What are the cheapest ways to fly on points from Australia to NZ and Japan?

Hi, we are looking to fly 2 adults and 3 kids to queenstown this year in August. Any suggestions for the best way to go about this, we are happy to purchase points or whatever needs to be done, not fussed on airlines either.  Also looking at Tokyo for 2 adults in January 2017. We are qantas FF members. Thank you for a great informative site.

Sorry Should have added from Sydney.

We just posted a series of guides on how to get to NZ using your points, this one specifically from the East Coast is worth a read in your case.

As for Japan from Sydney, your best bet is going to be Japan Airlines (for availability) and Qantas (for a cheaper price when it comes to using Qantas Points).

You could look at buying American Airlines miles if they run a good discount at some point in the next few months and you can find availability for your dates at the same time.