A little bit about Queenstown.
New Zealand for me, was always a dream travel destination. I had two trips planned a few years ago, but both fell through due to varying reasons. So New Zealand remained nothing more than a Pinterest board. And then I fell in love with a Kiwi. How convenient. I’m now three trips down and it is beginning to feel like home.
Q U E E N S T O W N
Queenstown blows your mind from the second you spot it while you’re still in the air. The plane flies in between the mountains and over the bluest lakes and once you’ve landed you breathe in the freshest and most crisp air. Stefan is always awaiting me with the truck, flowers if I’m lucky, ready to get some dinner, watch the sunset and drink some wine. (Usually straight from the bottle as he never remembers a glass.) This is the first of my many favourite things about Queenstown, no matter where you are the view is amazing. You’re surrounded by mountains and Lake Wakatipu is so large you can’t miss it so finding a sunset spot is easy.
One of my favourite memories and biggest achievements is climbing The Remarkables. Before my first trip to New Zealand I was only able to walk about 4km on flat ground but had set myself a goal of climbing a mountain. One extreme to the next, but they always say “dream big”. So Stefan and I set off one day to attempt one of the most ridiculous things I’d ever tried. It was a long and slow walk with lots of zig zag steps wherever possible. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done both mentally and physically but after a couple of rough hours and some supportive words from my boyfriend later I had made it to the flipping top. The view from up there is honestly breath taking. The walk itself, for an average person is also very doable. I mean if I managed it, pretty much anyone can. You look out and just see layers upon layers of mountains. If you go to New Zealand, this should be on top of your list. And when you get back to the bottom, drive straight to BP and eat a Thai chicken curry pie. You’ll understand the whole kiwi and pies thing as soon as you’ve tried one.
Moke Lake is also another Queenstown highlight, but more of a locals secret. I visited it for the first time on my most recent trip. The colours are so inspiring, so much golden grass, a beautiful blue lake, surrounded by mountains with all the dreamiest textures. I have some paintings inspired by this location coming very soon so keep your eyes peeled! We took the blow up boat down and lucky for me it only fits one person, so after a long walk to the other side of the lake I got to float back across in it while Stefan braved the very cold water and guided be back across. Its the perfect location to spend the day with some good food, some ciders and good company. There’s also a paddock of beautiful horses there!
This trip was also my first time up to Coronet Peak. We got up one morning and went and watched the sunrise from here. It was a cold morning, so we sat with coffee and hot chocolate (Stefan is still a child and will learn to drink coffee one day) wrapped in blankets and were slowly warmed by the sun as it rose over the mountains in front of us. Watching the sunrise in a place where you’re surrounded by mountains is something so special. You look around and notice different peaks are lighting up, with golden tones been thrown around everywhere.
Once we had warmed up and the sun was well and truly risen, Stefan wanted to show me the beginning of Skippers Canyon, which is one of the most dangerous roads in the world and definitely a highlight of New Zealand. The road was hand carved by miners over 140 years ago and is made from a very narrow cut in the middle of sheer cliff face.
Once we started I wanted to see more. Unfortunately we didn’t think too much about the fact we were in the landy with no roof on and the road was insanely dusty. The road curved around and when you look down it was just sheer drops of up to several hundred metres. The Shotover river runs through part of it and is the bright turquoise colour that you think you only see in over saturated instagram photos. We slowly made our way up to the school and then realised how long we had been on the road for and hadn’t eaten breakfast yet. Hangry is a real thing for both of us, so at about 12.30pm we thought we better turn around. We got distracted by some pretty cool photo opportunities on the way out, so a couple of hours later we pulled up to a restaurant, covered head to toe in dust and ordered pizza and ciders. Pizza and ciders became an almost everyday meal for us. Long distance relationships make you think its okay to eat out every meal because “it’s a special occasion”. If you aren’t entirely comfortable driving it yourself, there’s plenty of tours available and worth every penny!
As you can probably already tell, there is SO much to share about New Zealand and I don’t want to not share all the amazing parts or bombard you with too much information. So for now, that’s Queenstown. Well most of it. Next week I’ll share a few more things from here and tell you about Glenorchy. My favourite place in the world.