28 days in New Zealand Itinerary

28 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

28 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  8​h
1
Paihia
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
2
Auckland
— 2 nights
3
Rotorua
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
4
Whakapapa
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
5
Wellington
— 1 night
+2
Fly + foot + bus:  8​h 15​min
6
Fox Glacier
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h 30​min
7
Mt. Cook Village
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h 15​min
8
Te Anau
— 4 nights
bus:  3​h 15​min
9
Queenstown
— 4 nights
Fly:  5​h 45​min
End: Sydney

3
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.
Paihia is known for parks, wildlife, nature, adventure, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: admire the natural beauty at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour, don't miss a visit to KeriKeri New Zealand, and take a memorable tour with Tours.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Paihia trip maker app .

Sydney, Australia to Paihia is an approximately 8-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus. You'll lose 2 hours traveling from Sydney to Paihia due to the time zone difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Auckland.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife Parks Tours

Side Trip

Kerikeri
Find places to stay Dec 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Scuba & Snorkeling

2
nights
Auckland

Auckland ©
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.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Mon): get engrossed in the history at Auckland War Memorial Museum, test your team's savvy at popular escape rooms, and then contemplate the waterfront views at Devonport. Here are some ideas for day two: admire nature's wide array of creatures at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium, savor the flavors at Food & Drink, and then make a trip to Sky Tower.

To see photos, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Auckland journey planner.

You can drive from Paihia to Auckland in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 20°C, and evening lows to 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) so you can drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Auckland

Tours Parks Museums
Find places to stay Dec 15 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Auckland War Memorial Museum ©
Auckland War Memorial Museum
Wine Tours & Tastings

4
nights
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.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Rotorua: Waitomo Glowworm Caves (in Waitomo Caves), Hobbiton Movie Set (in Hinuera) and Taupo (Maori Rock Carvings, Huka Prawn Park, & more). There's still lots to do: witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, take a peaceful walk through Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and make a trip to Te Puia.

To find maps, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Rotorua itinerary builder app .

Getting from Auckland to Rotorua by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a bus; or fly. Traveling from Auckland in December, expect nights in Rotorua to be a bit cooler, around 17°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 25°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Sat) early enough to travel to Whakapapa.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Taupo, Waitomo Glowworm Caves, Hobbiton Movie Set
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway

3
nights
Whakapapa

Take a break from Whakapapa with a short trip to River Rafting & Tubing in Turangi, about 34 minutes away.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, use the Whakapapa journey app .

You can drive from Rotorua to Whakapapa in 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) early enough to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Whakapapa

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Tongariro National Park, River Rafting & Tubing
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Horsemtrails ©
Horsemtrails

1
night
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 25th (Wed): get engrossed in the history at The Great War Exhibition, take in nature's colorful creations at Wellington Botanic Garden, then take a memorable ride with Wellington Cable Car, and finally see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

For where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Wellington route planning tool .

Drive from Whakapapa to Wellington in 4.5 hours. In December, plan for daily highs up to 22°C, and evening lows to 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums Parks Transportation

Side Trip

Wellington Botanic Garden
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Wellington Botanic Garden ©
Wellington Botanic Garden
Wellington Cable Car ©
Wellington Cable Car

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.
Take a break from Fox Glacier with a short trip to Sentinel Rock Walk in Franz Josef, about 32 minutes away. The adventure continues: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Fox Glacier, tour the pleasant surroundings at Gillespies Beach, trek along Fox Glacier Hiking Trails, and see the world from above with a helicopter tour.

For more things to do, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Fox Glacier sightseeing planning website .

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Wellington to Fox Glacier takes 8.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car; or do a combination of flight and bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sat) so you can go by car to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trip

Franz Josef
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Fox Glacier ©
Fox Glacier
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier
Gillespies Beach ©
Gillespies Beach

3
nights
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
Mt. Cook Village is known for childrens museums, wildlife, outdoors, trails, and winter sports. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: trek along Hooker Valley Track, tour the pleasant surroundings at Governors Bush Walk, hit the slopes at Ski The Tasman, and get outside with Aoraki/Mt. Cook.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Mt. Cook Village travel route planner.

Getting from Fox Glacier to Mt. Cook Village by car takes about 5.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Tue) early enough to travel to Te Anau.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trip

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Mueller Hut Route ©
Mueller Hut Route

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.
Go for a jaunt from Te Anau to Milford to see Milford Foreshore Walk about 1h 15 min away. There's lots more to do: explore the activities along Milford Sound, appreciate the history behind Quintin Mackinnon Monument, trek along The Chasm Walk, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Hollyford Track.

For photos, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, read our Te Anau holiday planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Mt. Cook Village to Te Anau. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) to allow 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 31 — Jan 4:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound
Hollyford Track ©
Hollyford Track

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.
Queenstown is known for fun & games, adventure, wildlife, spas, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown, do a tasting at Chard Farm Winery, have fun at Break One Clay Target Shooting, and get some thrills on the water with a speed boat tour.

To see more things to do, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Queenstown trip itinerary maker tool .

Take a bus from Te Anau to Queenstown in 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Wed) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours Outdoors Fun & Games
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Zipline

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