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 Papamoa Beach and Mt Maunganui Main Beach. Visiting River Rafting & Tubing 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 lots more to do: witness a stunning natural landmark at Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave, head outdoors with Redwoods Treewalk, learn about winemaking at Volcanic Hills Winery, and contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Rotorua.

To see more things to do, photos, maps, and other tourist information, read our Rotorua trip builder.

Manchester, UK to Rotorua is an approximately 31-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Greenwich Mean Time to New Zealand Standard Time is 12 hours. In September, plan for daily highs up to 19°C, and evening lows to 10°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Wed) early enough to drive 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 catch the flight 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), take in the architecture and atmosphere at Old St Paul's, then explore the activities along Oriental Bay, and then stroll through 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 3 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 fly to Nelson.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Beaches

Side Trip

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 Dance to the Music of Time. There's much more to do: examine the collection at Nelson Classic Car Museum, make a trip to Centre of New Zealand, pause for some serene contemplation at Christ Church Cathedral, and pick up a one of a kind souvenir at Eclectric Antique Centre.

For where to stay, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Nelson online day trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Wellington to Nelson takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Tue) so you can go by car to Picton.

Things to do in Nelson

Parks · Outdoors · 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 E-Ko Tours. Take a break from the city and head to Marlborough Sounds and Queen Charlotte Sound. There's lots more to do: take in the waterfront activity at Picton Sound, get engrossed in the history at Edwin Fox Maritime Museum, and go for a walk through 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): tour the pleasant surroundings 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, tour the pleasant surroundings 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 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Mon) early enough to catch the flight 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 Hagley Park. Take a break from Christchurch with a short trip to Britomart Monument in Akaroa, about 1h 20 min away. The adventure continues: go for a walk through Banks Peninsula, 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 · Tours · Outdoors

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 Mount Iron Track. Visiting Wanaka and Parasailing & Paragliding will get you outdoors. Take a break from Wanaka with a short trip to Cardrona Alpine Resort in Cardrona, about 1h 5 min away. There's lots more to do: ski along the peaceful trails at Snow Farm NZ, take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, view the masterpieces at Wanaka Fine Art Gallery, and learn about winemaking at Rippon Vineyard.

For ratings, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Wanaka travel route tool.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Christchurch to Wanaka. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Mon) early enough to catch the 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 Skydiving. Take a break from the city and head to Coronet Peak and Ben Lomond Track. There's still lots to do: take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, hike along Queenstown Hill, head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, and do a tasting at Chard Farm Winery.

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 catch the flight back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors · Parks · Winter Sports · Nature

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.