30 days in New Zealand Itinerary

30 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Rotorua
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights
Fly
3
Wellington
— 1 night
Fly
4
Nelson
— 3 nights
Drive
5
Picton
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Kaikoura
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Hokitika
— 1 night
Fly
8
Christchurch
— 3 nights
Fly to Queenstown International Airport, Drive to Wanaka
9
Wanaka
— 4 nights
Bus
10
Queenstown
— 5 nights
Fly

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Rotorua

— 4 nights

Sulphur City

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.
River Rats Raft & Kayak has been added to your itinerary. You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Mt Maunganui Main Beach and Papamoa Beach. Visiting Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave and Waimangu Volcanic Valley will get you outdoors. Step out of Rotorua with an excursion to Mount Maunganui Base Track in Mount Maunganui--about 1h 10 min away. There's still lots to do: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, explore the activities along Lake Rotorua, kick your exploration up a notch at Redwoods Treewalk, and identify plant and animal life at Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park.

To see more things to do, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Rotorua trip itinerary builder website.

Manchester, UK to Rotorua is an approximately 31-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Manchester to Rotorua is 12 hours. In September, daily temperatures in Rotorua can reach 19°C, while at night they dip to 10°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay Sep 2 — 6:

Waitomo Caves

— 2 nights
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 7th (Thu): pause for some photo ops at Sir Colin Meads Statue, then trek along Ruakuri Walk, then Head underground at Ruakuri Cave, and finally get a dose of the wild on Spellbound Glowworm & Cave Tours. Here are some ideas for day two: head off the coast to Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari, then admire the sheer force of Marakopa Falls, then snap pictures at Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk, and finally Head underground at Caveworld.

For ratings, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Waitomo Caves day trip tool.

Drive from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Fri) early enough to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay Sep 6 — 8:

Wellington

— 1 night

Harbour Capital

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.
On the 9th (Sat), admire the landmark architecture of Old St Paul's, then explore the activities along Oriental Bay, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Staglands Wildlife Reserve.

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

You can fly from Waitomo Caves to Wellington in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In September in Wellington, expect temperatures between 16°C during the day and 10°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Nelson.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Beaches
Find places to stay Sep 8 — 9:

Nelson

— 3 nights

Top of the South

Put on your shades to enjoy the sights of Nelson, one of the sunniest cities in New Zealand.
Get outdoors at Abel Tasman Coast Track and Kaiteriteri Beach. Explore hidden gems such as Tahunanui Beach and Christ Church Cathedral. And it doesn't end there: examine the collection at World of WearableArt & Classic Car Museum, pause for some photo ops at Dance to the Music of Time, pick up a one of a kind souvenir at Eclectric Antique Centre, and don't miss a visit to Centre of New Zealand.

For more things to do, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Nelson planner.

You can fly from Wellington to Nelson in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Tue) early enough to drive to Picton.

Things to do in Nelson

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Sep 9 — 12:

Picton

— 3 nights

Gateway to the South Island

Take photo after stunning photo in Picton, the gateway to South Island.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Queen Charlotte Track and Picton Sound. Take a break from the city and head to Marlborough Sounds and E-Ko Tours. There's lots more to do: contemplate the waterfront views at Queen Charlotte Sound, steep yourself in history at Edwin Fox Maritime Museum, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Karaka Point Walk.

To find more things to do, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Picton trip itinerary builder.

You can drive from Nelson to Picton in 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus. In September, daily temperatures in Picton can reach 16°C, while at night they dip to 10°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Fri) early enough to drive to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Picton

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature
Find places to stay Sep 12 — 15:

Kaikoura

— 2 nights
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 16th (Sat): get outside with Walks Kaikoura, then make a trip to Ohau Point Seal Colony, then stop by Southern Paua Shop & Factory, and finally hike along Ohau Stream Walk. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 17th (Sun): identify plant and animal life at Peninsula Seal Colony, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway, and then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

To find where to stay, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Kaikoura trip builder website.

Getting from Picton to Kaikoura by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a train. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Hokitika.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Wildlife
Find places to stay Sep 15 — 17:

Hokitika

— 1 night
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. Start off your visit on the 18th (Mon): look for gifts at Mountain Jade, identify plant and animal life at Hokitika Gorge Walk, take in the exciting artwork at Wilderness Gallery, don't miss a visit to Pioneers of the Frontier Statue, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Hokitika Beach, and finally head outdoors with Glow Worm Dell.

To find maps, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, use the Hokitika online sightseeing planner.

Drive from Kaikoura to Hokitika in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Mon) early enough to travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Hokitika

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Shopping
Find places to stay Sep 17 — 18:

Christchurch

— 3 nights

Garden City

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 Swim with Dolphins and Avon River. Discover out-of-the-way places like Quake City and Banks Peninsula. Take a break from Christchurch with a short trip to Britomart Monument in Akaroa, about 1h 20 min away. The adventure continues: stroll around Hagley Park, make a trip to 185 Empty White Chairs - Earthquake Memorial, admire nature's wide array of creatures at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, and enjoy breathtaking views from Christchurch Gondola.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Christchurch travel itinerary planner.

You can fly from Hokitika to Christchurch in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In September, plan for daily highs up to 16°C, and evening lows to 5°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Thu) early enough to travel to Wanaka.

Things to do in Christchurch

Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trip

Find places to stay Sep 18 — 21:

Wanaka

— 4 nights
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.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Aspiring Helicopters. Discover out-of-the-way places like Roys Peak Track and Cardrona Alpine Resort. Visiting Wanaka and Snow Farm NZ will get you outdoors. There's lots more to do: hike along Mount Iron Track, do a tasting at Rippon Vineyard, take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, and view the masterpieces at Wanaka Fine Art Gallery.

To find where to stay, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, use the Wanaka trip itinerary maker.

Explore your travel options from Christchurch to Wanaka with the Route module. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Mon) to allow enough time to take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Wanaka

Outdoors · Parks · Winter Sports · Trails

Side Trip

Find places to stay Sep 21 — 25:

Queenstown

— 5 nights

Shallow Bay

Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Glenorchy-Queenstown Road and Helicopter Tours. Take a break from the city and head to Coronet Peak and Queenstown Hill. There's still lots to do: trot along with a tour on horseback, learn about winemaking at Peregrine Wines, cross one thing off your bucket list with a skydiving experience, and trek along Ben Lomond Track.

For maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Queenstown trip itinerary maker app.

Take a bus from Wanaka to Queenstown in 3 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors · Parks · Nature · Winter Sports

Side Trips

Find places to stay Sep 25 — 30:

New Zealand travel guide

4.5
Specialty Museums · Hiking Trails · Landmarks
Land of the Long White Cloud
Far-flung New Zealand has become known for its astounding topography, singular biodiversity, varied climate, and for marrying native Maori and post-colonial European cultures on its two main islands and the multitude of smaller landmasses dotted around them. Free-spirited New Zealanders cultivate a love of sports, sustainability, and the outdoors. Far from other landmasses, the islands existed for millions of years before being inhabited by humans, so an abundance of species have come to thrive in the thick, wild rainforest, vast and rugged backland, and extensive surrounding marine areas. While much of New Zealand tourism centers around adventures through this spectacular scenery, take time to explore the nation's rich cultural heritage as well. The traditions and history of the Maoris, and the industry and internationalism of the descendents of the first European settlers endure in fascinating attractions, ranging from museums, to farms, to places of worship.