The Only 16D15N New Zealand South Island Itinerary You Need For A Family Trip


Farah Fazanna •  Sep 15, 2023

In an extraordinary journey of discovery and adventure, join Nazneen Banu as she embarks on a 16-day expedition to the breathtaking landscapes of New Zealand, accompanied by her family. From the awe-inspiring mountains to the glittering lakes and vibrant cities, check out the 16-day and 15-night New Zealand itinerary that delves into her unforgettable experience exploring the Land of the Long White Cloud. If you're planning for a trip to New Zealand soon, this will help you out as well!

For context, Nazneen flew to Queenstown, New Zealand from Singapore with Singapore Airlines. They have a layover in Melbourne. She took this trip with her husband, two daughters, sister and a friend.

Day 1: Flight from Melbourne to Queenstown

Morning: Collect car at the airport and have lunch before heading to the supermarket nearby (Countdown) then check into Airbnb .

Lunch: The Komunal Café, 1/13 Red Oaks Drive, Frankton, Queenstown 9300. Halal Malaysian restaurant.

Evening: Rest and relax after a long journey.

Day 2: Scenic Lake Cruise and Walter Peak Farm Tour

Morning: Breakfast at The Boat Shed

Noon: Head to Snowbiz to rent ski gear first.

Address: Duke Street, The Station Building

Opening hours: 7.15am to 9pm daily

Lunch: Boliwood, 66 Shotover Street, Queenstown 9300, New Zealand


  • Join the Scenic Lake Cruise and Walter Peak Farm Tour at 2pm. It's a 3.5hr cruise and farm tour.
  • Stroll around Earnslaw Park, Queenstown Wharf walk (68 Beach Street) & walk to Queenstown Gardens (to catch the sunset by the beach). Get ice cream from Patagonia Chocolates & Ice Cream.


  • Bring a raincoat in case raining
  • Bring fruits and snacks for a mini picnic at the farm

Day 3: Skiing at The Remarkables

  • Whole day Ski Day at The Remarkables Ski Area
  • No halal food here so bring your own lunch and snacks.
  • Head to Guest Services to purchase a sightseeing pass & rent toboggan once you've arrived.
  • Leave Remarkables by 3.30pm, drive over to Queenstown Gardens have a stroll there. Walk towards QZN Bay Beach and QZN Jetty.

Remarkables Address: Queenstown 9300, New Zealand (35 mins drive from Airbnb)

Dinner: Turkish Kebabs of QZN, 34 Shotover Street, Queenstown 9300, New Zealand (10.30am to 10pm)

Day 4: Gondola and Luge Rides


  • After breakfast, head over to Skyline for Gondola & Luge rides. Catch the 9.30 am gondola
  • After that go for a luge ride.

Lunch: Erik’s Fish & Chips, 13 Earl Street, Queenstown (12nn to 9pm daily)

Note: You can park at Wilson Underground Parking 14 Church Street, Queenstown.


  • Head over to Main Town Pier (3 mins walk frm Erik’s Fish & Chips) for the Shotover River & Kawaru River Jet boat ride at 3pm (1hr ride)
  • Be there 15 minutes before boarding
  • Once back at Main Town Pier, head to Beach St for souvenir shopping and walk around the waterfront area

Day 5: Drive to Lake Tekapo

  • Have breakfast, and prepare lunch boxes for a picnic lunch at Lake Pukaki.
  • Check out from AirBnB
  • Drive to Lake Tekapo (3-4hr drive)
  • We stayed at Fairlie AirBnB (Shear-Vue Farmstay) which offers a farm tour
  • Get groceries from Four Square Fairlie Supermarket
  • Have dinner at AirBnB

Day 6: Farm Tour and Mount Cook National Park

  • After breakfast, go for a 1hr farm tour
  • After the farm tour, drive up to Mt Cook National Park
  • Have a picnic lunch at Mt Cook (Kembara meal + snacks + fruits)
  • Head back to Fairlie Airbnb and chillax.
  • Dinner at Airbnb

Alternative plan

  • Go to Lake Opuha then Mt Dobson ski field or Tekapo Snow Tubing/Ice Skating
  • Stop at the various stopovers and have a picnic lunch at Lake Pukaki Viewpoint then drive to Peter’s Lookout (carpark on the right) then head to Mt Cook.
  • Hooker Valley Glacier track (Lake Mueller Lookout) at Mt Cook.
  • Drive to Tasman Glacier Viewpoint aft that (14 mins from Mt Cook)

Day 7: Lake Wanaka


  • Check out from the AirBnb after breakfast
  • Drive to Wanaka Rotary Playground, 36 Wanaka Mount Aspiring Road, Wānaka 9305, New Zealand


  • Late Lunch at Snack Shack Turkish Kebabs, 139 Ardmore Street, Wānaka 9305, New Zealand (Daily 11am to 8pm)


  • Walk along Lake Wanaka, take photos of Wanaka tree and surrounding. If have time, drive for a short 5 mins to Waterfall Creek Track / Glendhu Bay Track for scenery photos before heading back to makan place (7 mins drive)
  • Head back to Big Fig for dinner before heading to Hawea Hotel (18 mins drive)
  • Check-in at Hawea Hotel, 1 Capell Avenue, Lake Hawea, 9382 NZ

Day 8: Helicopter ride


  • Check out from Hawea Hotel by 7am. Helicopter Ride is at 9am. Be there by 8.30am
  • Drive to Treble Cone (hangar for Scenic heli flight with glacier landing)
  • Wanaka Scenic Flight with Glacier Landing, 2211 Wanaka-Mt Aspiring Road
  • Tel: +64 (0)3 443 7152
  • Look for Aspiring Helicopters, located in a paddock on the left-hand side of the road. There is signage at the gate.


Lunch takeaway from to Snack Shack Turkish Kebabs


  • Head to Snow Farm (45mins) for snow play at 1pm to 3pm
  • then head to Arrowtown (1hr from Snow Farm) Can get dessert at Patagonia Chocolates.
  • Stop over at the supermarket (Countdown/Park N Save/New World) to get groceries
  • Check-in AirBnB in Queenstown


Boliwood Restaurant & Bar (62 Shotover Street)

Day 9: Bungee Jumping and Zipride

  • Have a heavy breakfast, and drive to Glenorchy
  • 2.5km past Glenorchy towards Paradise, look for the big red shed on the left. (Glenorchy Walkway) Once in Glenorchy, turn left at the first roundabout (traffic circle.) This heads towards the lake.
  • After Bob’s Cove & Benetts Bluff, continue the drive to Paradise for a photo stop.
  • After that drive to Paradise.
  • By 12pm drive back to Queenstown and have lunch at Erik’s Fish & Chips (1hr 6 mins drive). MUST LEAVE BY 2.30pm (abt 25mins drive TO Kawarau bridge)
  • Bungee jumping and Zipride at Kawarau Bridge @ 3.30pm
  • Drive to Lake Hayes Reserve then head back to Airbnb and cook dinner

Day 10: Drive to Te Anau

  • Morning drive to Te Anau (2hr drive).
  • Start the journey at 6am. Te Anau to Fiordland National Park (35 mins)
  • Pack breakfast and lunch (prepare the day before or instant food) and standby instant food for dinner
  • After a pit stop at National Park, head to Milford Sound and park at Milford Sound Public Carpark (1.5hr) (MUST REACH BY 1PM)
  • Milford Sound Cruise a 1.30PM (2hrs)
  • Once the cruise is over, check-in hotel

Day 11: Rest day in Queenstown

  • After breakfast, walk along Lake Te Anau before checking out and make a short drive to Lake Manapouri (Fraser’s Beach Picnic) - 15 mins drive
  • Head back to Queenstown after that (2hr drive)
  • Have dessert at Cookiebar (Queenstown Cookie Time Cookie Bar,18 Camp St, Queenstown)
  • Shop for souvenirs, rest day in Queenstown central.
  • Takeaway dinner from Pedro’s House of Lamb

Day 12: Fly to Auckland

  • Check out Airbnb
  • Fly to Auckland
  • Lunch at Uncle Man's Restaurant
  • Check-in hotel in Auckland

Day 13: Hobbiton

  • Drive to Hobbiton (start drive at 9am, 2hrs drive from Auckland CBD). Reach there by 12pm.
  • Hobbiton Tour at 12.30pm (2hrs tour)
  • Bring your own lunch
  • Have a late lunch at Blue Springs Putaruru (30 mins from Hobbiton)
  • Head back to Auckland for dinner (2hr10mins drive)

Day 14: Butterfly Creek Auckland

  • Head to Butterfly Creek Auckland after breakfast. Be sure to bring some snacks.
  • Feed farm animals at 10.30, 12.30 and 2.30pm.
  • After lunch, head back to Airbnb to rest before heading out again to have dinner.

Day 15: Sheepworld

  • Head to Sheepworld
  • Dog & Sheep show 11am, after that can bottle feed young calves at 11.45am. Animal feed out at 12.30pm
  • Puhoi Historic Village (22mins from Sheepworld)

Day 16: Fly home

  • Last day in New Zealand.
  • Check out Airbnb and head to airport.

This article is contributed by HHWT Explorer Nazneen Banu. If you're interested to share your travel stories, drop us an email at [email protected].