips

Piha Beach, Orewa Beach, Karekare Beach, Sunset Beach
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Auckland.
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Highlights from your plan
Piha Beach
Orewa Beach
Sunset Beach

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