A friend of mine once said, “ I had found a place where I wanted to spend my elderly life in, it’s Queenstown”. Finally I found out why and definitely I would too spend my life in Queenstown without having to wait to get older!
Queenstown was our third stop in the Southern Route in our New Zealand road-trip. Where is Queenstown? It is a resort-town in Otago in the South-West of New Zealand. We passed a couple of towns on our way to Queenstown. From Franz Josef, we passed Haast, Wanaka and and drove through the Crown Range before arriving there. The journey was as awesome as usual, plus, IT WAS RAINING ALL THE TIME that day! Phewww… We were expecting to see sparkling Lake Wanaka at lunchtime, but we got wet instead, LOL. We had fantastic lunch though in Wanaka, in a cool place called the Federal Diner. Love their chicken sandwich! Definitely a recommended place to eat in Wanaka.
After lunchtime, the rain just got heavier, not the mention the wind! It was so windy, but that didn’t stop us from pulling-over and taking some photos at iconic spots like this vintage Cardrona Hotel and hold our breath to enjoy the beautiful Crown Range scenery (still, in the rain of course!). The gloomy day simply made up a whole different ambience to the place, which I also believe will be extremely beautiful on a bright day. Moreover, the rain added up one level of difficulty to the driving since we passed the highest main road in New Zealand with sharp turns here and there! It reaches an altitude of 1121 metres. I was not driving, so my role was to pray. Geez, I did play a big role! 😀
We arrived in Queenstown when the sun almost set. With a dimmed light we strolled down the city’s road for the very first time. First impression: It’s not that big, but still you can find almost everything there. Just the right size for my type of city. Love at first sight.
First thing first. We were a bit worried about the weather, thus, the first thing we did was confirming our cruise to Milford Sound for the next day. Based on our research earlier, Milford Sound is a must visit whilst in NZ. Long story short, we came to the cruise provider office only to find out that the road to Milford Sound (meaning to Te Anau) will be closed for that day and the day after (and most probably the another day after, too!). Oooh, not-so-good news, of course! But, the staff was very helpful and he gave us an option to go the Doubtful Sound, which is a safer choice since there wasn’t any road-block issue. After a moment of deliberation we finally decided to go on a cruise to The Doubtful Sound two days after that day instead. At that time we were severely hoping that the name didn’t mean to be a bad omen, LOL. Our journey to the Fiordland will be on another post, so wait for it! 🙂
Beaten by the rain and the uncertainty of our trip to the Fiordland, we then checked in to our hostel. We had a high expectation for this hostel since it has a very cool website! And it was good! We present you the Blacksheep Lodge at Frankton Road! It’s not downtown, but frankly, (almost) anywhere in Queenstown is actually within walking distance, so not really a problem. We had a car though, and most of the time we found some difficulties to find parking space downtown, especially at dinner time. Then, yes as we were starved, it’s dinner time! We had dinner at Fish Bone Grill and Bar, and that was the time we finally got to eat RICE! What a relieve. We had a deep sleep that night, wishing that tomorrow will be bright!
And guess what? At 7 AM or so, it was still gloomy. Oh, crap! But finally an hour later, the sun did shine brightly on our second day in Queenstown. And that reveals the beauty of Queenstown even more. First thing in the morning, we got to take the chance to see and photographing The Remarkables, the famous mountain range served as an impressive backdrop for the city. Just down the Frankton Road, we could find a shore of Lake Wakatipu where you could have a full sight of The Remarkables. Truly remarkable!
That morning we decided to try The Fergburgers for breakfast (we read the recommendation on the Lonely Planet). At 8:30 AM there’s no line in the shop to order and it was a fast service as far as I could remember. Then we tried it and it was awesooooooome! So delicious. Best burger ever and it is soooo big, unlike any burgers in Indonesia. We just can’t get enough of it. And just next to the Fergburger, there was a bakery. As a person who craves for coffee every morning, the bakery definitely helped me. Great coffee with delicious burgers, those really made my morning! That day we strolled down the Church Street before headed to Arrowtown (Arrowtown and the whole cheese-wine experience will be posted on another tale 😉 ).
In total, we spent three nights in Queenstown, and thus some recommendations (based on what we did) can be made as follows:
- TRY THE FERGBURGER! For me the original tasted best.
- Get a coffee at the Ferg Bakery afterwards!
- Enjoy The Remarkables from Lake Wakatipu’s shore.
- Take a day trip to Arrowtown and go wine tasting at Gibbston Valley.
- Also, take a trip to the Fiordland National Park, on a bright day, the journey there was beyond belief. The scenery’s so beautiful, that all you want to do was just sit back and relax (even for me, I gave up on taking photos during that trip)
- Shopping at downtown Queenstown. Souvenirs are plenty with various types and reasonable price ranges too. If you really have to buy souvenirs we love this little shop called Mary’s Sheep at Beach Street. Also, find a good deal of mountaineering equipment from Kathmandu and any other winter store here.
Bottom line, I think I need to find a job at the Fergburger and live in Queenstown right away! LOL, anyway, I really enjoyed Queenstown and wishing to be back someday. Until next post!