32 days in New Zealand Itinerary

32 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

32 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Reykjavik
+3
Fly + bus + foot + bus:  30​h
1
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
2
Rotorua
— 4 nights
Fly:  5​h 30​min
3
Queenstown
— 4 nights
bus:  2​h 30​min
4
Te Anau
— 3 nights
bus:  6​h 30​min
5
Fox Glacier
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
6
Hokitika
— 3 nights
Fly + taxi:  7​h 45​min
7
Paihia
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
8
Kaitaia
— 3 nights
Fly:  5​h 45​min
9
Hot Water Beach
— 1 night
Fly:  30​h
End: Reykjavik


2
nights
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.
Get outdoors at Ruakuri Cave and Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Explore hidden gems such as Canyoning & Rappelling Tours and Marokopa Falls Walk. Change things up with these side-trips from Waitomo Caves: Kawhia Hot Water Beach (in Kawhia) and Bridal Veil Falls (in Raglan). And it doesn't end there: look for all kinds of wild species at Otorohanga Kiwi House & Native Bird Park, hike along Ruakuri Walk, head outdoors with Waitomo Clay Birds, and experience rural life at Waitomo Big Bird & Miniature Animal Petting Farm.

To see more things to do, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Waitomo Caves travel itinerary planner .

Reykjavik, Iceland to Waitomo Caves is an approximately 30-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 12 hours traveling from Reykjavik to Waitomo Caves. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sat) so you can go by car to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Otorohanga, Kawhia Hot Water Beach, Bridal Veil Falls
Find places to stay Oct 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Marokopa Falls Walk ©
Marokopa Falls Walk

4
nights
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park and Mt Maunganui Main Beach. Get outdoors at Waimangu Volcanic Valley and Horseback Riding Tours. Take a break from Rotorua with a short trip to Huka Falls tracks in Taupo, about 1h 20 min away. Next up on the itinerary: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, take in the natural beauty of Waikite Valley Thermal Pools, learn about winemaking at Volcanic Hills Winery, and identify plant and animal life at Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre.

For photos, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Rotorua trip planner.

Traveling by car from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In October in Rotorua, expect temperatures between 21°C during the day and 13°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Wed) so you can travel to Queenstown.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park, Hells Gate, Mt Maunganui Main Beach, Waimangu Volcanic Valley, Huka Falls tracks
Find places to stay Oct 6 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Waimangu Volcanic Valley ©
Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park ©
Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park
River Rafting & Tubing

4
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 off the beaten path and head to The Remarkables Ski Area and Skydiving. Visiting Wanaka and River Rafting & Tubing will get you outdoors. Step out of Queenstown with an excursion to Helicopter Tours in Wanaka--about 1h 15 min away. On the 12th (Fri), spend an exhilarating day on the slopes at Coronet Peak. Next up on the itinerary: hike along Queenstown Hill, have some family-friendly fun at Dark Ride, relax in the rural setting at Ben Lomond Lavender, and head outdoors with Arrowtown Village.

To see traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Queenstown itinerary maker app .

You can fly from Rotorua to Queenstown in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Mon) so you can go by car to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Parks Winter Sports

Side Trips

Wanaka, Arrowtown Village
Find places to stay Oct 10 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Arrowtown Village ©
Arrowtown Village
Wanaka ©
Wanaka
Queenstown Hill ©
Queenstown Hill

3
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.
Get in touch with nature at Fiordland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) and Milford Sound. Step off the beaten path and head to Lake Te Anau and Kayaking & Canoeing. The adventure continues: stroll through The Chasm Walk and stop by Kowhai Gifts & Souvenirs.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, use the Te Anau tour itinerary builder tool .

Drive from Queenstown to Te Anau in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Kayaking & Canoeing
Find places to stay Oct 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Kayaking & Canoeing

2
nights
Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier ©
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Step off the beaten path and head to Hooker Valley Track and Lake Matheson Walk. Step out of the city life by going to Fox Glacier and West Coast Wildlife Centre. Venture out of the city with trips to Franz Josef (Franz Josef Glacier & Sentinel Rock Walk). There's much more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Gillespies Beach, see the world from above with a helicopter tour, take in the pleasant sights at Tatare Tunnels Walk, and hike along Fox Glacier Te Moeka o Tuawe Valley Walk.

To see maps, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Fox Glacier travel route planner.

You can drive from Te Anau to Fox Glacier in 6.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Sun) early enough to go by car to Hokitika.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Franz Josef, Hooker Valley Track
Find places to stay Oct 18 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Lake Matheson Walk ©
Lake Matheson Walk
Fox Glacier ©
Fox Glacier

3
nights
Hokitika

Hokitika ©
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. Get outdoors at Hokitika Gorge Walk and Coal Creek Track. Step off the beaten path and head to Hokitika Beach and West Coast Scenic Waterways. Step out of Hokitika with an excursion to Woods Creek Track in Greymouth--about 48 minutes away. There's still lots to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Westcoast Treetop Walk & Cafe, view the masterpieces at Tectonic Jade, head outdoors with Glow Worm Dell, and get a taste of the local shopping with Hokitika Craft Gallery Co-op.

To find photos, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Hokitika day trip planning app .

You can drive from Fox Glacier to Hokitika in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Wed) early enough to travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Hokitika

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Woods Creek Track, Maruia Falls, Coal Creek Track
Find places to stay Oct 21 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Hokitika Gorge Walk ©
Hokitika Gorge Walk
Hokitika Beach ©
Hokitika Beach
West Coast Scenic Waterways ©
West Coast Scenic Waterways

2
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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Paihia Harbour and Nature & Wildlife Tours. Visiting Swim with Dolphins and Parasailing & Paragliding will get you outdoors. When in Paihia, make a side trip to see Whangarei Falls in Whangarei, approximately 1h 10 min away. Next up on the itinerary: take in the dramatic scenery at Rainbow Falls, see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, look for gifts at The Old Packhouse Market, and view the masterpieces at Kings Theatre Creative.

For maps, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Paihia day trip tool .

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from Hokitika to Paihia in 8 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Sat) so you can travel to Kaitaia.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Kerikeri, Whangarei Falls, Kings Theatre Creative
Find places to stay Oct 24 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Scuba & Snorkeling

3
nights
Kaitaia

Kaitaia ©
Kaitaia is a town in the Far North District of New Zealand, at the base of the Aupouri Peninsula, about 160 km northwest of Whangarei. Get in touch with nature at Ninety Mile Beach and Rarawa Beach. Step off the beaten path and head to Taipa Beach and Coopers Beach. Get out of town with these interesting Kaitaia side-trips: Opononi (Tane Mahuta Walk & Koutu Boulders), Exhibit A Gallery (in Mangonui) and Doubtless bay (in Karikari Peninsula). Next up on the itinerary: enjoy the sand and surf at Tapotupotu Beach, stroll through Four Sisters Walk, view the masterpieces at Taute Gallery, and get engrossed in the history at Te Ahu Heritage.

For maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Kaitaia trip itinerary builder website .

Getting from Paihia to Kaitaia by car takes about 1.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Tue) so you can travel to Hot Water Beach.

Things to do in Kaitaia

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Opononi, Mangonui, Taipa, Doubtless bay, Tapotupotu Beach
Find places to stay Oct 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Ninety Mile Beach ©
Ninety Mile Beach
Tane Mahuta Walk ©
Tane Mahuta Walk
Doubtless bay ©
Doubtless bay

1
night
Hot Water Beach

Hot Water Beach ©
Named after the geothermal springs that supply the coast with pleasantly warm water ideal for swimming and soaking, Hot Water Beach attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists every year.
Start off your visit on the 31st (Wed): witness a stunning natural landmark at Hot Water Beach, take in the natural beauty of The Lost Spring, then do a tasting at Purangi Estate Limited, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Hahei Beach Walk. On your second day here, take in the exciting artwork at Moko Artspace, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Opoutere Surf Beach, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Whangamata Beach.

To find ratings, photos, maps, and tourist information, use the Hot Water Beach driving holiday tool .

Explore your travel options from Kaitaia to Hot Water Beach with the Route module. In October, daily temperatures in Hot Water Beach can reach 20°C, while at night they dip to 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Hot Water Beach

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Whitianga, Whangamata Beach, Opoutere Surf Beach, Hahei Beach Walk
Find places to stay Oct 30 — Nov 1:
Highlights from your plan
Hot Water Beach ©
Hot Water Beach
Whangamata Beach ©
Whangamata Beach
Hahei Beach Walk ©
Hahei Beach Walk

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