31 days in New Zealand Itinerary

31 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New Zealand itinerary planner

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Route & dates

31 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  6​h 45​min
1
Auckland
— 5 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
2
Hahei
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​min
3
Waimangu
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h
4
Taupo
— 5 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
5
Whakapapa
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
6
Castlepoint
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
7
Wellington
— 5 nights
Fly + Drive:  3​h 45​min
8
Punakaiki
— 4 nights
bus:  5​h 15​min
9
Abel Tasman National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h
10
New Plymouth
— 2 nights
Fly:  6​h
End: Sydney

5
nights
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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Tiritiri Matangi Visitor Centre and Tawharanui Regional Park. Explore Auckland's surroundings by going to Wine Tours & Tastings (in Waiheke Island), Matakana War Memorial (in Matakana) and Christine The Artist Goldsmith (in Oneroa). The adventure continues: indulge in some culinary diversions at a local gastronomic tour, identify plant and animal life at Muriwai Gannet Colony, admire the masterpieces at McCahon House Museum, and explore the landscape on two wheels at Nelson Street Cycleway.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, read Auckland day trip website .

Sydney, Australia to Auckland is an approximately 7-hour flight. The time zone changes from Australian Eastern Standard Time (New South Wales) (AEST) to New Zealand Standard Time (NZST), which is usually a 2 hour difference. While traveling from Sydney, expect slightly colder days and about the same nights in Auckland, ranging from highs of 20°C to lows of 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Hahei.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Nature Tours

Side Trips

Waiheke Island, McCahon House Museum, Matakana War Memorial, Arataki Visitor Centre, Tawharanui Regional Park
Find places to stay Dec 7 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Wine Tours & Tastings
Tiritiri Matangi Visitor Centre ©
Tiritiri Matangi Visitor Centre
Tawharanui Regional Park ©
Tawharanui Regional Park

1
night
Hahei

Hahei ©
On the 13th (Fri), take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mount Paku, make a trip to Sailors Grave, then stroll through Hot Water Beach, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Hahei Beach Walk.

To see maps, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Hahei attractions planner.

You can drive from Auckland to Hahei in 2.5 hours. Traveling from Auckland in December, expect nights in Hahei to be slightly colder, around 17°C, while days are a bit warmer, around 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Waimangu.

Things to do in Hahei

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Tairua, Hot Water Beach
Find places to stay Dec 12 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Mount Paku ©
Mount Paku
Hahei Beach Walk ©
Hahei Beach Walk
Hot Water Beach ©
Hot Water Beach

1
night
Waimangu

Waimangu ©
Start off your visit on the 14th (Sat): witness a stunning natural landmark at Waimangu Volcanic Valley, then explore the activities along Lake Rotomahana, then contemplate the waterfront views at The Bridge at Waiotapu Stream, and finally take in the natural beauty of Waiotapu Boardwalk/ Mud Pool.

To see photos, maps, reviews, and tourist information, read our Waimangu itinerary app .

Traveling by car from Hahei to Waimangu takes 3.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 25°C in December, and nighttime lows around 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Taupo.

Things to do in Waimangu

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

Wai-O-Tapu
Find places to stay Dec 13 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Waimangu Volcanic Valley ©
Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Lake Rotomahana ©
Lake Rotomahana
The Bridge at Waiotapu Stream ©
The Bridge at Waiotapu Stream

5
nights
Taupo

The resort town of Taupo lies on the banks of Lake Taupo, the largest body of water in the whole of Australasia.
Explore hidden gems such as River Rafting & Tubing and Aratiatia Rapids. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Taupo: Rotorua (Lady Knox Geyser, Horseback Riding Tours, & more), Napier (Marine Parade & Wine Tours & Tastings) and Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari (in Pukeatua). There's still lots to do: paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour, identify plant and animal life at Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre, take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, and look for gifts at Souvenir Outlet.

To see maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Taupo trip planner .

Traveling by car from Waimangu to Taupo takes an hour. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Thu) so you can go by car to Whakapapa.

Things to do in Taupo

Tours Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Rotorua, Napier, River Rafting & Tubing, Lake Taupo, Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Horseback Riding Tours
Wine Tours & Tastings

3
nights
Whakapapa

Whakapapa ©
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Mount Ruapehu and Tongariro National Trout Centre. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Whakapapa: National Army Museum (in Waiouru), Turangi (River Rafting & Tubing & Tree Trunk Gorge tracks) and Tokaanu Thermal Pools (in Tokaanu).

To see photos, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Whakapapa day trip tool .

Traveling by car from Taupo to Whakapapa takes 1.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Castlepoint.

Things to do in Whakapapa

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Turangi, Bradley's Garden, National Army Museum, Mount Ruapehu
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Mount Ruapehu ©
Mount Ruapehu
National Army Museum ©
National Army Museum
Tongariro National Trout Centre ©
Tongariro National Trout Centre

1
night
Castlepoint

Castlepoint ©
Castlepoint is a small beachside town on the Wairarapa coast of the Wellington Region of New Zealand. On the 23rd (Mon), visit a coastal fixture at Castlepoint Lighthouse.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, read Castlepoint trip maker app .

Getting from Whakapapa to Castlepoint by car takes about 5 hours. You will have some time to spend on the 23rd (Mon) before leaving for Wellington.

Things to do in Castlepoint

Parks Trails Historic Sites
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Castlepoint Lighthouse ©
Castlepoint Lighthouse

5
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Marlborough Sounds and Old St Paul's. Step out of Wellington with an excursion to Queen Charlotte Track in Picton--about 2 hours away. There's still lots to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Staglands Wildlife Reserve, get the lay of the land with Walking tours, take a peaceful walk through Otari-Wilton's Bush Native Botanic Garden, and explore the activities along Oriental Bay.

Find out how to plan Wellington trip without stress by asking Inspirock to help create an itinerary.

You can drive from Castlepoint to Wellington in 2.5 hours. December in Wellington sees daily highs of 22°C and lows of 15°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Sat) early enough to travel to Punakaiki.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Picton, Hapuka Estuary Walk
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Marlborough Sounds ©
Marlborough Sounds
Queen Charlotte Track ©
Queen Charlotte Track
Staglands Wildlife Reserve ©
Staglands Wildlife Reserve

4
nights
Punakaiki

Punakaiki ©
Punakaiki is a small community on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand, between Westport and Greymouth. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to The Old Ghost Road and River Rafting & Tubing. Change things up with these side-trips from Punakaiki: Cape Foulwind Walkway (in Westport) and Maruia Falls (in Murchison). Next up on the itinerary: tour the pleasant surroundings at Truman Track, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Paparoa National Park, trek along Pororari River Track, and explore the fascinating underground world of Punakaiki Cavern.

For traveler tips, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Punakaiki itinerary planner .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Wellington to Punakaiki. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Wed) to allow enough time to take a bus to Abel Tasman National Park.

Things to do in Punakaiki

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Westport, Murchison, Paparoa National Park
Find places to stay Dec 28 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
The Old Ghost Road ©
The Old Ghost Road
Cape Foulwind Walkway ©
Cape Foulwind Walkway
Truman Track ©
Truman Track

3
nights
Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park ©
Pristine blue water, immaculate white sand, and a thick, temperate rainforest make Abel Tasman National Park a natural jewel on the northern coast of Tasmania's South Island.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Abel Tasman Coast Track and Anatoki Salmon. There's lots more to do: get the lay of the land with Walking tours, explore the activities along Te Waikoropupu Springs (Pupu Springs), go for a walk through Labyrinth Rocks, and Head underground at Ngarua Caves.

For photos, ratings, and more tourist information, read Abel Tasman National Park holiday planner.

Traveling by bus from Punakaiki to Abel Tasman National Park takes 5.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) early enough to travel to New Plymouth.

Things to do in Abel Tasman National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Takaka, Kaiteriteri Beach, Te Waikoropupu Springs (Pupu Springs), Ngarua Caves
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Abel Tasman Coast Track ©
Abel Tasman Coast Track
Walking tours
Ngarua Caves ©
Ngarua Caves

2
nights
New Plymouth

New Plymouth ©
Where other cities run, New Plymouth prefers to stroll.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Sun): get curious at Puke Ariki, then take in nature's colorful creations at Pukekura Park, and then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mount Taranaki. On the 6th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in nature's colorful creations at Pukeiti, then learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Brooklands Zoo, and then take in the pleasant sights at New Plymouth Coastal Walkway.

To see where to stay, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, use the New Plymouth trip maker app .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Abel Tasman National Park to New Plymouth. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in New Plymouth

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Nature

Side Trip

Mount Taranaki
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Pukekura Park ©
Pukekura Park
New Plymouth Coastal Walkway ©
New Plymouth Coastal Walkway
Pukeiti ©
Pukeiti

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