5 Days South Island Road Trip

Christchurch, Tekapo, Mt Cook, Twizel, Queenstown, Milford, TeAnau, Arrowtown, Wanaka, Lake Pukaki,Christchurch 

Driving around South Island here in New Zealand is an incredible journey. Every few minutes you might be tempted to stop and enjoy the scenery.  It could the hills covered with yellow flowers, deers beside the road, baby lambs playing, cows who stare at us like they would like to say something, birds flying around, red tussocks that covered the hills, it’s endless..

These are our itineraries for the past five days

Day One

  • Rakaia-played at the playground
  • Ashburton -played at the playground
  • Lake Tekapo-played beside the Lake. We were making wishes by throwing the stones
  • Mt Cook Village- its spring time but the mountains are still slightly  covered with snow
  • Hooker Valley- I went for a walk to the Hooker Valley and was lucky there was a rainbow.
  • Twizel- the kids enjoyed the place the we booked. They really liked the structure. 

Day two 

  • Drove from Twizel to Omarama. We stopped at the cafe for coffee.
  • We went to Gondola, Queenstown. This time we had 5 rides at the Luge. We had my birthday lunch at the restaurant then went back to Luge ride again. It was definitely fun!
  • We went to our hotel after gondola. We stayed at heritage hotel. What a perfect place, they have a nice restaurant, swimming pool, spa and sauna. Since we still have time we went to the Lake which is 2mins away from our place. They rode their scooters and we stayed beside the Lake. 
  • Birthday dinner at Heritage Hotel restaurant. 

Day three

  • Drove to Te Anau- the journey was amazing again. We saw lots of baby lambs, white cow, deers and horses 
  • Te Anau- there were Llamas beside the cafe so it was a bonus:)
  • Wildlife Scientific. Reserve- I love this place. The kids were jumping on the grass. It was so fluffy like a carpet.
  • The Chasm- this place is only a 1km walk and the trees are so stunning
  • The mirror lake- definitely a place to stop when you are on your way to Milford Sound 
  • Milford Sound Cruise- blue sky, waterfalls, watching baby penguin, there were only few passengers which is great, nice buffet food and getting close-up to the beach after waterfalls. It was unspeakable experience.

Day Four

  • Te Anau- our kids rode their scooters and I enjoyed the beautiful tulips beside the road. 
  • Arrowtown- we ate our lunch and went for a walk at the ArrowRiver
  • Wanaka- puzzling World
  • Wanaka Tree and Lake Wanaka
  • Ramada Resort- what a lovely place. They have a kitchen, separate room and living room, the kids enjoyed the pool and spa, the water slides and we managed to cook our dinner. 

Day Five

  • Lake Wanaka- went for a walk in the morning
  • Puzzling World 
  • Omarama- checked the baby lamb 
  • Salmon Farm- they fed the salmons
  • Lake Pukaki- we found this beautiful spot. There was a bunny jumping out from his house, so our kids were chasing it. 
  • Lake Tekapo
  • Christchurch

If you have the extra 2-3days try to explore the following. From Wanaka Drive to 

a) Dunedin – I love staying in this city. There are so many things to see and enjoy

  • Chinese Garden (1-3hrs)
  • Cadbury Chocolate Factory(1-3 hours)
  • Tunnel Beach (I love walking up to the Tunnel). My son was two years when we went to this place and he enjoyed walking up to the end. Make sure to wear rubber shoes
  • Larnach Castle- check the time as this place closes early. It’s the only castle in NZ and worth visiting 
  • Visit the steepest street on earth
  • Watch the wild Yellow-eyed penguin and riding on a truck. This place is not suited for babies. My son was two years old and he managed fine.
  • If you like Filipino food, there is a Filipino restaurant within the city

b) Nugget Point- It’s a good place to visit but be ready to go for walk beside the cliff. It’s probably 500m. 

c) if you like waterfalls-drive up to Mclean Falls

D) Omarama-on the way to Christchurch, visit the famous moeraki boulders

Some of the photos from our trips

Mirror Lake

The Chasm

Arrow River

Mt Cook

Lake Tekapo

The Mirror Lake

Milford Sound

Tulips in Te Anau


4 days Road Trip South Island

For the next four days we are going around the lower side of South Island.

Day 1

  • Timaru
  • Hampden
  • Dunedin-Otago Museum

Day 2

  • Dunedin- Cadbury Chocolate factory
  • Dunedin-Larnarch castle
  • Dunedin-Chinese garden
  • Queenstown

Day 3

  • Queenstown luge
  • Queenstown garden

Day 4

  • Arrowtown
  • Lake Pukaki
  • Lake Tekapo

Here are some of the photos from our trip

Things that we really like about this road trip

  • Chasing the bunny
  • Finding the 8 rosters at Dunedin Chinese Garden
  • Ride the luge! It was fun
  • Eat Filipino food
  • Jumping on the beds
  • Playing at Moeraki Boulders
  • Playing “I spy ” inside the car
  • Swimming at Tekapo hot springs
  • Mince and cheese pie
  • Making a tower out of small stones
  • Throwing stones at the lake
  • Finding mushrooms in the woods
  • Playing at the playground
  • Chocolate factory tour, we’ve received lots of chocolates
  • Playing at Dunedin train station
  • We’ve got gem stones
  • Play at Queenstown garden
  • Walk and cross the Arrow River
  • Ride scooter


  • Dunedin -we really like the space and the quality of the apartment. It’s at the centre of the cbd
  • Queenstown- probably won’t be back because of the location. It was a nice place though
  • Lake Tekapo- it’s at the centre of the CBD, easy access, not so fancy, cheap and nice buffet breakfast

How did we manage to travel without letting the kids play with the ipad or watch movie

  • We played I spy with <funny description of the eyes> something like
  • Let them play with some of the unused toys from their room
  • Stop a lot and play chasing or at the playground
  • Let them sleep
  • Make bahay bahayan
  • Gave Zade an encyclopedia
  • Gave Brielle some noisy toys

How did we keep up with unpredictable weather change

  • Layering
  • Took different types of jacket, shoes, hats and jerseys

We need to only have one bag for everything

  • Took the one big luggage and put lots of mini bags inside to separate the used ones, toiletress, swimming gears and others