60 days in South Korea, Japan & New Zealand Itinerary

60 days in South Korea, Japan & New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

60 days in South Korea, Japan & New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Reykjavik, Iceland
Fly:  18​h 30​min
1
Seoul, South Korea
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h 15​min
2
Jeju, South Korea
— 4 nights
Fly:  3​h
3
Busan, South Korea
— 1 night
ferry + Drive:  5​h
4
Nagasaki, Japan
— 2 nights
+2
train + subway + Fly:  6​h
5
Ishigaki, Japan
— 4 nights
Fly + train:  5​h 15​min
6
Kyoto, Japan
— 5 nights
train:  2​h 45​min
7
Tokyo, Japan
— 6 nights
Fly:  16​h 30​min
8
Queenstown, New Zealand
— 6 nights
Fly:  3​h
9
Christchurch, New Zealand
— 6 nights
Fly:  3​h
10
Wellington, New Zealand
— 6 nights
Fly:  3​h
11
Rotorua, New Zealand
— 7 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
12
Auckland Central, New Zealand
— 4 nights
Fly:  27​h
End: Reykjavik, Iceland


3
nights
Seoul, South Korea

Seoul ©
One of east Asia's major cultural and financial centers, Seoul boasts five World Heritage Sites and a huge selection of museums, temples, shrines, palaces, parks, gardens, and glass-and-steel skyscrapers.
Pack the 4th (Fri) with family-friendly diversions at Lotte World. Next up on the itinerary: step into the grandiose world of Gyeongbokgung Palace, take some stellar pictures from N Seoul Tower, take an in-depth tour of National Museum of Korea, and get to know the fascinating history of Cheonggyecheon Stream.

For more things to do, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Seoul road trip planning tool .

Reykjavik, Iceland to Seoul is an approximately 18.5-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to Korea Standard Time (KST) is 9 hours. Traveling from Reykjavik in January, Seoul is a bit cooler at night with lows of -7°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sat) so you can travel to Jeju.

Things to do in Seoul

Historic Sites Parks Theme Parks
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Gyeongbokgung Palace ©
Gyeongbokgung Palace
N Seoul Tower ©
N Seoul Tower
Changdeokgung Palace ©
Changdeokgung Palace

4
nights
Jeju, South Korea

Jeju ©
The main town on the largest of Korea's islands, Jeju has a volcanic landscape protected by UNESCO.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Seongsan Ilchulbong and Udo. Next up on the itinerary: take in the awesome beauty at Halla Mountain, take in the spiritual surroundings of Gwaneumsa Temple, Head underground at Manjanggul Cave, and hike along Jeju Olle Trail Routes.

For photos, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Jeju trip itinerary maker site .

You can fly from Seoul to Jeju in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of train, taxi, and ferry. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Wed) early enough to travel to Busan.

Things to do in Jeju

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Seongsan Ilchulbong, Jeju Olle Trail Routes
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Seongsan Ilchulbong ©
Seongsan Ilchulbong
Udo ©
Udo
Halla Mountain
Halla Mountain

1
night
Busan, South Korea

Busan ©
The country's second city, Busan has often been referred to as South Korea's summer capital.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Thu): kick back and relax at Gwangalli Beach and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Haeundae Beach.

For traveler tips, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Busan trip website .

You can fly from Jeju to Busan in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry and bus. In January, daily temperatures in Busan can reach 7°C, while at night they dip to -3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Thu) so you can travel to Nagasaki.

Things to do in Busan

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Haeundae Beach ©
Haeundae Beach
Gwangalli Beach ©
Gwangalli Beach

2
nights
Nagasaki, Japan

Nagasaki ©
The hilly port city of Nagasaki has become known internationally as one of the two Japanese cities to be destroyed by an atomic bomb towards the close of World War II.
On the 11th (Fri), take in the views from Megane Bridge, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Inasa, then contemplate the long history of Nagasaki Peace Park, and finally get engrossed in the history at Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum. Here are some ideas for day two: head off the coast to Hashima Island, then take in nature's colorful creations at Glover Garden, and then examine the collection at Dejima.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, use the Nagasaki trip itinerary maker website .

Do a combination of ferry and car from Busan to Nagasaki in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of ferry and train. In January, Nagasaki is somewhat warmer than Busan - with highs of 11°C and lows of 4°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Nagasaki

Parks Nature Museums
Find places to stay Jan 10 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Mt. Inasa ©
Mt. Inasa
Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum ©
Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum
Nagasaki Peace Park ©
Nagasaki Peace Park

4
nights
Ishigaki, Japan

Ishigaki ©
Ishigaki, the most populous island in the chain, features the country's southernmost city and acts as a transport hub for exploring the landmasses that surround.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Cape Hirakubozaki and Ishigaki Port Ritoh Terminal. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Ishigaki: Canyoning & Rappelling Tours (in Iriomote-jima) and Hateruma-jima (Cape Takanazaki & Nishihama Beach). There's much more to do: enjoy breathtaking views from Tamatorizaki Observatory, kick back and relax at Kaiji Beach, make a trip to Nagomi Tower, and stroll through Yonehara Beach.

For ratings, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Ishigaki trip planner .

Do a combination of train and flight from Nagasaki to Ishigaki in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Nagasaki in January: highs in Ishigaki hover around 24°C, while lows dip to 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Kyoto.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Taketomi-jima, Hateruma-jima, Canyoning & Rappelling Tours
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Tamatorizaki Observatory ©
Tamatorizaki Observatory
Kondoi Beach ©
Kondoi Beach

5
nights
Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto ©
The national capital for over a thousand years, Kyoto retains much of the charm of old Japan, boasting numerous temples and shrines that seem completely untouched by the modern world.
Change things up with these side-trips from Kyoto: Nara (Todai-ji Temple & Nara Park). The adventure continues: steep yourself in history at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kinkaku-ji, meet the residents at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, and explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle.

To find reviews, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Kyoto travel route tool .

Do a combination of flight and train from Ishigaki to Kyoto in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and train. Prepare for much colder weather when traveling from Ishigaki in January: high temperatures in Kyoto hover around 10°C and lows are around 1°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Wed) to allow time to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Parks

Side Trips

Osaka, Nara
Find places to stay Jan 17 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle

6
nights
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo ©
Tokyo holds the status of most populous metropolitan area in the world--a fact you'll find tangible as you walk the bustling streets and explore its diverse neighborhoods and cultures.
Have a day of magic on the 28th (Mon) at Tokyo Disneyland. There's still lots to do: don't miss a visit to Meiji Jingu Shrine, admire the natural beauty at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Senso-ji Temple, and get a sense of history and politics at Imperial Palace.

To see where to stay, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Tokyo trip site .

You can take a train from Kyoto to Tokyo in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. January in Tokyo sees daily highs of 11°C and lows of 1°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Tue) early enough to travel to Queenstown.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Theme Parks Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Tokyo Disneyland
Find places to stay Jan 23 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Meiji Jingu Shrine ©
Meiji Jingu Shrine
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

6
nights
Queenstown, New Zealand

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 River Rafting & Tubing and Queenstown Hill. Change things up with a short trip to Milford Sound in Te Anau (about 1h 50 min away). There's still lots to do: get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, race across the water with a speed boat tour, take the plunge with a skydiving experience, and get interesting insight from Tours.

For maps, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, go to the Queenstown online journey planner .

Traveling by flight from Tokyo to Queenstown takes 16.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus. Traveling from Tokyo to Queenstown, you'll lose 3 hours due to the time zone difference. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Tue) early enough to travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours Outdoors Adventure

Side Trip

Milford Sound
Find places to stay Jan 30 — Feb 5:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
River Rafting & Tubing

6
nights
Christchurch, New Zealand

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Dolphin & Whale Watching and Swim with Dolphins. Change things up with these side-trips from Christchurch: Akaroa (The Garden at French Farm, Orion Powerhouse Gallery, & more) and Little River Gallery (in Little River). There's much more to do: admire the natural beauty at Christchurch Botanic Gardens, don't miss a visit to Cardboard Cathedral, tour the pleasant surroundings at Hagley Park, and examine the collection at Quake City.

For ratings, maps, photos, and more tourist information, read our Christchurch trip itinerary planner .

You can fly from Queenstown to Christchurch in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In February, daytime highs in Christchurch are 26°C, while nighttime lows are 13°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Mon) early enough to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Christchurch

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Akaroa, Little River Gallery
Find places to stay Feb 5 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Swim with Dolphins
Kayaking & Canoeing

6
nights
Wellington, New Zealand

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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Wine Tours & Tastings and Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre. Step out of Wellington to go to Picton and see Queen Charlotte Track, which is approximately 1h 25 min away. There's still lots to do: see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa), look for all kinds of wild species at ZEALANDIA Sanctuary, get a sense of history and politics at Parliament Buildings, and get engrossed in the history at Wellington Museum.

To find where to stay, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Wellington trip planning app .

You can fly from Christchurch to Wellington in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of train and ferry. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Christchurch in February since evenings lows in Wellington dip to 17°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sun) so you can travel to Rotorua.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks Outdoors Museums

Side Trips

Blenheim, Queen Charlotte Track
Find places to stay Feb 11 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Wine Tours & Tastings
Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre ©
Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre

7
nights
Rotorua, New Zealand

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.
Explore hidden gems such as Horseback Riding Tours and Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Rotorua: Mt Maunganui Main Beach (in Mount Maunganui), Taupo (Aratiatia Rapids & Huka Falls tracks) and Waiotapu Boardwalk/ Mud Pool (in Wai-O-Tapu). Next up on the itinerary: witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, admire the natural beauty at Government Gardens, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and relax in the rural setting at Agrodome.

To see maps, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Rotorua trip planner .

You can fly from Wellington to Rotorua in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. February in Rotorua sees daily highs of 28°C and lows of 19°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Auckland Central.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Taupo, Mt Maunganui Main Beach, Hells Gate, River Rafting & Tubing, Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park
Find places to stay Feb 17 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Horseback Riding Tours
River Rafting & Tubing
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

4
nights
Auckland Central, New Zealand

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like The Lost Spring and Waiheke Island. There's still lots to do: take in panoramic vistas at Sky Tower, learn about all things military at Auckland Museum, explore the world behind art at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, and step off the mainland to explore Tiritiri Matangi Island.

To see maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Auckland Central trip itinerary website .

You can drive from Rotorua to Auckland Central in 3 hours. Other options are to fly; or take a bus. Traveling from Rotorua in February, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit warmer in Auckland Central, with lows of 26°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Thu) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Auckland Central

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trip

The Lost Spring
Find places to stay Feb 24 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
The Lost Spring ©
The Lost Spring
Sky Tower ©
Sky Tower
Tiritiri Matangi Island ©
Tiritiri Matangi Island

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