Another beautifully lost dreamer with an incurable case of wanderlust.

A Quicky in Queenstown!

It was Tom’s 30th birthday, so what better way to celebrate than to spend a week in the adrenalin capital of the world! After a very bumpy flight we landed in stunning Queenstown. The view on approach was a real treat; snowcapped mountains and a lake so perfectly still it could have been glass. The air was cool and fresh, certainly different to the humidity we have grown so used to in Northern NSW!


Queenstown really is picture perfect. We stayed in a hotel next to the lake and had beautiful views of the town. There are also some really cute little places to visit from Queenstown; my favourite being Arrowtown. It has a sort of haunted feel about it and it really captivated me. We even saw this dog that seemed to be possessed, fixated on nothing and then appeared to be chasing something that wasn’t there! Arrowtown has pretty gardens, a charming little high street and a river that you can walk along. Not to mention, it’s only a short drive to a couple of delightful wineries!

On Tom’s birthday we went up the skyline gondola and had a couple of drinks at the bar. We watched a few crazy mo-fo’s throw themselves off the bungee platform and quickly came to the conclusion we weren’t going to be doing the same. Instead, we went for the slightly less hectic option of the luge! We had six rides and it was hilarious! They go much faster than I was expecting and it was heaps of fun. Tom even had a bit of an accident and ripped his jeans! Way hairier than I thought it was going to be! We decided to zipline back down the mountain… something a bit different! We then proceeded to go out and get heavily intoxicated.

The nightlife in Queenstown is brilliant. I’m a bit of an old lady these days when it comes to nights out, but even I let my hair down while I was there! I love the way that all the bars are in walking distance and there’s a bunch to choose from. The nightlife is ‘buzzing’! It kind of reminded me of somewhere like Malia, without being too like Malia. If that makes any sense at all? Special shout outs to Barmuda and Habana for borderline alcohol poisoning by Tequila.

After waking up with the hangover from hell, we checked into the Onsen Pools to bring us back to life. They’re Japanese style open air hot pools, set in a beautiful location, overlooking the Shotover river. Definitely the relaxation level we needed at that point in time!

Being in the ‘adventure capital’ we booked on a few trips to get into the spirit of things. We started with the Dart River jet boat. The ride was exhilarating and definitely woke us up! It was a speedy little thing and we weaved around the river bed, even over the sections with a couple of inches of water. The scenery was spectacular. The weather wasn’t great but it added to the mystical ambiance. Parts of Lord of the Rings were filmed along the Dart River. Our driver was super passionate and kept us safe, even while turning 360 degrees at lightning speed! Then, it was ‘funyak’ time. Tom had failed to tell me we were going Kayaking in 2 degrees. I dislike kayaking at the best of times. So I’m going to skim over that little adventure! Next up was off road biking. The boys went on dirt bikes and the girls had quads. It was pretty hysterical (I hated it at first but it grew on me!) and we even looked like proper bikers by the end of it; soaked to the bone and caked in mud! It’s safe to say I’m far more adventurous when it’s warm.

One of the days we hired a car and drove to Milford Sound. The drive is pretty long but very scenic. You get to drive through some beautiful little towns and there are plenty of places to stop and walk the nature trails. We were very lucky at Milford actually. They rarely get a dry day and while we were there the sunshine came out to say hello. The waterfalls were flowing and the sky was blue. The boat trip around the sound was gorgeous and very relaxing. We even saw some cute little seals! Milford sort of reminded me of Halong Bay, with it’s huge rock formations and reflective green water. We had a great day exploring the Fjordland National Park and would certainly recommend it if you’re in the South Island.

The food in Queenstown was divine. Vudu and Bespoke were our favourite spots for brekkie, we went way more times than we probably should have! Lunch spot favourites were the Gibbston Valley Winery (everyone loves a liquid lunch every now and again!) and the world famous Fergburger. We liked to indulge for dinner; the Tandoori Palace is a great spot for decent Indian food, Madam Woo for Asian and Atlas for a yummy steak. *bad vegetarian* The winning dining experience though, has to be the Botswana Butchery. A travel rep from work recommended me this place and oh my goodness, it was amazing. It’s a bit posh, so more of an occasion meal; the food and wine is next level. One of the best meals I’ve had in a restaurant. Botswana was certainly a trip highlight!

Our trip to Queenstown was a wonderful week away; catching up with friends, eating, drinking, exploring and taking in the fresh air and unique scenery. We were sad to be leaving such a lively little town but happy to be heading back to the warm beachy paradise that is Byron Bay.

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