If you haven't been to Queenstown in the summertime you need to add it to your list asap. You want to know why? I believe it is one of the most naturally beautiful places I have ever travelled to. I have visited many parts of Australia, Europe and the UK and don't get me wrong they all have their own uniqueness and beauty but Queenstown in New Zealand, every which way you look it is breathtakingly stunning.
I decided to write this post to tell you all about some of the incredible experiences that we had and share some insight so when you travel there it can be a little guide of places to explore.
Travelling to Queenstown in mid January with my partner James was actually the first time we were seeing each other this year as he travels the world for work (I am still practicing the pretzel to squeeze into his suitcase). I landed in Queenstown around 2:00pm (local time) ahead of James and it felt like midday with sun bright and hot (keep in mind the sun doesn't completely set until around 10:00pm in the Summer). I made my way to our Air BNB about 25mins out of the main town at Jacks Point. On the way out driving past the most remarkable mountains, later to find out the mountains are actually named 'The Remarkables' (whoever came up with that, well done!).
James had caught four flights originally from China to meet me with two bags but left one with his work colleague when he briefly landed in Australia which had his camera gear in it..eek! We ended up snapping all of our images and the below vlog on our iPhones plus his drone. As much as we wanted some SLR shots we felt that the iphone still captured everything we needed, plus the positive was we didn't have to lug a heavy camera around, winning!
Okay I will stop rambling on and let you get to the tips below!
MY TIPS FOR QUEENSTOWN
We decided to stay in an air bnb as we discovered almost everyone in Queenstown rents out their home or a room for visitors to stay. This was much more affordable than staying in a hotel or a hostel believe it or not and we were out exploring most of the time so just needed a bed and bathroom. Staying out of town we needed a hire car and would DEFINITELY recommend getting one for yourself even if you stay in town as Queenstown is quite a small town and there is so, so much more to explore in the surrounding towns and mountains. Plus they don't have Uber and the taxi's can get quite expensive.
Everything but the flight to Queenstown is quite expensive so ensure you save your pennies prior to your trip so you can enjoy this beautiful place to it's fullest. the dollar difference isn't too different from Australia so that is a plus if you're travelling from the land of Aus that is.
As I said earlier every which way you look in Queenstown is stunning so exploring the town and it's surrounds is a must. Taking a road trip from Queenstown to Glenorchy is the most picturesque drive along lake Wakatipu and I highly recommend it. One thing we didn't get to explore was Milford Sound by plane which I regret, so if you can do that and tell me how amazing it was please do!
I love extreme sports so zip lining and the Shotover Jetboat ride were a must for us! If you're a little more daring you may want to give bungy jumping a go as there are plenty of spots around that do it. We considered taking the plunge but I felt jumping out a plane was enough for me for now.
There are endless bars, cafes and gelato stores around town so if you wander around you will come across some cool places. Some that I loved and recommend are yonder cafe for a healthy modern breakfast and world bar for drinks and delicious nachos (Mexican food fiend has her hand up!). We were also recommended to try fergburger which is the most popular burger place in town, we didn't indulge as the line was always out the door but if you have more patience than us it is a must!
A little out of town you'll find a bunch of wineries all on the same road (sorry I cant remember the name, but google is helpful). We went to two of many and as much as going on wine tours sounded fancy and fun we got a tad bored (each to their own). We packed our own picnic (camembert cheese included..drool), with wine and hired some bikes from Gibbston Valley Winery and rode along the winery tracks. If you do a bike tour ensure you wear comfy riding clothes, sunscreen and are prepared to work up a bit of a sweat.
Have you booked your ticket yet? Do it!
PS. This isn't an ad or anything of the likes.. i genuinely want you to see this crazy beautiful place for yourself!