30 days in New Zealand Itinerary

30 days in New Zealand Itinerary

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30 days in New Zealand Itinerary

Chicago
+3
Fly + bus + train + bus:  30​h
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights
+4
bus + taxi + Fly + taxi + train:  6​h 15​min
Kaikoura
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h
Punakaiki
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 45​min
Fox Glacier
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
Wanaka
— 2 nights
bus:  2​h 30​min
Queenstown
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
Te Anau
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
Dunedin
— 3 nights
Fly:  5​h 15​min
Tauranga
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
Hahei
— 4 nights
Fly:  30​h
Chicago

2
days
Waitomo Caves

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.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Tue): trek along Ruakuri Walk, explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, and then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour. On the next day, Head underground at Caveworld, then see the top attractions with Ruakuri Cave, then snap pictures at Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk, and finally admire the sheer force of Marokopa Falls Walk.

To see photos, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Waitomo Caves trip itinerary planner.

Chicago, USA to Waitomo Caves is an approximately 30-hour flight. Traveling from Chicago to Waitomo Caves, you'll lose 18 hours due to the time zone difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Thu) to allow time to travel to Kaikoura.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks Nature Outdoors
Accommodations
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Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Caveworld ©
Caveworld
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk

2
days
Kaikoura

Kaikoura ©
Head to the small town of Kaikoura, a humble setting from which to witness some of nature's grandest designs.
On the 21st (Thu), take in the exciting artwork at Art & Design Gallery and then stroll through Ohau Stream Walk. On your second day here, contemplate the long history of Fyffe House, then make a trip to Ohau Point Seal Colony, and then hike along Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway.

To find ratings, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Kaikoura trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by combination of car, flight, and bus from Waitomo Caves to Kaikoura takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, bus, and ferry. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Sun) early enough to travel to Punakaiki.

Things to do in Kaikoura

Parks Outdoors Trails
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Ohau Stream Walk ©
Ohau Stream Walk
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway ©
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway
Peninsula Seal Colony ©
Peninsula Seal Colony

1
day
Punakaiki

Punakaiki ©
Punakaiki is a small community on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand, between Westport and Greymouth. Start off your visit on the 24th (Sun): hike along Truman Track and then take in the dramatic natural features at Pancake Rocks and Blowholes.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, read Punakaiki travel itinerary creator.

Traveling by car from Kaikoura to Punakaiki takes 5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Punakaiki

Parks Outdoors Trails
Accommodations
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Pancake Rocks and Blowholes Walk ©
Pancake Rocks and Blowholes Walk
Truman Track ©
Truman Track

2
days
Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier ©
Start off your visit on the 25th (Mon): explore the striking landscape of Air Safaris, then go for a walk through Tatare Tunnels Walk, and then take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 26th (Tue): kick back and relax at Gillespies Beach and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Hooker Valley Track.

To find maps, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Fox Glacier itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from Punakaiki to Fox Glacier takes 3.5 hours. On the 27th (Wed), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Wanaka.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Franz Josef, Hooker Valley Track
Accommodations
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Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Fox Glacier ©
Fox Glacier
Gillespies Beach ©
Gillespies Beach

2
days
Wanaka

Wanaka ©
Situated on the shores of Lake Wanaka in the Otago region, Wanaka has become a popular ski and summer resort area, owing to its extensive views of the lake and its proximity to some of the best slopes in the country.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Thu): hit the slopes at Wanaka and then explore the activities along Lake Wanaka. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour and then hike along Mount Iron Track.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Wanaka travel itinerary creator.

Drive from Fox Glacier to Wanaka in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Fri) to allow time to take a bus to Queenstown.

Things to do in Wanaka

Parks Outdoors Nature
Accommodations
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Lake Wanaka ©
Lake Wanaka
Wanaka ©
Wanaka
Mount Iron Track ©
Mount Iron Track

4
days
Queenstown

Queenstown ©
Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Discover out-of-the-way places like The Remarkables Ski Area and Dark Ride. Get in touch with nature at Walter Peak High Country Farm and Queenstown Hill. On the 30th (Sat), dedicate a day to the elevated beauty of Coronet Peak. And it doesn't end there: identify plant and animal life at Kiwi Birdlife Park, see the world from above with a helicopter tour, and take the plunge with a skydiving experience.

For maps, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, read Queenstown trip generator.

You can take a bus from Wanaka to Queenstown in 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Tue) to allow time to drive to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Parks Outdoors Nature
Accommodations
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Coronet Peak ©
Coronet Peak
The Remarkables Ski Area ©
The Remarkables Ski Area
Kiwi Birdlife Park ©
Kiwi Birdlife Park

4
days
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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Lake Te Anau and The Chasm Walk. Get in touch with nature at Fiordland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) and Milford Sound. There's still lots to do: contemplate the waterfront views at Doubtful Sound, Head underground at Te Anau Glowworm Caves, and trek along Mirror Lakes Walk.

To see other places to visit, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, read Te Anau trip itinerary maker.

Drive from Queenstown to Te Anau in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. On the 7th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Dunedin.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Mirror Lakes Walk
Accommodations
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Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound

2
days
Dunedin

Dunedin ©
With its history proudly stemming from the Scottish settlers who came here during the colonial era, Dunedin's streets are lined with well-preserved examples of Victorian and Edwardian architecture, while a new culture of nightlife and fine dining takes hold around them.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Sun): look for all kinds of wild species at The Royal Albatross Centre, then identify plant and animal life at Penguin Place, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Otago Peninsula. On the 9th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: trek along Tunnel Beach Track, admire the masterpieces at Olveston Historic Home, then enjoy the sand and surf at Dunedin Beach, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Aramoana Beach.

To find more things to do, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Dunedin online itinerary creator.

You can drive from Te Anau to Dunedin in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Tauranga.

Things to do in Dunedin

Parks Outdoors Wildlife
Accommodations
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Otago Peninsula ©
Otago Peninsula
Tunnel Beach Track ©
Tunnel Beach Track
Penguin Place ©
Penguin Place

2
days
Tauranga

Tauranga ©
The largest city in the Bay of Plenty, Tauranga features extensive sandy beaches, well-maintained hiking paths, and a good range of accommodations.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Tue): kick back and relax at Maunganui Beach. On the next day, identify plant and animal life at Rainbow Springs Nature Park, take in the dramatic natural features at Waimangu Volcanic Valley, and then hike along Mount Maunganui Base Track.

To find photos, ratings, and more tourist information, read Tauranga online itinerary creator.

Getting from Dunedin to Tauranga by flight takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and ferry. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Thu) early enough to travel to Hahei.

Things to do in Tauranga

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Ngongotaha, Rainbow Springs Nature Park, Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Accommodations
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Maunganui Beach ©
Maunganui Beach
Waimangu Volcanic Valley ©
Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Mount Maunganui Base Track ©
Mount Maunganui Base Track

3
days
Hahei

Hahei ©
Relax by the water at Hot Water Beach and Whangapoua Beach. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at The Lost Spring and Otama Beach. Go for a jaunt from Hahei to Matarangi to see Matarangi Beach about 58 minutes away.

To find maps, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Hahei trip itinerary maker.

You can drive from Tauranga to Hahei in 2.5 hours. You will have some time to spend on the 16th (Mon) before leaving for home.

Things to do in Hahei

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Whangapoua Beach, The Lost Spring, The Little Gallery, Matarangi Beach, Hot Water Beach
Accommodations
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Cathedral Cove Walk ©
Cathedral Cove Walk
Hot Water Beach ©
Hot Water Beach
Whangapoua Beach ©
Whangapoua Beach

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