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  • Writer's pictureRachel Thaiday

Queenstown – Girls just wanna have fun!

Updated: May 30, 2019

From the moment the snow topped mountains came into view as we flew into this glistening city, I fell in love with New Zealand’s South Island. I have traveled my fair share of locations around the globe so far in my short 33 years of existence and have been very blessed by the travel gods, but to be honest I didn’t know this amazing place had been hiding from me for this long.

We touched down on the tarmac of Queenstown and disembarked. As soon as you can smell that clear mountainous cold air, it fills your soul. I was feeling very fulfilled with my travel goals but wow I just kicked another massive milestone. Queenstown you are beautifully perfect in so many ways.

There were six of us on this trip, so we had done some pre planning to make sure we covered everything we had in mind for the perfect Queenstown trip. But when you are actually doing it, it’s busy! I kind of didn’t want it any other way though because it is how I love to travel. Squeeze in as much as you can in every possible hour especially when traveling minus children.

Day One - we settled into our immaculate chalet accommodation overlooking Queenstown and the picturesque lake that the city surrounds. We opted to go with a house that’s fully self -contained, through a company called ‘Touch of Spice’. That way we had the best of both worlds. We could still cook breakfast and kick around like we would if we were at home or go out for meals if we chose. Our home for the next few days was elevated and our view of the white capped mountains that surround the lake was spectacular.

As you would know by now, amazing food, champagne and good coffee is my thing. We ticked off a local favourite on the first night. Botswana Butchery came highly recommended by a number of people. Trust me when I say you need to experience this place, at least once (booking is recommended). The food is so homely and inviting that you will want to try everything on the menu and the wine selection is second to none. The staff were super friendly and very informative. We loved this place so much that we went back for another visit – for lunch! Make sure you try the BFC (Botswana Fried Chicken) this was so delicious I could have just eaten just that and maybe had two plates of it.

Day Two - We hit up Arrowtown, a small town about a 20-minute drive from Queenstown and checked out The Chop Shop Café. This was epic. I did happen to try their rolled cinnamon donut that was filled with peanut butter and raspberry jam. Holy wow! I had this delicious little bundle of goodness together with their awesome coffee and I thought I was in heaven.

As you would know there are plenty of wineries in this region so it’s hard to select where you should go and which ones you should visit. After a little research we chose Amisfield Winery. The cellar door tasting was a fabulous way to start before we sat down for the 3-course chef selection for our lunch. The cool thing about this place is the only thing on the menu is the chef’s selection! So, you don’t know what you’re getting. The menu was sensational. Each meal served was mouthwatering. And the paired wines were impressive and honestly the best way to try their wine selection with food.

Day 3 – Queenstown is known for adventure, right? Well this was our day for it. I had a bucket list adventure planned with Heli Tours New Zealand. We organised a private charter flight to land on a Glacier. I mean this was a moment in life where you get those excitement chills up your spine, the whole experience was magnificent and a day I will remember for the rest of my life. To land on a glacier and wander around such a spectacle, words really do not do it justice. Topped off with a glass of bubbles to celebrate, this morning was hands down the best!

We were already floating on such a high that we decided to continue the adrenaline filled moments, so we hit up the Shotover Jet Boat Ride. Now talk about a scream, this was action packed fun in an extremely fast boat. It was exhilarating.

That night we finished with Onsen Hot Pools, a magical place where you sit in a hot pool out in the open and watch the sun go down and the stars come out! What a perfect finish to an action-packed day.

Day 4 – It was an early start but well worth it. We headed in the opposite direction out of Queenstown to the High Country. We took a 45-minute coastal drive to Glenorchy so we could go horse riding in the High Country. Apart from not being able to feel my feet from the cold, the morning was breath taking. We rode for 2.5 hours through the countryside where Lord of the Rings was filmed. It was surreal. Not only did it take me back to my childhood, but the surrounding countryside is so beautiful you are completely mesmerised by it.

For our last night of the trip, we booked into Rata by Josh Emmett. It was a beautiful culinary experience. The food was stunning, along with the immaculate wine and signature cocktail list. Every dish that came out was like artwork on a plate. The restaurant had a wonderful ambience about it too.

On our last day we hit up Bespoke Café in Queenstown. Add this to your ‘must do’ list! The coffee was perfect, and the food was wholesome. Good food with something in there to cater for everyone – what more can you ask for? I would have happily gone there every morning for breakfast. By the time we had a look around town and bought a few little gifts for the kids it was time to head home to reality.

5 Days and 4 Nights was perfectly suited for this girl’s trip but next time I visit this amazing city I will definitely have two kids in tow.

Another new destination ticked off the travel list and Queenstown you have my heart.

R Xx

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