33 days in New Zealand Itinerary

33 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand trip maker

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Route & dates

33 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Cardiff
Fly:  33​h
1
Te Anau
— 4 nights
bus:  3​h 15​min
2
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
3
Fox Glacier
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h 30​min
4
Mt. Cook Village
— 3 nights
Drive + Fly:  6​h 15​min
5
Wellington
— 2 nights
Fly:  2​h 45​min
6
Taupo
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
7
Whakapapa
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
8
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights
+2
taxi + Fly + taxi:  4​h 15​min
9
Paihia
— 6 nights
Drive + Fly:  33​h
End: Cardiff

4
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 out of the city life by going to Milford Sound and Kepler Track. Change things up with a short trip to Milford Foreshore Walk in Milford (about 1h 15 min away). The adventure continues: trek along Hollyford Track, contemplate the waterfront views at Doubtful Sound, take some stellar pictures from Te Anau Lion Lookout Point, and Head underground at Te Anau Glowworm Caves.

To find traveler tips, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Te Anau road trip tool .

Cardiff, UK to Te Anau is an approximately 33-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of train and flight. You'll lose 12 hours traveling from Cardiff to Te Anau due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Wed) to allow enough time to take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trips

Fiordland National Park, Milford Foreshore Walk
Find places to stay Dec 7 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Hollyford Track ©
Hollyford Track
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound

3
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.
Step out of the city life by going to Speed Boats Tours and Adrenaline & Extreme Tours. Step out of Queenstown to go to Wanaka and see Mount Aspiring National Park, which is approximately 1h 25 min away. And it doesn't end there: kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, look for all kinds of wild species at Kiwi Birdlife Park, learn about winemaking at Chard Farm Winery, and get your game on at Skyline Queenstown.

To find reviews, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Queenstown trip maker app .

You can take a bus from Te Anau to Queenstown in 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours Outdoors Parks

Side Trip

Mount Aspiring National Park
Find places to stay Dec 11 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Zipline
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours

3
nights
Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier ©
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Escape the urban bustle at Gillespies Beach and Fox Glacier. And it doesn't end there: explore the striking landscape at Franz Josef Glacier, tour the pleasant surroundings at Minnehaha Walk, trek along Moraine Walk, and see the world from above with a helicopter tour.

For ratings, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Fox Glacier trip itinerary builder app .

Traveling by car from Queenstown to Fox Glacier takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trip

Franz Josef Glacier
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Gillespies Beach ©
Gillespies Beach
Fox Glacier ©
Fox Glacier
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier

3
nights
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
Visiting Hooker Valley Track and Sealy Tarns Track will get you outdoors. Next up on the itinerary: get outside with Aoraki/Mt. Cook, hike along Red Tarns Track, tour the pleasant surroundings at Glencoe Walk, and explore the activities along Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier walks.

To see ratings, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Mt. Cook Village online road trip planner .

You can drive from Fox Glacier to Mt. Cook Village in 5.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Outdoors Trails Parks

Side Trip

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Sealy Tarns Track ©
Sealy Tarns Track
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Sat): take an in-depth tour of The Great War Exhibition, go for a walk through Hapuka Estuary Walk, take a memorable ride with Wellington Cable Car, then contemplate the long history of Kotuku School Memorial, and finally see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: tour the pleasant surroundings at Pinnacles Track and then get outside with Great Alpine Highway.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Wellington itinerary planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Mt. Cook Village to Wellington. Expect a daytime high around 22°C in December, and nighttime lows around 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sun) early enough to travel to Taupo.

Things to do in Wellington

Outdoors Museums Trails

Side Trip

Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Wellington Cable Car ©
Wellington Cable Car
Great Alpine Highway ©
Great Alpine Highway

3
nights
Taupo

Taupo ©
The resort town of Taupo lies on the banks of Lake Taupo, the largest body of water in the whole of Australasia.
Opepe Scenic and Historic Reserve and Ohinemutu are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Get in touch with nature at Huka Falls Walkway and Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Taupo: Rotorua (Zipline, Redwoods Treewalk, & more). There's lots more to do: take a memorable tour with Tours, stroll through Kinloch Beach, and get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To see other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, read our Taupo trip builder .

You can fly from Wellington to Taupo in 3 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of flight and bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Wed) so you can go by car to Whakapapa.

Things to do in Taupo

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trip

Rotorua
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway
Zipline
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

3
nights
Whakapapa

Whakapapa ©
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Tongariro Alpine Crossing and Tongariro Northern Circuit. Get outdoors at Horsemtrails and Ohakune Old Coach Road.

For more things to do, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, read our Whakapapa online trip itinerary planner .

Drive from Taupo to Whakapapa in 1.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Sat) early enough to travel to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Whakapapa

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trip

Tongariro National Park
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Horsemtrails ©
Horsemtrails
Ohakune Old Coach Road ©
Ohakune Old Coach Road

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.
On the 29th (Sun), relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, tour the pleasant surroundings at Ruakuri Walk, then Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves, and finally explore the fascinating underground world of Ruakuri Cave. On the 30th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the views from Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk, take in the dramatic scenery at Marokopa Falls Walk, then head outdoors with Waitomo Clay Birds, then explore the fascinating underground world of Footwhistle Glowworm Cave, and finally Head underground at Caveworld.

For ratings, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Waitomo Caves travel planner .

Getting from Whakapapa to Waitomo Caves by car takes about 2.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Mon) so you can travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
River Rafting & Tubing
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk

6
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.
We've included these beaches for you: Ocean Beach and Oneroa Bay. Waitangi Treaty Grounds and The Stone Store & Kemp House - Kerikeri Mission Station will appeal to history buffs. Change things up with these side-trips from Paihia: Russell (Christ Church, Pompallier Mission and Printery, & more) and Mount Manaia Track (in Whangarei). There's still lots to do: take a memorable tour with Tours, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, explore and take pictures at Akeake Historic Reserve Track, and discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

For maps and more tourist information, read Paihia route planning website .

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Waitomo Caves to Paihia in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and flight. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sun) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Kerikeri, Russell, Ocean Beach, Mount Manaia Track
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 5:
Highlights from your plan
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Scuba & Snorkeling
Nature & Wildlife Tours

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