Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Queenstown, New Zealand

Another long weekend, another weekend trip. This time to Queenstown, New Zealand. 

As long as it's winter, I want to make the most of it. And what could be better than flying south, to a cold cute little town surrounded by mountains? I had been to Queenstown before, but MrBehomeforT (like many Australians) had not. 

I took two days off and we flew in on a Friday. Unfortunately it was very, very windy in Queenstown that day, resulting in a very, very turbulent flight. MrBehomeforT was already scared of flying, and now he is terrified of flying. Most flights were diverted or cancelled and apparently our flight was the only international flight arriving in Queenstown that day. Although I was happy we landed in Queenstown and not in Christchurch, sitting on a plane which is moved from left to right and up and down between a very small mountain passage is not something which is particularly pleasant. Pale faces, but very, very relieved passengers once we landed. We immediately bonded with some people on the plane over this scary experience. Will it put me off flying? Absolutely not! However, I may need a valium the next time if the weather isn't so good.

It was quite warm for the time of the year, and consequently the snow wasn't very good. I am not a big fan of skiing, but MrBehomeforT likes snowboarding. Unfortunately he didn't get the chance to hit the slopes but we did a lot of fun things whilst in Queenstown.

After we had a well deserved drink to calm the nerves, we checked in at the Millennium Hotel. This hotel is located on the edge of Queenstown on a hill, about 10 minutes by foot from the centre. It's quite a big hotel and it's right on the lake (like the rest of Queenstown). I really enjoyed my stay here. Toiletries were replaced every day, towels were changed and the bed was made. The bed was so comfy!! I love watching tv in bed, especially when the room is nice and cold and the doona is warm and fluffy!

On our first night we had dinner at Captain's Restaurant and dessert at Cookie Time. I will share my reviews in separate blog posts. We were pretty knackered from the flight and decided to go to bed early. 

When we woke up the next day it was pouring down rain. Not what we expected! We tried to find a place for lunch as quick as we could and ended up in a tiny little pizza and pasta place called 'the Cow Restaurant. I did not take any pictures, because pizza's and pasta's are not that exciting for the eye, but they are for the mouth! We had to wait for 20 minutes or so, which wasn't too bad because we were seated in front of the fireplace with a glass of wine. Lovely!

We were seated together with one other person who was by himself, which was quite unusual but it was a really nice guy to talk to. I had the best pizza bolognaise I ever had, and the wine wasn't too bad either.

What else do you do on a rainy day other than eating? Well, it is a bit unusual, but we visited one of Queenstown's newest attractions, the fear factory. It looks a bit cheesy on the outside but I read the reviews (very good) and it actually turned out to be heaps of fun! Imagine darkness, total darkness and trying to make your way through a maze, having no idea what is happening. I won't tell more, but I would highly recommend this place! 
In the evening we went for dinner at rata which was amazing (separate review soon)!  

The next day we planned a wine tour with NZ Wine Tours. It was so much fun that I will also have to write a separate review about this. We tasted some amazing pinot noir and drove through beautiful landscapes. Kiwi's are so friendly! After a full day of winetasting we had dinner at Flame Bar and Grill. Real manfood and huge portions of steaks and ribs! We had a few drinks at Pub on the Wharf where they do an amazing mulled wine (cinnamon sugar!!).

Our last day we hired a car and drove to Glenorchy, about a one hour drive from Queenstown. The drive is beautiful and there are heaps of places to stop and to take pictures. The landscape is just amazing. Have a look at the pictures. Perfect, right? We drove to a place called 'paradise' which is not more than a paddock, but it's more about the drive itself. Glenorchy is a tiny little village with not much more than a pub and a cafe. It has a beautiful lake too! When we got back to Queenstown (I drove so I was amazed we arrived safely - I'm not the best driver (it's still on the wrong side of the road for me!) we had some dinner at Farelli's. Best bolognaise sauce ever. It had quite a few secret ingredients but I will tell more about that in a separate post. 

Unfortunately our stay in Queenstown was too short. What a dreamy village! I would love to see more of it, and of the rest of New Zealand. One of my favourite places in the world!


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