Queenstown, New Zealand: World landscapes all in one place.
Switzerland, Argentina, Chile, even a bit of Bosnia, all in one country… my home country of Aotearoa!
Sweeping views of Lake Wakatipu as the plane lands in an area surrounded by snow-capped mountains, this is Queenstown, the Lake District of New Zealand.
From the moment I stepped through airport security at Auckland airport I couldn’t remove my grin for days. I was finally going to the South Island of New Zealand, to an area I had dreamed of visiting for years.
I couldn’t have been happier.
I used Queenstown as my base to visit other areas, more of which I’ll talk about over the coming weeks as I manage to find time to go through and process my photographs.
Hiring a car was the best thing I could have done, allowing me to do some really amazing scenic drives around the Lake District.
Queenstown itself was lovely. Such a stunning spot with incredible landscapes all around. Mountains, snow, lake, trees, birds and so much more. These photographs don’t quite do it justice, but will give you a feel for my experience.
Walking around Lake Wakatipu and through the Queenstown Gardens was fantastic, especially as the clouds drifted away. While the weather was a bit dodgy, there was not as much rain as I expected, I did get some pretty amazing sunshine too. While wandering I managed to stumble across the odd sculpture reflecting the area and New Zealand.
Accommodation in Queenstown
Hunting out a good price on accommodation in such a tourist heavy city such as Queenstown can be tricky. For a change I was hoping for a private room after all the dorms I’d dealt with throughout South and Central America. I was lucky that I found Pinewood Lodge, walking distance from town, they offered me a discount on a bunk bed room in one of their cabins. It worked out great, with a heater in each room and a bunk bed that I could steal the extra duvet off, I was toasty and warm. The bonus was that the cabins have a kitchen and bathroom that you share with just 2 other rooms. The staff were super friendly too with lots of tips to offer.
It was basic, but good. They offer a range of accommodation options from dorms to private rooms, feel free to check them out at: http://www.pinewood.co.nz/.
Food and Drinks
Queenstown is blessed with lots of lovely food and drinking spots dotted all along the lake. I made an English friend on my Milford Sound tour, which meant I had a drinking buddy for a few nights and bonus was it was an easy walk back to Pinewood Lodge, no driving required!
I did try the obligatory Ferg Burger, without the queues (joy of travelling in Spring), it was super tasty, but so enormous that I had to leave a few bites behind!
My last night consisted of live 90s music at ‘Pub on Wharf’ alone as I munched on a very good lamb meal from their $20 pub menu. Great value with a nice atmosphere!
On my last day I squeezed in just enough time to take the gondola up to see some spectacular views over Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu. On the way down I stumbled across an incredibly tasty Taco truck too! Definitely worth a visit!
So that’s Queenstown in a nutshell. Stay tuned for posts about Milford Sound, Glenorchy and Wanaka!