New Zealand has this super cool place (among many) called Queenstown. It’s FULL of people from EVERYWHERE. I say that without any exaggeration. It’s a fun, self-proclaimed adventure capital of the world. They even have their own website.
Chris and I spent one night in Queenstown. We got there in the late afternoon on a Sunday and were gone by 10 am the next day. It was quick…
We did manage to get some touristy things in which I have to say I was kind of dying to do. I really haven’t been a tourist before. I’m a prairie girl… I’ve been out of the country a few times but haven’t really been ouuutt of the country if you know what I mean.
So as you can imagine we start driving into town and I’m literally like a dear in the head lights. THIS is what everyone talked about. I got a little feel for the real hustle and bustle city life staying a week in Vancouver but this was something else. There were so many people! Just crazy!
I was a little out of my element needless to say but I felt pumped. I wanted to do everything… everything until I realize how much Queenstown costs.
Scenic flight tours, off roading, zip lining, para gliding, bunge jumping, jet boating..i could go on forever… each starting around at least $120 NZD.. and yes when in Rome you just take out Aunt Visa, swipe and sign but for me.. well my whole life is on a budget.. still! I tried to justify it that we couldn’t possibly have done everything I wanted to in such a short time anyways. (also the weather wasn’t great).
We did have some fun up at the Skyline Queenstown luge. Went on the gondola to get up and even though the lines were huge it was worth the wait. It was really cool, all their staff wore name tags of where they were from (didn’t see any Canadians) but like France, Britain, Germany, America. Not having travelled much it’s a neat feeling to be in a place where people have actually come from all over the world.
It’s a great thing to do with the kids but even for Chris and I as grown adults we had a blast! I think we paid $65 each and got a deal of 7 times down the track, something like that. I would recommend if you’re going for a short time or on a budget and want to have some fun. Give it a go!
As a gift to each other for Christmas we took a ride in the Shotover Jet. Rachel Woodhead was our driver. Only female pilot on the team.. you go girl! She did an excellent job navigating the narrow canyons and shallow water. I wasn’t able to take pictures but here’s a few from the company. The ride was $145 each. Pricey but definitely standard for anything exciting in Queenstown.
I think it was worth it. I mean I could’ve gone for it being a little faster (top speeds hit 85 kph) and longer (its about 25 minutes long) and maybe shallower? (boat speeds over water 10cm deep) but safety first right!
I’ve heard the Shotover Jet is the best company to go with. It’s done on the Shotover River. You can catch a shuttle if you need to, have it part of a tour or of course drive yourself. You should book ahead to avoid waiting. They supply you with wet gear, give you a locker to store your stuff and a side note, no cameras unless you have a go pro head mounted. Great company! We just had an awesome time!
When we got to Queenstown ,Chris thought we’d easily get a campsite and we could just put the tent up. You can, if you book ahead. We were there just after New Years (around the 4th) so that didn’t’ help but accommodations in this town are not cheap! Even hostels per person started at $35 each. We ended up staying at Frankton Motor camp for $75. Pretty good considering everywhere else was booked up or at least $250 per night. One place we called it was $400 for the night.
We did ‘splurge’ a little on the best meal I’ve ever had at their Speights Ale house but there are like a million restaurants and places to eat including the infamous Fergburger which no we did not stand in line for hours for a burger.
So for being in a crazy town such as Queenstown for less than 24 hours it was awesome and like I said, I’d go back in an instant. The atmosphere is lively and to be honest I felt like I was 22 again, who doesn’t want that feeling!
Like a lot of places I went to, I’m planning for when we go back again, Queenstown being one of them. I’ll let you know what I come up with!
Have you ever been to Queenstown? Did you get to do what you wanted? Keep it low key like we did or go all out? What should I do when I go back?