So I just got back from an amazing trip to Queenstown where I got to take in the scenery, sites, and of course, the drinks! When I first decided to visit Queenstown, I wanted have a trip with a bunch of different experiences, and dear old Queenstown didn’t fail me. That’s why I decided to curate my most unconventional experiences from my trip to act as your quirky guide. From glaciers to ice bars, to historic buildings and railroads, Queenstown is the city for the diverse traveler.
Yay, we landed 🙂 If you were wondering why we chose Jetstar over Air NZ, SIMPLE, their price always cheaper. Keep an eye on Jetstar Deals.
Day1: Onsen hot pool + Below Zero Bar
Flying can take a lot of a girl. We landed later in the afternoon. Being cramped for so long takes a toll on the muscles, which is why we headed out to the Onsen Hot Pools as soon as we landed. Located high above the Shotover River Canyon, the pools let you unwind anytime of the year overlooking the beautiful alpine scenery. And with the maximum capacity of each pool only being 4 people, our time there was quiet and relaxing.
Tip: The pool is also open at night, and can be very romantic with all the candles, but don’t miss out on the daytime view 🙂
Arrived at Queenstown Hilton Hotel after hot pool.
Chill out . . . with a drink
I guess we didn’t have our fill from chilly climates, we decided to head over to the Below Zero Bar after dinner that night. A cool (literally) bar that is made entirely out of ice, even the glasses! Our bartender, who donned a fur lined parka, beanie, and ski gloves, mixed us up some chilly vodka cocktails.
Day 2: Hydro attack + Skyline Gondola
While the scenery was inspiring, we needed some action, so we took a trip to Hydro Attack where we boarded a Seabreacher X that took us on an adrenaline filled tour of Lake Wakatipu. The Seabreacher barrels through underwater at 40 kph, and breaches 18 feet out of the water. This ride is definitely not for the faint of heart, but the pilots were some the sweetest, most genuine people I have ever met.
( Two photos above: Courtesy of Hydro Attack )
Seriously, this guy was awesome!
View from skyline gondola (The funny fact I discovered that day was my dad actually is afraid of heights!!!)
View from the top , you can see the Stratosfare restaurant.
View from the top. (I know it’s not top of the world, but pretty close)
There is also Luge activity that you can try, but because I was traveling with my parents, so it wasn’t on our bucket list.
Day 3: Tasman Glacier + Lake Tekapo
Relaxed up at the hotel, we drove about 3 hours outside of Queenstown to visit the Tasman Glacier Lake on the third day, a glacier that has been receding since the 90s. Here you can take in some of the most serene and breathtaking beauty New Zealand has to offer. And I’m so glad I got to go there before the beauty melts away.
On the way to Tasman Glacier ,thanks for the good weather so far 🙂
Almost broke my ankle going down hill there, but it was worth it!
This is pretty much the coolest public bathrooms I have ever came cross
When in doubt with how to pose, do a jump photo, you can never go wrong with it.
Disappointment ahead 🙁
Scenery on the way to Lake Tekapo
After 1.5hours of driving, we arrived at Lake Tekapo. I suppose to upload some breathtaking star gazing photos from Lake Tekapo here, but The locals told us that we won’t be able to see the stars tonight, because it will start raining at night, and it has been like this the past few days 🙁
Sorry to break it to you man, not everyday is a great day.
Day 4: Olveston + Dunedin Rail Station + Lanarch Castle
On the way to Dunedin
Here we are, arrived at Olveston Historic Home. It was built between 1904 and 1907 for David Edward Theomin. I was surprised how advanced this house was back then, everything inside is so delicate and royal.
Tip: You can’t visit the house without joining the in-house tour, so make sure you check the availabilities beforehand.
The interior of the house
Since I love architecture, I chose to take a look at the Dunedin Rail Station. Built in the Neo Renaissance style, walking around the train station makes you feel like you’re stepping back in time, like you’ve been transported to an old movie or something. I loved it, and I’m sure you will too.
(Courtesy of Backpacker Guide)
To round out our time travel with architecture, our final stop was at Lanarch Castle, New Zealand’s only castle. Walking around the Gothic Revival hallways, I felt like I was in an episode of Downton Abbey, getting ready for an evening at a ball (I wish). It’s amazing how simple walls and hallways can make you feel like you’re in a different era, a different place. Needless to say leaving the castle was pretty hard.
(Two photos above: courtesy of Larnach Castle)
It was just raining cats and dogs. Apologies to you guys, I couldn’t stop outside to take a good photo of the castle and no camera inside…
My ultimate tip : I pre-booked almost everything on Book Me. Apart from giving you a clearer picture of your itinerary, I saved $369 (for 3 people) by booking things online than just purchasing at the spot.
And for the skiing lovers(I know Queenstown is one of the most popular destinations for skiing), my apologies for not mentioning any good skiing spots for you, only because I am not good at it myself, and worry about breaking my legs, haha (sissy, what did you say??) But the blogger Stephanie Lai from The Travel Kid took it on like a champion. Want to know more about Queenstown, check out her to do list in Queenstown . Want to see her in action? Here is her latest Youtube video.
(Courtesy of The Travel Kid)
So what are you waiting for?
Have you been to Queenstown? If you have, What would be your must-visit spots?