A little trip to Queenstown

Sunday, February 19, 2017

I wish I was back here already!

 The start of February was a dream as Robbie and I went for a holiday to Queenstown, New Zealand - the land of hobbits and serene views. We were on a very tight budget (as I had just quit my job the week before) but we didn't let that hinder our plans. We decided that we wouldn't be doing the touristy adrenalin attractions but instead just take in all of our surroundings and go on mini adventures.

Staying at the loveliest bnb, The Alpine Retreat up in the mountains left us speechless (the third photo is the view of where we stayed). Our hosts were absolutely amazing, great chats, yummy breakfasts and we got to take in the views of the lake and mountain ranges, whilst sipping Port in the Spa on the balcony. Thanks again, Gavin & Simone.

Here are some of the things that we did while we were there, that we most definitely recommend:

1. Jacks Point - A cute little settlement that has a  Golf Course and Clubhouse where you can go to eat and look out at the views. Photo #5 was taken at the wharf just outside the restaurant.
2. The Remarkables - We headed up as far as we could go, obviously we went in Summer but this is normally where people do snow sports in the winter. The views again are amazing.
3. Glenorchy & Paradise - The drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy was one of my favourites as you are driving right along the lake and mountainside. It was nothing like I've ever experienced before and it's true what they say, photos really don't do it justice. We passed through Glenorchy and headed along gravel roads to get to a place called Paradise where there was a lot of forestry and a little bridge and creek that was unreal and super worth checking out. I felt like I was in the middle of nowhere but it was such an amazing feeling.
4. The World Bar - a hip vibe, lots of plants, teapots and chill. I had the Quinoa Wrap and Salad with a Blue Angel Teapot Cocktail and I was more than impressed with both.
5. Dark Ride Queenstown was a 3D motion master that I thought would be fun to do for Robbie but turns out I had more fun than I expected, killing Zombies and Monsters.
6. Bobs Cove - Went for a mini hike and photoshoot w Kate Roberge Photography - see blog post here. I couldn't believe how blue the water was, it was too cold to swim, but I really had an urge to jump off the wharf.
7. Onsen Hot Pools - You MUST go here in your travels. The first photo is of me in our hot pool looking out over the beautiful landscape. We even got a package that offered you either 2 x beer/wine, 2 x crisps/icecream, 2 x water, 2 x towels and a scented candle.
8. The Crown Ranges - This was Robbie's favourite thing to drive (as long as you don't get stuck behind slow tourists). Everything was so surreal! This drive was from Queenstown to Wanaka.
9. Cardrona/Bradrona - We could not go through Cardrona without stopping at thee gold old Hotel and Bar. Bradrona on the other hand was a good time and I saw a bajillion bras all hanging on the fence to support breast cancer awareness.
10. Wanaka - So beautiful and picturesque. Nuff said.
11. Arrowtown - Our trip to Arrowtown was cut short because we were running out of time in the day, so we didn't get to see the museum or ride bikes like we had planned. We did, however, walk around the township, get an icecream at Patagonia and visit The Remarkable Sweet Shop. We then called up Fergburger before heading back to Queenstown as we didn't want to wait in those huge lines outside the shop. I got the bun laden (falafel burger) and if I'm being honest, Robbie and I thought it was good but seriously overrated.
12. Queenstown Hill - Great hike to do whilst in Queenstown, the views were insane.
13. Akarua Winery - They have a beautiful winery and wine tasting for $5 (or free if you end up buying a bottle). We bought a couple of bottles back for my mum and brother for looking after the pets while we were away.
14. Fear Factory - If Ed Sheeran did it then so can we, right?! This haunted house was pretty scary but I think Robbie handsdown screamed a bajillion times more than I did.
15. Cookie Muncher Cookie Bar - If you like ice cream/milk and cookies, this is the place for YOU!
16. Vudu Larder Cafe - The best food and a lot of vegan/veggie options which is always a winner (Other places that we didn't get to try but would have was Bespoke and Balls & Bangles)
17. Devils Staircase - The drive from Queenstown to Invercargill is also a must-see.

Next time we would definitely stay for longer, as we found that 4 days just wasn't enough. There were so many hikes and other adventures still to be explored.  We would also like to do the gondolas and the flying fox or big swing.

After Queenstown, we headed further South to visit Robbie's sister and be there for her 21st! She took us to Gore, Invercargill and Bluff while we were staying with her - but if I'm being honest - there isn't that much to do in any of these places. However, spending time with family was more worth it than anything.

All in all, it was such a wonderful trip and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
If you have been to Queenstown or the South Island before, what are your favourite activities or places to visit?


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