Happy Saturday! This post is coming to you all a little later than expected, as I have been so busy! This post also begins our adventures in the wonderful Queenstown. We had a great time in Christchurch, although it ended up being a lot different than expected. It was really quiet and peaceful. It seemed as if people were in hibernation. I know that Christchurch’s peak season is not in the winter, but I did not expect it to be this quiet. Nonetheless, we made the most of the time we had in this city. Although, we certainly spent our fair share of funds on Ubers and Olas. Anyway, this was our next two days, which began where we last left off. Enjoy!
We begin our Queenstown adventures at the Christchurch airport. Our flight was at 10:05am so we woke up nice and early and made our way to the airport. When we arrived, the food options for a potential breakfast were very limited and most of the food was not really breakfast relevant. Either way, we got through easily after deciding to get a smoothie each (I got mixed berry, Annalise got Mango). Once within the terminal awaiting our gate opening, I decided to pick up and read my book ‘The Dry’ while we waited, which I have been meaning to finish for so long!
We arrived at the airport in Queenstown, which felt relatively similar in temperature to Christchurch to me, even though it was predicted to be much colder. When we arrived at the hotel, we checked in and went up to the room, which was really nice (much nicer than the room at Christchurch). It also had an incredible view over the mountains and Lake Wakatipu (which of course I took the opportunity to photograph). The reason we have this view is because I stupidly booked the accommodation wrong – so we had our first night in Queenstown in a different hotel to the rest of our trip. Therefore, in the end it actually turned out as a positive! However, while the room and view were great, unfortunately the heater was subpar. It was quite Luke warm, which for the cold we were feeling, didn’t cut it. Although we did end up getting a replacement heater after calling reception.
After a quick snack, we decided to head out on a walk down around Lake Wakatipu and walked down through the Queenstown Gardens, which were extremely picturesque. It wasn’t long before we headed into Town, which was far more bustling than Christchurch – heaps of tourists and a real winter feel. We visited some of the numerous souvenir shops that lay scattered around the main city area and saw some fo the iconic places in the city. Later on I decided to grab some sushi and we made our way back through the Queenstown Gardens. There was the cutest rivers and streams flowing through them, a massive swarm of ducks and the nicest little bridge (that honestly looked like it was out a fairytale).
It wasn’t long before sunset kicked in and we headed back to the hotel before it got too dark. The cold snapped back into our minds as the darkness was creeping in. Luckily we made it to the hotel in time to watch the orange and yellow sky set below the horizon. Ending the night came with the typical watch of reality TV and The Block NZ, which me and Annalise have both garnered an obsession of, over the course of the trip so far!
The next morning had arrived and it was time to leave for our second hotel. We walked to the next hotel (as it was literally two hotels down the road – 200 metres maximum). Fortunately, the hotel room we were staying in was already cleaned and so we were able to put our bags in the room straight away. We didn’t get to spend long in the room, since we had booked the Queenstown Skyline Gondola and luge rides for 11:00pm. So we just walked down through the town to the entrance of the gondola, which was only a 10 minute walk from our hotel
We took the gondola up to the top of the skyline, which had the most incredible view yet! Looking out over all of Queenstown, the Remarkables and the many other surrounding mountain ranges was spectacular. We stepped inside – hungry as we had not yet eaten anything for breakfast that morning. We grabbed a hot chocolate and some other snack foods, while admiring the view. Did I mention, the sky that day was crystal clear and so we were extremely lucky!
Next on the agenda was the luge rides (which we had five of). We didn’t know how fun this would be or exactly what to expect, but we were blown away with how much fun we had on the rides. It was basically a real life version of Mario cart down the hill on the top of a mountain over Queenstown. It was a great experience and something I would consider a must-do in Queenstown! After five rides on the luge, we took some photos and made our way back through the gift shop towards the lookout point, where we got to watch people do the bungy from above! It did not look as scary as the other bungy jumps available in Queenstown, but it was definitely one of the coolest in terms of location and backdrop!
After we finished our time up at the Skyline, we travelled back down the gondola to the bottom where we walked back into town to grab a few snacks from the mini mart that we would be able to bring on our long bus trip (4 hours there, 4 hours back) to Milford Sound the next day. Aside from that, we went back to our hotel for a bit to relax, before returning to the city.
Upon our return to the city, we decided to head to Fergburger to grab some food, considering this is one of the apparent must-eats! It was surprisingly small for what I expected. We grabbed some food from Ferg and went and sat on the beach (not literally on the beach, but close enough). On the way back, we stopped in at the shops and Annalise grabbed some Manuka honey products, which we have seen EVERYWHERE!
Once back at the hotel we did some editing and again, watched some reality TV and the Simpsons (which seem to be the prime shows on the TV when we are watching it).
We had booked the Below Zero Ice Bar for 7:00pm. So, at half past six, we walked down to the city to pay it a visit. When we reached the check in desk, we confirmed out booking and put on these massive coats, over our already massive coats! Once in the ice bar, the temperature dropped the to -12. Everything was made of ice! There was an air hockey table, sculptures and seats made of ice! We had a free cocktail upon entry and so we grabbed that, which was so much fun drinking from a cup made purely of ice! We were also lucky enough to be in the bar during happy hour (although due to the cold, we only lasted 40 minutes). However, that was longer than every single other person in the bar! Everyone from our session had left by the time we were finished (which was an accomplishment in itself for us)!
After we left the bar, Annalise grabbed a hot chocolate while I grabbed a cookies and cream slice from Starbucks, as we were freezing still! This warmed us up quite quickly. Afterwards, it was back to the hotel we went to warm up and have a hot shower as the night ended and we winded down!