I am going to sound like everybody else who has been to Queenstown… it is the best! As part of my recent trip to Australia’s neighbour, New Zealand, my friends and I ventured to the South Island and spent 4 days in one of the most beautifully scenic destinations I have ever travelled to. Every view is like a postcard and I know that sounds unoriginal. Anyone who has been to Queenstown or read about it knows how stunningly picturesque it is. Now I can join the club!
Queenstown is full of the adrenaline activities – skydiving, bungee jumping, paragliding, quad biking, jet boats, the list goes on! Unfortunately, I am the biggest chicken so I did not participate in any of these. But I am highlighting these activities in case you are an adrenaline junkie. Otherwise, this is how a scared-y cat on a modest budget spent her time in Q-Town! (Is that even a thing?!). Please note I was in New Zealand in May, and the South Island was freezing!
You can see Lake Wakatipu from pretty much anywhere in Queenstown. But it’s impossible to ever get tired of seeing it. I chose to take a stroll by the lake, through Queenstown Gardens to the city centre and it’s just outright gorgeous.
A must-do in Queenstown! The Skyline Gondola will give you one of the best views of Queenstown. And it doesn’t stop there. Once you’re at the top, if you’re a speedster, try the exhilarating luge rides. Or if you’re an eater, like me, indulge in the Skyline Restaurant – one of the best buffets I have ever eaten at. The spread was ridiculous! My friends and I had a joyful dinner with a table by the window, giving us access to yet again another striking view of the town.
A trip to Milford Sound is a popular choice. There are plenty of tour buses that can get you there from Queenstown. My friends and I hired a car and drove ourselves. The drive itself is spectacular. It is roughly an 8 hour round trip of deep green forest and tremendous snow-capped mountains. We only had a food/petrol break at Te Anau while the rest of the journey was prolonged by short stops to take in our wonderful surroundings.
Once in Milford Sound, we embarked on the Maiden of Milford with JUCY Cruise. It was a spectacular 90 minute lake ride including close encounters with amazing waterfalls, which we were lucky to witness because of the rain. To my delight, the rain was followed by several rainbows, more than I have ever seen in one day.
Coronet Peak is a ski field but it was not snowing enough so the facilities were closed. But we were still able to access the area. Originally, we were going to go to The Remarkables for a hike but the roads to get there were closed. So we were recommended Coronet Peak. However, we did not hike. Instead, we drove to the base and had every intention of hiking the rest of the way until we realised how very poorly dressed we were for the task (Lol!). It was still one of my favourite moments of the trip, as my friends and I chilled and had a laugh while soaking in the views.
Where did we stay?