Well, where do I start with this place. It was love instantaneously!
I arrived in Queenstown on the 7th of May and met Jenna (who I met couch surfing in Auckland) off the bus. I took the Connecta bus which picks you up just outside of the airport and drops you in the center of the town. The bus costs $12 and runs ever few minutes. Unfortunately my bag didn’t make it but on the plus side, I didn’t have to carry 17kilos around with me! We grabbed some food in Burgerfuel and made out way to Sir Cedricks Tahuna Pod Hostel where I was staying.
I LOVED this hostel and the people that came with it. It is in a perfect location, just a 7 minute walk from town and 5 minutes to the closest supermarket. The hostel itself is clean, spacious and has a big kitchen and living area. Everything is new and in great supply. They offer free breakfast, unlimited tea and coffee, free veg soup every evening from 6 and popcorn until 9. I thought I may never leave (and I nearly didn’t…. But that’s a whole different story!).
That night, a few of us headed out and I got a taste of Queenstown’s night life…. Just mental. We went to so many bars that I have them all mixed up haha! Should you find yourself in this gem of a place though, you can’t go wrong if you visit Searle Lane, Zephyr, Loco, Winnie’s, Cowboys, 1867 or Bungalow. I’m probably missing a few but that would be a starting point!
The next evening, myself and one of the guys, Nick, went off for a hike up Queenstown Hill. This was my first of many and just stunning. Nick knew the trail so showed me all of the view points but when we got to the top I was speechless. We had a complete view of the town, lake and mountains AND to top it all off, the sun was setting so the sky was lit up with all different colours. Unreal.
On Monday, a bunch of us headed over to Frankton to go wall climbing. This was so much fun and only costs about $17 and they supply all of the gear. You can stay as long as you like and don’t have to have any experience, they’ll show you what to do. To get a cab from Queenstown to Frankton costs about $33 and takes around 10-15 minutes.
Tuesday was another beautiful day so myself and Ollie headed off for a hike. Now we set off from Fernhill, got lost, scaled the mountain on what we thought was a track (probably made by animals) realised we were en route for Ben Lomond, hit the valley and took a minute to see what we could do. Now, I have zero sense of direction so was all set to go through the valley but Ollie, God love him, calmly explained a number of times that this wasn’t possible. So, we went down the way we came and found our way on to the Gondola track. (This we could see was an actual human track!) Once we got to the top though… Wow is all I can say. It was incredible. This track can be easily got to from the village and if you’re too tired when you reach the top, you can get the Gondola’s down for $20. All together though, the hike was about 16km (that’s including all of our wrong turns!).
For dinner, Ollie showed me this AMAZING Mexican restaurant where you can get delicious burritos for under $10. Sombrero’s kept me fed for majority of QT!
On Thursday, Ollie, Jenna and myself headed off for Wanaka to hike Roy’s Peak. Ollie had a car so the drive took us about an hour and 15 minutes to get there. Naked Bus and Connecta bus take people out there though or hitch hiking is another popular way. This was probably my favorite hike I’ve ever done. It was pretty challenging as well but the views over Wanaka were incredible. The hike is about 16km and it took us 2hrs going up and 1.25hrs coming down. The trail is really easy to find and is just located on the side of the road. A lot of people camp at the top to star gaze but I’ll have to wait until next time for that. On the way to Wanaka be sure to stop off at the Cardrona Hotel (oldest hotel in New Zealand) and some fence that’s covered in bras, comical!
On Friday Nicky brought me to the gym he’s a member of (Industrial Gym) and showed me some workout moves. I was sore for about a week afterwards haha! There are a couple of gyms that you can join in QT but if you’re looking for a fighting gym this would be a great choice!
I left Queenstown on Saturday but not before I visited Rehab with Nick. This is a gorgeous cafe with so many healthy options. There was loads of vegan choices so I was on cloud 9! We got a takeaway and found a really nice spot near the water in the park to eat.
Queenstown is my paradise. There is so much to do and see that a week is for sure not enough. Between frisby golf in the park with Ollie and Matt or just walking around town with Jenna laughing about everything and anything I was never bored. I didn’t get a bungy jump or skydive done but I know I’ll be back again. This place completely stole my heart and the people I met were like family at the end. So a massive thank you to Jenna, Ollie, Nick, Matt, Dazzle and Hayley, what an adventure!