Throughout our one month New Zealand itinerary we have included recommendations on where to park up for the night, attractions to see and where to eat.
- If you are looking for somewhere on the road make sure you download the CamperMate app.
- Look at the purchasing a Department of Conservation campsite pass. The online pass can be purchased here through Rankers. It allows you access to 75 paid campsites across New Zealand and can be purchased in weekly blocks. Please note this pass is only valid at Department of Conservation sites.
Day 1 – 2: Cruzen Campers and Warkworth
Travel time: 1 hour 27 minutes
Let’s kick off our one month New Zealand itinerary in Auckland our largest city, with a current population of around 1.5 million people.
Arrive at Auckland Airport and collect your very own Cruzen Camper.
Head to the open road, where our first stop will be the beautiful region of Warkworth. Don’t worry we have another couple of stops in Auckland where we will discover more about this vibrant city and its surrounding islands.
Roughly 1 hour north of Auckland, Warkworth is made up of Matakana, Goat Island, Tāwharanui and Omaha.
Stop in Tāwharanui Regional Park overnight, discover the markets at Matakana, discover the many coastal walks and snorkel the gorgeous Goat Island Marine Reserve and don’t forget to stop past the Leigh fish and chip store for your very first Kiwi meal.
Things to do:
- Go on one of the many coastal walks in Leigh
- Stroll around the Matakana Market – Open from 8 am to 1 pm every Saturday
- Hire a Glass Bottom Kayak and head to Goat Island
- Take a walk around Sculptureum
- Take a trip out to Mansion House on Kawau Island
- Leigh Eats for Kiwi Fish and Chips (don’t forget the Watties Tomato Sauce)
Day 2 – 3: Goat Island, Whangarei and Tutukaka
Travel time: 3 hours (2 hours 7 minutes from Tawharanui Peninsula to Mount Manaia and 53 minutes from Mount Manaia to Tutukaka)
Get to Goat Island in the morning and hire a clear bottom kayak. Snorkel around Goat Island or if you’re up for it, book a dive.
In the afternoon head off and continue up North to Whangarei. Whangarei is the biggest city north of Auckland and a great place to pick up supplies. There is also the Whangarei Falls, Mt. Manaia and Mt. Aubrey. As you will arrive in the early afternoon, there are two options:
Option 1: Head off to the Whangarei Falls and check out the 26m high waterfall surrounded by New Zealand bushland. There are three tracks to choose from – 1 hour, 2 hours or 4 hours. If you decide to do the 1-hour trek, you can head to Mt. Manaia and check out the spectacular views from the top. It’s roughly a 2-hour return and a slow steady climb through native bushlands to the top.
You will find a few rest areas around here that you can park for the night before getting up bright and early and going to Tutukaka to go snorkelling or diving at the Poor Knight Islands – one of the top 10 dive sites in the world.
Tutukaka is only a 35-minute drive from the centre of Whangarei so you can easily make the 8:30 am check-in times.
Option 2: If you aren’t into snorkelling and diving. Head to Mt. Manaia in the afternoon followed by Mt. Aubrey for sunset and discover the Whangarei Falls in the morning before heading to the Bay of Islands.
- Reotahi – Free
- Whangaumu Reserve – Free – Near Tutukaka
- Kowharewa Bay – Free – Near Tutukaka
- Whangarei Top 10 Holiday Park
Things to do:
- Take a walk to Whangarei Falls
- Climb up Mt. Manaia
- Climb Mt. Aubrey at sunset
- Diving or snorkelling at Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve
Day 3 – 4: Bay of Islands
Travel time: Up to 1 hour and 30 minutes from either Tutukaka or Whangerei
The Bay of Islands is made up of three towns Russell, Paihia and Waitangi. Waitangi is the home to New Zealand’s Treaty of Waitangi which was signed on February 6th, 1840 between the British Crown and the Māori chiefs.
There is plenty of history for you to discover in the Bay of Islands, as well as Hole in the Rock (Piercy Island), wild dolphins, untouched beaches and magical blue ocean. You can easily spend a couple of nights here.
- Paihia Top 10 Holiday Park
- Russell Top 10 Holiday Park
- Puriri Bay (Whangaruru North Head) Campsite
- Whangaruru Beachfront Camp
- Sunset Bay Campsite – For those wanting to kayak out to Urapukapuka Island for the night
Things to do:
- Visit Waitangi Treaty Grounds and see where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840
- Go for a cruise through the Hole in the Rock
- Visit the towns of Paihia/Russell
- Visit Haruru Falls
- Swim with Dolphins
- Paihia Farmers Market – Thursday’s from 1 pm to 4:30 pm
Day 4 – 5: Cape Reinga
Travel time: 3 hours 30 minutes (1 hour 37 minutes from Paihia to Puheke Beach and 1 hour 54 minutes from Puheke Beach to Cape Reinga Lighthouse)
Make your way to the furthest northern point of New Zealand Cape Reinga. On your way, we will stop to check out Kerikeri the land of oranges and the Rainbow Waterfall (with swimming hole) and the KariKari Peninsula the home of Puheke Beach. An untouched beach where you can stop at the two and a half hour point for a swim and rest. There are plenty of beaches along this coast that are undiscovered, untouched and unseen, you can take your pick or continue north. You’ve made it! Welcome to the northern tip of New Zealand where the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean collide.
Things to do:
- The Old Packhouse Market – Saturday at 8 am
- Check out Rainbow Waterfalls
- Relax on the very private beach or surf at Puheke Beach
- Visit the Cape Reinga Lighthouse at the tip of the North Island
- Stop past Whangaroa Harbour for a night
Day 5 – 6: Ninety Mile Beach, Grand Sand Dunes and Tāne Mahuta
Travel time: 5 hours and 45 minutes (3 hours and 30 minutes from Twilight Beach to Tāne Mahuta and 2 hours and 15 minutes from Tāne Mahuta to Wellsford/Mangawhai Heads)
Leave Cape Reinga and stop at Ninety Mile Beach, a long stretch of beach that is only 88km long. Famous for being a driving beach (unfortunately due to insurance you won’t be able to drive our Cruzers on the beach), popular for fishing and the Giant Sand Dunes of Te Paki. Grab your boogie board and take to the Giant Sand Dunes or head to Opononui dunes.
A little over three hours from Ninety Mile Beach is Tāne Mahuta is the largest kauri tree in New Zealand, which is estimated to be around 1,250 to 2,500 years old. You can take a short stop here and stretch your legs wandering around the Kauri Forest before heading back to Mangawhai Heads or Wellsford for the night.
Option 1: Mangawhai Heads – A small town with a gorgeous beach and an amazing cliff walk it’s a great place to stop and relax before heading off to Auckland the next morning. You can also visit the Piroa Falls on your way from the Kauri Forest.
Option 2: Wellsford is between Whangarei and Auckland. This town is often passed through but the surrounding area has some amazing spots to discover, there’s the Doom Valley hiking trail, Te Hana Te Ao Marama Maori cultural experience and Kaipara Harbour.
Option three: If the drive to Mangawhai Head or Wellsford seems a little too much, head to Kai Iwi Lakes for the night. A 45-minute drive south of Tāne Mahuta. Stay at the Kai Iwi Lakes Campsite and head back to Auckland in the morning.
Activity recommendations in the area:
- Go for a drive (tour) on Ninety Mile Beach
- Giant Sand Dunes of Te Paki or Opononi
- Check out the grand Tāne Mahuta
- Visit Kai Iwi Lakes
- Tour through Doom Valley
- Visit Piroa Falls
Day 6 – 8: Auckland – Piha/Waiheke Island
Travel time: 1 hour 30 minutes (from Wellsford or Mangawhai)
From Mangawhai Heads or Wellsford head to Piha on Auckland’s rugged west coast. Piha is only 45 minutes from Auckland City and is a very popular spot for surfers, as it has a mix of right and left-hand breaks. You will notice that all of the West Coast beaches in New Zealand are black volcanic sand and the East Coast is made up of pristine white sandy beaches. There are plenty of nearby walks in the area and it’s such a beautiful spot in winter or summer to check out. There are also other
If you’re not feeling the wild west coast head straight to Auckland and grab the car ferry from Auckland City to Waiheke Island. Waiheke is our island of chill vibes and wine. It’s a 1 hour and 20-minute ferry from Auckland City and will give you a much-needed rest before heading on the open roads. It’s also a great place to check out some of our delicious wines. There are plenty of beaches and vineyards for you to discover. Check out our Waiheke Vineyard post.
Things to do:
- Visit KiteKite Falls – Piha
- Climb Lions Rock – Piha
- Go on a vineyard tour Waiheke Island
- Check out the view from the Auckland City Sky Tower
- Walks/hikes around Auckland
- Get lost in the North Head tunnels
- Auckland Art Gallery or Auckland Museum
- Climb Rangitoto Island
- Visit one of the surrounding islands
Day 8 – 9: Coromandel – Hot Water Beach, Whitianga, New Chums Beach, Pinnacles Path (1 night)
Travel time: 2 hours 40 minutes – the time from Auckland to Whangapoua. It takes around 1 hour 50 minutes to get from Whangapoua to Port Jackson at the top of the Coromandel or 35 minutes to Whitianga.
From Auckland, we are going to head towards the Coromandel and make our way down the East Coast don’t worry you will get to the West Coast on your way back to Auckland.
Heading straight to Whangapoua, for the afternoon. Visit New Chums Beach before heading to Whitianga for the night or set-up for the night in Whangapoua, if you’re after a bit of peace and quiet.
Whitianga is around 35 minutes from Whangapoua, and is the largest town in the Coromandel and is where the host the Scallop Festival in September. Stroll around the shops, park-up at the beach or treat yourself to one of the many delicious cafes. Park up at Buffalo Beach for the night or one of the holiday parks in the area.
Hot Water Beach is 30 minutes from Whitianga, you want to make sure you reach Hot Water Beach at low tide, so depending on the season and what time you arrive will depend on when you can visit. Check out the tides here. Not far from Hot Water Beach is Cathedral Cove, a white sand beach with a beautiful cathedral-like arch, you will also find Te Hoho Rock here. Te Hoho is the large pinnacle rock in the middle of the beach and is made of pumice. There are multiple ways to get to Cathedral Rock there is a 1.5-hour walk or the shuttle bus from Hahei to the start of the main track. Check out the different starting points here.
- Cooks Beach Resort
- Buffalo Beach – Whitianga – Free
- Hot Water Beach Top 10 Holiday Park
- Port Jackson Campsite
- Earl Adams Paradise Camp
Things to do:
- Dig your very own spa pool at Hot Water Beach
- Relax on New Chums Beach
- Climb The Pinnacles and stay overnight at the DOC camp
- Discover the beautiful rock arch at Cathedral Cove
- Port Jackson
Day 9 – 10: Whangamata, Tauranga and Mt. Maunganui
Travel time: 1 hour from Hot Water Beach to Whangamata, 1 hour 25 minutes from Whangamata to Mt.Maunganui
Whangamata is a very popular holiday destination for New Zealanders in the summer. The reason we are stopping past is to visit Whenuakura Wildlife Sanctuary otherwise known as Donut Island. You will need to book a tour to visit Donut Island which will take you on a kayak or paddleboard from Whangamata out to the island. As Whenuakura Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected island you won’t be able to go on the island but the emerald lagoon, rock formations and nature surrounding you will be well worth the paddle. The tour will be around two hours which will give you plenty of time to head to Mt. Maunganui for the evening.
Mt. Maunganui affectionately known as The Mount, is the beach town near Tauranga, spend the night here and visit the many restaurants and cafes in the area, as well as the long stretch of white sand beach. Mt Maunganui beach has been voted as one of New Zealand’s best beaches by TripAdvisor. The main reason for visiting The Mount is Mt.Maunganui an extinct volcano that you can climb. After a chilled evening, aim to head up Mt. Maunganui in the morning for 360-degree views of the Bay of Plenty.
After your hike up Mt. Maunganui, treat yourself to one of the delicious cafes and hit the road because next, we are hitting the East Coast.
- Island View Reserve, Whangamata – Free
- Onemana Beach Reserves – Free
- Papamoa Beach Resort
- Motiti Reserve – Free
- Taylor Reserve – Free
Things to do:
- Kayak around Whenuakura Wildlife Sanctuary (Donut Island)
- Climb to the top of Mt. Maunganui for sunset or sunrise
- Surf at Main Beach
- Relax on the beach or at one of the many beachside cafes
Day 10 – 12: Ohope, East Cape Lighthouse, Gisborne
Travel time: 4 hours 50 minutes from Mount Maunganui to East Cape Lighthouse and 3 hours from East Cape to Gisborne.
Te Araroa and East Cape is the most eastern point of New Zealand and where you will find New Zealand’s oldest Pohutukawa tree, the East Coast lighthouse and St. Mary’s Church in Tikitiki. Not to mention some beautiful views of the ocean.
The East Coast of New Zealand is often missed as it is very secluded from the rest of the island. This is because it sits between at the end of the Waioeka Gorge, 144 km’s of the scenic gorge from Opotiki to Gisborne.
From Mt.Maunganui to the East Cape it will take around 4 hours 30 minutes. To break this up you can spend the night in Ohope Beach which is a beautiful beach town around 1 hour 30 minutes from Mt. Maunganui.
After East Cape you can stay here overnight if you are loving the stillness of being in the middle of nowhere or head to Gisborne, the largest city on the East Coast, it will take close to 3 hours to drive across.
Gisborne affectionately known as Gizzy, is a small city in Poverty Bay, it has some of the most beautiful white sand surf beaches you will find in New Zealand, so if you are into surfing this is a spot for you to visit. One of the most popular surf spots is Makoroi or Wainui. You will find it is often the busiest from December to January when it is host to Rhythm and Vines on New Year’s Eve.
One spot to check out here is the Rere Waterfall, a giant rock waterfall that is more like a natural waterslide. You will find a lot of New Zealand history in the area as it is where James Cook landed. You will also find some brilliant wineries such as Poverty Bay and Matawhero. One of the most special qualities of Gizzy is that is is the first city in the world to see the sunrise every day.
Spend the night in Gisborne before heading down to Napier and Hastings and down to Wellington.
- Port Ohope Boat Ramp – Free
- Maraehako Camping Ground – Free
- Tokomaru Bay – Free
- Tolaga Bay
- Kaiti Beach – Free
- Opoutama Beach Reserve, Mahia – Free
Things to do:
- Rockslide down Rere Waterfall
- Surfing at Wainui or Makoroi
- Walks around Tolaga Bay
- Vineyards – Poverty Bay and Matawhero
Day 12 – 14: Napier, Hastings, Castlepoint, Wellington and Picton
Travel time: 7 hours from Gisborne to Castlepoint and 2 hours 50 minutes from Castlepoint to Wellington.
Head off bright and early and make your way to Napier and Hastings. Three hours from Gisborne is the Hawke’s Bay region which includes Napier and Hastings. Napier is known for its art deco festival and architecture, here you can do an art deco tour, visit Napier Prison, go on a wine tour, climb Te Mata Peak or go white water rafting.
Stop just outside Hastings in Blackhead Beach for the night before heading to Castlepoint Lighthouse.
Stay at the Castlepoint Carpark or the Castlepoint Holiday Park for the night. Get up early the next morning and head to Wellington to catch the ferry. The drive from Castlepoint to Wellington is roughly 2.5 hours, so make sure you book your ferry for around midday to give you enough time to get there. The ferry will take you around three hours and 10 minutes. If you want to book your car ferry ticket with Interislander, let us know and we can arrange it for you.
You will arrive around in Picton around 4 pm, giving you plenty of time to get acquainted with the Nelson/Picton area.
There is so much to do in this area, you could spend a week doing the Queen Charlotte Track in the Marlborough Sounds. As we are trying to give you the most bang for your buck, we would suggest spending the night in Picton or Nelson and do one of the many one day or short tracks that are available the next morning to give you a taste, you can choose from one of the walks here.
- Clifton Road Reserve Hastings – Free
- Mohi Bush Picnic Area – Free
- Blackhead Beach Camping Ground
- Castlepoint Carpark
- Camp Wellington and Coastal Lodge
- Double Bay – Picton – Free
- Mill Flat Campsite – Free
Things to do:
- Winery tour around Napier and Hastings
- Mountain bike or walk around Te Mata Peak
- Check out the art deco architecture in Napier
- Castlepoint Lighthouse
- Queens Charlotte Track
Day 14 – 16: Marlborough Sounds, Picton, Nelson and Abel Tasman
Travel time: 3 hours from Picton to Abel Tasman National Park. 1 hour 30 minutes from Abel Tasman National Park to Wharariki Beach.
Picton and Nelson are small townships on the Marlborough Sounds, with a lot of wineries, kayaking, walking and cycling that can be had. As we are trying to give you a taste tester of New Zealand we suggest waking up early and take your pick from the short walks on the Queen Charlotte track then head to Abel Tasman for the night.
On your way to Abel Tasman stop past Split Apple rock, Harwoods Hole and Ngarua Caves before spending a night in Abel Tasman National Park at the Totaranui Campground. Totaranui Campground is a great spot if you want to do the Abel Tasman Coast Track, you can also swim, kayak and relax on the white sandy beaches of Totoranui Bay.
There are several short walks in the area that will take you to the waterfalls, springs, caves, rock formations, you name it, you can probably find it. Check out one of the many walks here.
The next day head to the golden sands of Golden Bay and Farewell Spit for the day. On your way to Golden Bay stop past the Te Waikoropupū Springs. At the base of Farewell Spit, you will find Archway Islands and the settlement of Collingwood. The tip of Farewell Spit is Cape Farewell the northernmost point of the South Island, which has the largest Gannet colony in New Zealand. You will also find Wharariki Beach on the Tasman side as well as a few special Lord of the Rings film locations.
There are two options for the night either head back to Nelson and spend the night there or stay at Pohara Beach Holiday Park in Golden Bay so you can spend a little more time there.
Note: Pohara Beach Holiday Park is about 4 hours 11minutes from Westport and Nelson is 3 hours 9 minutes.
- Totaranui Campground
- WF Moss Scenic Reserve Picnic Area – Free
- Anatori River Camping Ground – Free
- Collingwood Park Motel
- Hack n Stay Golden Bay
- Pohara Beach Holiday Park
- Koha Experience
Things to do:
- Split Apple Rock
- Harwoods Hole walk
- Ngarua Caves
- Farewell Spit
- Te Waikoropupu Springs
- Wainui Falls
- Rock Climbing in Paynes Ford
- Kayak around Abel Tasman National Park
Day 16 – 18: Westport, Greymouth, Mt Cook, Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier
Travel time: 3 hours 10 minutes from Koha Experience to Westport. 1 hour 30 minutes Westport to Greymouth. 2 hours 50 minutes from Greymouth to Fox Glacier.
On your way from Nelson to Westport, you will pass the Buller River, a great spot to check out jet boating, white water rafting or New Zealand’s longest swing bridge across the Buller Gorge.
Stop in Westport for a break and visit the colony of seals that sits along Cape Foulwind.
After Westport, we are going to carry on to Greymouth for the night, an hour and a half from Westport.
On your way from Westport to Greymouth, stop at Punakaiki otherwise known as Pancake Rock to see the spectacular rock formations.
Greymouth considered the heart of the West Coast, is an old gold mining town, that now specialises in pounamu (New Zealand jade or Greenstone). Stop by the local brewery Monteith’s for a tasting session and tour or Rapahoe Beach to chill out.
From Greymouth, it’s onto Mount Cook/Aoraki National Park along the coast via Hokitika. Mount Cook National Park is home to Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier. Stop here for the night and make sure you check out one of the two glaciers. Mount Cook or Aoraki as it’s otherwise known as is the highest mountain in New Zealand sitting at 3,742m above sea level and is home to 8 of New Zealand’s 12 glaciers. From scenic helicopter rides, trekking and kayaking glaciers to stargazing and enjoying a dinner with a view. Mount Cook is a favourite place to stop.
Spend the night at one of the many camping grounds or trek to Mueller’s Hut and stay here for the night before trekking down the next day.
After a night in Mount Cook, the next stop is Haast. From Mount Cook you want to make sure you leave from Franz Josef or Fox Glacier so you can take State Highway 6, otherwise, you will take the long way and a 2-hour journey will take close to 4 hours.
- Gentle Annie – North of Westport
- Coast Road Holiday Park
- Cobden Beachfront – Free
- Paparoa National Park Campground
- Pukekura Lodge
- Hokitika Holiday Park
- Okarito Campground
- Gillespies Beach Campsite
- Freedom Camping spots can be found here
Things to do:
- Punakaiki (Pancake Rock)
- Monteith’s Brewery
- Mount Cook road photo!
- Trails to hike at Mount Cook:
- Hooker Valley Track
- Mueller Hut trek and overnight stay
Day 18 – 20: Haast, Lake Wanaka and Queenstown
Travel time: 4 hours 40 minutes to Queenstown or 3 hours 30minutes to Wanaka.
Head through Haast to the Blue Pool Walk on the edge of Mount Aspiring National Park, stop here and check out the gorgeous blue pools before heading to Wanaka. Stop in Wanaka for the night and visit the Wanaka tree, Roy’s Peak and Wanaka Skydiving.
Before heading to Queenstown the next day. Ahh, Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital. On your way to Queenstown stop past Arrowtown and check out this gorgeous little gold mining town.
Queenstown is situated on the edge of Lake Wakatipu and is the place of the famous Ferg Burger, the Nevis Bungy, Skyline Skyride’s luge and the Shotover Jet. In winter it’s the home of Winterfest NZ and a favourite spot to go snowboarding or skiing. There is so much to do in Queenstown, stay one or two nights before heading onto Milford Sound.
- Wanaka Kiwi Holiday Park and Motels
- Queenstown Top 10 Holiday Park
- Moke Lake Campsite
- Skippers Campsite
- Glacier Burn Campsite – Free
- Twenty Five Mile Stream – Free
- Crown Range Summit – Free
Things to do:
- Raspberry Creek – Hike the 5km track to Rob Roy Glacier
- Kayaking on Lake Wanaka
- Paragliding or Skydiving
- Wanaka Tree
- Roy’s Peak
- Bungy Jump or Ledge Swing
- Skyline Skyride’s Luge
- Hike Ben Lomond or Moke Lake
- Shotover Jet
- White Water Rafting
Day 20 – 21: Milford Sound
Travel time: 4 hours
Drive from Queenstown to Te Anau on the edge of Fiordland National Park. There are plenty of spots to stop off at through this beautiful part of New Zealand. Check out these 15 stops from NZ Backpacker Guide. Make your way slowly along the Milford Road and check out as many of the 15 spots as you can. Stay for a couple of nights and do a hike or cruise through the Milford Sound.
There are also a few epic multi-day hikes in this area including the Humpridge Track, Milford Track and the Routeburn Track. Unfortunately, on this trip, you may not have time to do them – a good excuse to come back, right?
Following the Milford Road from Te Anau, you will end up in Milford Sound. Spend the night and a day here and discover Milford Sounds before heading back past Te Anau toward Bluff. The drive from Milford Sound to Invercargill is roughly four hours.
Things to do:
- Milford Sound Cruise
- Kayak Milford Sound
- Hike to Key Summit
- Milford Foreshore Walk
- Do a scenic flight
Day 21 – 22: Invercargill and Bluff
Travel time: 3 hours 40 minutes
Head through Invercargill towards Bluff.
Bluff is the southernmost point of New Zealand and is well-known for its oysters. When in Rome, right? Give the oysters a go and have a walk around Invercargill and Bluff.
- Alex McKenzie Arboretum – Free
- Papatowai Campsite – 1 hour 40 minutes from Bluff in the Catlins area
- River Ridge Retreat – Catlins area
- Waikawa Recreation Reserve – Catlins area
Things to do:
- Visit the Invercargill Water Tower
- Wander around Queens Park or Otepuni Gardens
- Go Mountain Biking
- Take a selfie at the Stirling Point sign
- Eat famous Bluff oysters
- Hike Bluff hill
- Visit Stewart Island
Day 22 – 23: Dunedin and Oamaru
Travel time: 3 hours from Bluff to Dunedin
Now that we have reached the bottom of the South Island, we are going to make our way up the East Coast of the South Island. First stop is Dunedin. From Bluff to Dunedin will take just under 3 hours. Dunedin is the home of the NZ’s steepest street (it was currently knocked off its world status in 2019), Otago University and Larnach Castle. Larnach Castle is New Zealand’s only castle. Check out the castle for a break and ride down Baldwin Street before heading to Oamaru.
Stop off at Moeraki Boulders Beach, before heading to Oamaru for the night.
- Long Beach Domain Dunedin – Free
- Waikouaiti – Free
- Gunn’s Bush – Free
- Riverside Haven Lodge and Holiday Park
- Herbert Forest Camping Ground
- Waitaki Waters Holiday Park
Things to do:
- Baldwin Street
- Larnach Castle
- Moeraki Boulders Beach
- Taiaroa Head at the end of the Otago Peninsula to see the Albatross colony
- Dunedin Art Gallery
- Tunnel Beach
- Blue Penguins at either Pilots Beach, Dunedin or Bushy Beach, Oamaru
Day 23 – 25: Twizel, Lake Tekapo and Christchurch
Travel time: 1 hour 44 minutes from Oamaru to Twizel. 3 hours 35 minutes from Twizel to Christchurch. 3 hours 18 minutes direct from Oamaru to Christchurch.
There are two options from Oamaru:
Option 1: Head through Twizel towards Lake Tekapo to check out the Good Old Shepherd’s Church and the glacier lakes before heading back on the road to Christchurch. This route will take you behind Timaru and will take two hours longer than the direct route up the coast through Timaru.
Option 2: The direct route is towards Timaru along the coast to Christchurch.
Spend the day in Christchurch catching your breath or head out for the day and check out Arthur’s Pass and Castle Hill on a day trip. Stay another night in Christchurch.
- West Oxford Reserve – Free
- Cust Domain – Free
- Chamberlains Ford Recreation Reserve – Free
- Little River Campground
- Waihora Park Domain Camping Ground
- Awaroa/Godley Head Campsite
Things to do:
- Good Old Shepherd’s Church – Lake Tekapo
- Visit Castle Hill and Arthur’s Pass
- Take a trip up to the summit of Mt. Cavendish on the Christchurch Gondola
- Hike Godley Head
- Visit the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial
- Visit the International Antarctic Centre
- Check out Brockworth Street Art Gallery
- Go on a Lord of The Rings tour
Day 25 – 26: Christchurch, Kaikoura and Blenheim
Travel time: 4 hours 24 minutes from Christchurch to Blenheim. 2 hours 36 minutes from Christchurch to Kaikoura.
From Christchurch, we are going to head up the coast back towards Blenheim along the new Alpine Pacific Touring Route, 455km’s of beautiful South Island Coast scenery. The route takes you from Christchurch via the Wairarapa Wine Country, Kaikoura for a bit of whale and dolphin watching, Hanmer Springs for a bit of hot pool action before getting you to Blenheim. Check the seasons before you go, Kaikoura is the best place to see whales in New Zealand.
Either spend the night in Blenheim or aim to catch the last ferry from Picton. Check the ferry timetable before booking. The last ferry leaves around 8 pm.
- Wairau Diversion Reserve – Free
- Ohingaroa, Kenepuru Sounds – Free
- Rarangi Campsite
- Waikawa Bay Holiday Park
Things to do:
- Spend some time tasting the Sauvignon Blancs in the area
- Bike around the wineries in the area
- Visit Blenheim’s favourite Biergarten
- Whale Watching or Swimming with the Dolphins
- Hot Pools in Hanmer Springs
Day 26 – 28: Wellington and Taranaki
Travel time: 4 hours 11 minutes from Wellington to Taranaki
Have a walk around Wellington, visit New Zealand’s Te Papa Museum, Weta Cave, Oriental Bay, Mount Victoria or Cuba Street for some shopping. Hit the road in the afternoon to get to Taranaki for the night. Mount Taranaki is where The Last Samurai was filmed, it will take around 4 hours to reach Taranaki with no stops, along the famous Surf Highway, a surfers dream with 180 degrees of the surf.
Spend the night in Taranaki and take in the impressive view of Mount Taranaki, before heading to Taupo for the night.
Things to do:
- Wellington Cable Car
- Weta Cave
- Te Papa Museum
- Climb Mt Victoria
- Shop on Cuba Street
- Visit Zealandia
- Visit the seals at Red Rocks
- Stroll around the waterfront
- Surf the Surf Highway in Taranaki
- Mt. Egmont/Mt. Taranaki
- Climb Paritutu Rock on your way through New Plymouth
- Visit Dawson Falls
- Dam dropping at Normanby Dam
- Visit Te Rewa Rewa Bridge
- Visit Three Sisters
Day 28 – 30: Taupo and Rotorua
Travel time: 3 hours 45 minutes from Taranaki to Taupo. 1 hour 2 minutes from Taupo to Rotorua.
Lake Taupo New Zealand’s very own supervolcano. Head to Spa Valley Road for a relaxing dip in the hot springs before visiting one of the many restaurants and bars and hitting the pillow for the night.
As you head out of Taupo, stop past Huka Falls and the Crater of the Moon before you head out of town to Rotorua. On your way to Taupo, you will pass Kerosene Creek a popular place to visit for a swim in the free spa creek.
Rotorua is only an hour drive from Taupo and if the Maori hub of New Zealand. One of the best tours is the Tamaki Tour which takes through a purpose Maori built village, enjoy learning about the Maori culture and a Maori performance before sitting down to a hangi.
Spend the day in Rotorua visiting the different geysers and mud pools, shear a sheep at the Agrodome, visit a Kiwi at Rainbow Fairy Springs or ride the Skyline Skyride luge. There is so much to see and do in Rotorua.
Spend two nights here before heading to Hobbiton, Hamilton and Raglan.
- Tihoi Tavern – Free
- Five Mile Recreation Reserve – Free
- Lake Taupo Holiday Resort
- Huka/Aratiatia Rapids Scenic Reserve – Free
- Waikoko Campsite – For Tongariro Crossing
- All Seasons Holiday Park
- Government Gardens Thermal Area – Free
- Lakefront Carpark or Hatupatu Carpark – Free
- Rotorua Top 10 Holiday Park
- Blue Lake Top 10 Holiday Park
Things to do:
- Tongariro Crossing
- Otumuheke Stream and Spa Valley walk
- Jetboat or walk the Huka Falls
- Mine Bay Maori Rock Carving
- Craters of the Moon
- Bungy Jump at Taupo Bungy
- Bike Lake Taupo
- Shear a sheep at the Agrodome
- Go on a Maori Culture tour with Tamaki tours
- Visit Hell’s Gate
- Visit Waimangu Volcanic Valley
- Check out the Champagne Pool at Wai-O-Tapu
- Walkthrough Whakarewarewa’s Redwood Forest
- Visit a kiwi at Rainbow Fairy Springs
- Hit the luge at Skyline Skyride
Day 30 – 31: Hobbiton, Raglan and Auckland
Travel time: 1 hour from Rotorua to Hobbiton. 2 hours and 10 minutes from Raglan via Hamilton to Auckland Airport.
You made it! Last day or two in New Zealand, no trip would be complete without visiting Hobbiton. Only an hour from Rotorua in the town of Matamata you can stop past Hobbiton and discover the world of Lord of the Rings.
From Hobbiton, there are options depending on how much time you have.
Option 1: Head south to Waitomo and discover the glowworms and the black water rafting before you head to Raglan, Waitomo is around 1 hour 20 minutes and goes through Te Awamutu.
Option 2: Head to Raglan via Hamilton for the afternoon. Spend your last afternoon breathing in the salty air, going for a surf or at one of the cafes in town before heading to Auckland. Raglan is one of many New Zealand’s beautiful black sand beaches and only 2 hours from Auckland Airport. This spot is great for one last surf.
Option 3: Head to Auckland Airport, around 1 hour 46 minutes.
Things to do:
- Surfing at Raglan
- Kawhia Hot Water Beach
- Alphra Lavender Farm Te Awamutu
- Hamilton Botanical Gardens
- Waitomo Glowworm Caves
One month New Zealand itinerary
You made it! We hope you have enjoyed your New Zealand adventure! You sure have packed a lot into your one month New Zealand itinerary.
Have you enjoyed this post or have we missed something you think should add? Leave a comment in the section below.
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