Queenstown, New Zealand is a buzzing, year-round, adrenaline destination set on the shores of New Zealand’s longest lake, amid a stunning backdrop of towering mountains and a moody sky. We’ve spent ten days here, the first long stop during our time in New Zealand and our first date with the South Island.
This picture is taken from our balcony. You can’t get away from the views here, the mountains tower all around. We stayed in the middle of town and though it was convenient, it was loud at night. It was here that I finally realized that drunk sounds the same in all languages. We have stayed near bars and pubs in Germany, Spain and now New Zealand and so far there is no difference.
This photo is also from our balcony. The little park was a favorite hang out 24/7 and on this day, local bands showcased their talent.
Our daytime view.
There is a beautiful park in the middle of town called Queenstown Gardens.
There are all kinds of rope swings throughout the town and near the edge of the lake.
I think Ashley tried all of them.
There were many trees to climb.
Paths to walk
Nice places to rest
Stones to skip
And birds to feed.
There were some signs that I have yet to encounter in our travels, even in very touristy areas.
I have never seen a pay for phone charging station either and this was at the top of a mountain.
Scott and Grant went mountain biking.
You take your bike up the mountain on the gondola and then ride down…over and over on trails that are marked like ski runs.
We went on a lot of great hikes.
And were happy to take the gondola down the last bit after hiking all day.
Sometimes we took it up too, to get a head start on the long hikes.
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches have become the food of choice for adventures this trip, much like cheese and crackers on our last trip.
Scott and the kids took an all day rock climbing clinic.
Surprisingly, I was not invited.
But at least they brought back pictures and themselves…tired, a little scratched and bruised, but in one piece.
Queenstown is a fun place to spend some time. The people are nice and there is something to please everyone. There are all types, all ages. enjoying all kinds of activities and that gives it a hip and happening vibe. The intensity is concentrated in the little town center where you can sign up for countless activities and people watch. When that all gets to be too much, you can get away to wander the parks and quiet paths along the lake shore or climb the beautiful mountains that tower all around. The town is a bit of an enigma as it is so “plugged in” in such a natural setting with the majority of attractions relying on nature.
If you get there and like pizza, eat at The Cow www.thecowrestaurant.co.nz/menu.html. We met someone on the North Island who recommended that we eat there saying, “I can’t explain it. Just try it.” Scott and the kids also spent a lot of time at Rehab (ha ha, I know), a smoothie bar that also serves fresh soups, salads and juices (33 Camp Street). Oh yes, and if you like outdoor gear or sporty clothing, this is the place to outfit yourself.
Grant created this short sketch of Queenstown.