32 days in New Zealand Itinerary

32 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand trip builder
Make it your trip
Fly to Auckland, Bus to Waitomo Caves
1
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Rotorua
— 4 nights
Fly
3
Queenstown
— 4 nights
Bus
4
Te Anau
— 3 nights
Bus
5
Fox Glacier
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Hokitika
— 3 nights
Fly
7
Paihia
— 2 nights
Drive
8
Kaitaia
— 3 nights
Fly to Auckland International Airport, Drive to Hot Water Beach
9
Hot Water Beach
— 1 night
Drive to Auckland International Airport, Fly to Reykjavik

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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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Ruakuri Cave and Caveworld. Step out of the city life by going to Marakopa Falls and Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Waitomo Caves: Kawhia Hot Water Beach (in Kawhia) and Bridal Veil Falls (in Raglan). There's much more to do: stroll through Ruakuri Walk, skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, head outdoors with Waitomo Clay Birds, and experience rural life at Waitomo Big Bird & Miniature Animal Petting Farm.

To find more things to do, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Waitomo Caves trip planner.

Reykjavik, Iceland to Waitomo Caves is an approximately 28.5-hour combination of flight and bus. The time zone changes from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to New Zealand Standard Time (NZST), which is usually a 12 hour difference. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sat) so you can go by car to Rotorua.
Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Nature
Side Trips
Find places to stay Oct 4 — 6:

Rotorua — 4 nights

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.
Escape the urban bustle at Huka Falls Walkway and River Rafting & Tubing. Discover out-of-the-way places like Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park and Volcanic Hills Winery. Go for a jaunt from Rotorua to Mount Maunganui to see Mt Maunganui Main Beach about 1h 10 min away. Next up on the itinerary: tour the pleasant surroundings at Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre, soothe aching muscles at Hell's Gate Geothermal Reserve & Mud Spa, get outside with Outdoor Activities, and experience rural life at Agrodome.

Plan my trip to Rotorua with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.

Traveling by car from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In October, plan for daily highs up to 21°C, and evening lows to 13°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Wed) early enough to catch the flight to Queenstown.
Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Outdoors
Side Trips
Find places to stay Oct 6 — 10:

Queenstown — 4 nights

Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like River Rafting & Tubing and Dark Ride. Get outdoors at The Remarkables Ski Area and Coronet Peak. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Queenstown: Wanaka (Helicopter Tours & Wanaka). And it doesn't end there: hike along Queenstown Hill, cross one thing off your bucket list with a skydiving experience, relax in the rural setting at Ben Lomond Lavender, and view the masterpieces at Silver Fern Gallery.

To see more things to do, photos, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Queenstown holiday planning tool.

You can fly from Rotorua to Queenstown in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Mon) early enough to take a bus to Te Anau.
Outdoors · Parks · Winter Sports · Nature
Side Trips
Find places to stay Oct 10 — 15:

Te Anau — 3 nights

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.
Explore hidden gems such as Lake Te Anau and The Chasm Walk. It doesn't end there: contemplate the waterfront views at Milford Sound and look for gifts at Kowhai Gifts & Souvenirs.

To see ratings, photos, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Te Anau road trip tool.

You can take a bus from Queenstown to Te Anau in 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Thu) early enough to take a bus to Fox Glacier.
Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails
Find places to stay Oct 15 — 18:

Fox Glacier — 2 nights

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 West Coast Wildlife Centre. Visiting Lake Matheson Walk and Franz Josef Glacier will get you outdoors. The adventure continues: kick back and relax at Gillespies Beach, hike along Fox Glacier South Side Walk, tour the pleasant surroundings at Sentinel Rock Walk, and see the world from above with a helicopter tour.

Plan my day in Fox Glacier using traveler tips and tourist information provided by Inspirock.

Take a bus from Te Anau to Fox Glacier in 10 hours. On the 21st (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Hokitika.
Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Wildlife
Side Trips
Find places to stay Oct 18 — 21:

Hokitika — 3 nights

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. Step off the beaten path and head to Hokitika Beach and Hokitika Gorge Walk. Visiting Lake Kaniere and Westcoast Treetop Walk & Cafe will get you outdoors. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Hokitika: Maruia Falls (in Murchison), Woods Creek Track (in Greymouth) and Coal Creek Track (in Runanga). There's lots more to do: stroll through Tunnel Terrace Walk, make a trip to Glow Worm Dell, look for gifts at Tectonic Jade, and take in the exciting artwork at Hokitika Craft Gallery.

For photos, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Hokitika trip planner.

Drive from Fox Glacier to Hokitika in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Wed) early enough to fly to Paihia.
Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Transportation
Side Trips
Find places to stay Oct 21 — 24:

Paihia — 2 nights

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.
Step out of the city life by going to Scuba & Snorkeling and Nature & Wildlife Tours. Step off the beaten path and head to Rainbow Falls and Kings Theatre Creative. Go for a jaunt from Paihia to Whangarei to see Whangarei Falls about 1h 10 min away. There's much more to do: head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, look for gifts at The Old Packhouse Market, glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour, and stroll through Paihia Harbour.

To find ratings, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Paihia travel tool.

You can fly from Hokitika to Paihia in 9.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Sat) so you can drive to Kaitaia.
Wildlife · Tours · Outdoors · Parks
Side Trips
Find places to stay Oct 24 — 27:

Kaitaia — 3 nights

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. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Tane Mahuta Walk and Ninety Mile Beach. Get outdoors at Rarawa Beach and Four Sisters Walk. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Kaitaia: Koutu Boulders (in Opononi), Mangonui (Exhibit A Gallery & Coopers Beach) and Tapotupotu Beach (in Cape Reinga). There's still lots to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Taipa Beach, take an in-depth tour of Te Ahu Heritage, view the masterpieces at Taute Gallery, and explore the activities along Doubtless bay.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, read our Kaitaia tour itinerary planning app.

Getting from Paihia to Kaitaia by car takes about 1.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Hot Water Beach.
Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Museums
Side Trips
Find places to stay Oct 27 — 30:

Hot Water Beach — 1 night

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.
Kick off your visit on the 31st (Wed): enjoy the sand and surf at Hot Water Beach, boost your wellbeing at The Lost Spring, then do a tasting at Purangi Estate Limited, and finally kick back and relax at Hahei Beach Walk. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: tour the pleasant surroundings at Opoutere Surf Beach and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Whangamata Beach.

To find maps, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Hot Water Beach online journey planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Kaitaia to Hot Water Beach. In October in Hot Water Beach, expect temperatures between 20°C during the day and 13°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Thu) so you can travel back home.
Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · Nature
Side Trips
Find places to stay Oct 30 — Nov 1:

New Zealand travel guide

4.5
Specialty Museums · Landmarks · Hiking Trails
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.