31 days in New Zealand Itinerary

31 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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31 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Los Angeles
Fly:  19​h
Rotorua
— 5 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
Waitomo Caves
— 3 nights
+4
bus + taxi + Fly + taxi + train:  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 Central
— 3 nights
Fly:  17​h
Los Angeles

4
days
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 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 Outdoors

Side Trips

Huka Falls tracks, Waimangu Volcanic Valley, River Rafting & Tubing, Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park
Accommodations
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Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park ©
Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park
Waimangu Volcanic Valley ©
Waimangu Volcanic Valley
River Rafting & Tubing

3
days
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.
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

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

North Island, Waitomo Big Bird & Miniature Animal Petting Farm
Accommodations
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Cape Reinga ©
Cape Reinga
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Caveworld ©
Caveworld

2
days
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 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

Outdoors Parks Trails
Accommodations
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Ohau Stream Walk ©
Ohau Stream Walk
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway ©
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway
Scuba & Snorkeling

2
days
Lake Tekapo

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 Outdoors

Side Trips

Gem Alpaca Stud, Lake Pukaki, High Country Salmon
Accommodations
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Lake Pukaki ©
Lake Pukaki
Tekapo Springs ©
Tekapo Springs
Gem Alpaca Stud ©
Gem Alpaca Stud

2
days
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.
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 Outdoors
Accommodations
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Wanaka ©
Wanaka
Mount Iron Track ©
Mount Iron Track
Deep Canyon ©
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

Outdoors Tours Adventure
Accommodations
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Parasailing & Paragliding
Ben Lomond Track ©
Ben Lomond Track
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours

4
days
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.
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 Outdoors Trails
Accommodations
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Lake Te Anau ©
Lake Te Anau
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound
Kepler Track ©
Kepler Track

2
days
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.
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 Trails
Accommodations
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Otago Peninsula ©
Otago Peninsula
Olveston Historic Home ©
Olveston Historic Home
Tunnel Beach Track ©
Tunnel Beach Track

2
days
Hahei

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 Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Hot Water Beach
Accommodations
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Cathedral Cove Walk ©
Cathedral Cove Walk
Hot Water Beach ©
Hot Water Beach
Hahei Beach Walk ©
Hahei Beach Walk

4
days
Auckland Central

Auckland Central ©
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 Central

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Karekare Beach, Sunset Beach, Orewa Beach, Piha Beach
Accommodations
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Piha Beach ©
Piha Beach
Orewa Beach ©
Orewa Beach
Waitakere Ranges ©
Waitakere Ranges

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