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.

Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu

Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu

Air New Zealand planesFrom 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 waterfront

Queenstown waterfront

Queenstown Queenstown

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.

Queenstown at Dusk

Queenstown at dusk

Queenstown Queenstown lakefront Queenstown lakefront Queenstown lakefront

Queenstown at dusk

Queenstown at dusk

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.

Queenstown Gardens

Queenstown Gardens

Fern sculpture

Fern sculpture

Wakatipu Vessel sculpture

Wakatipu Vessel sculpture

Shepherd sculpture

Kiwi sculpture - for those who always wondered what a giant Kiwi looks like

Kiwi sculpture – for those who always wondered what a giant Kiwi looks like

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.

Pinewood Lodge

Pinewood Lodge

My cabin

My cabin and hire car

Dining Area

Dining Area

Bunk bedroom

Bunk bedroom

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!

Gondola

Queenstown Gondola

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!

Taco Medic

Taco Medic

Taco!

Taco!

View over Queenstown

View over Queenstown

Signs in Queenstown

So that’s Queenstown in a nutshell. Stay tuned for posts about Milford Sound, Glenorchy and Wanaka!

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