Let me start by saying that I am well aware that Queenstown is a very touristy town in New Zealand.
That being said, to me, my experience in Queenstown encompassed all that I wanted New Zealand to be.
So here’s how my two days in the coolest place ever went:
I allowed myself to sleep in on Tuesday morning, knowing that I got to do whatever I wanted for the entire day. (Perks of solo traveling!) However, since I’ve been waking up so early every day for the last month, I woke up at about 8:30 anyway. Not my idea of sleeping in.
I woke up to some bad news from another girl sharing my room at the hostel. She had traveled all the way to Queenstown for an interview at a horse farm, only to be told that they couldn’t come & get her because it was raining. Charlotte & I were very confused as to why rain would prohibit them from driving to get her, but it was out of her control at this point. So seeing that she was in poor spirits, & I was about to spend the day by myself, we decided to go for a walk around the lake together.
Charlotte is from the UK & was fun to talk to. One of the most amazing parts of traveling is the opportunity to meet people from around the world, share, compare, & acknowledge one another’s ways of life. Also, luckily she didn’t mind my obsession with taking some photos of the beautiful scenery.
Luckily during our walk Charlotte got a phone call from the horse farm that they were in fact coming to pick her up so we walked back to the hostel and she was on her way! (Charlotte, where ever you may be, I hope you got the job!)
So now my solo time actually started. Kim (another hostel mate) asked my if I wanted to go up the gondola (enclosed ski lift that goes up one of the mountains) so I knew that I needed to go purchase my ticket. I set up in that direction, but was quickly distracted by some hot chocolate from Bob’s Weigh.
If you’re ever in Queenstown, Bob’s Weigh is a must. It’s a small cafe, but well worth it.
This was my BOWL of hot chocolate. YUM.
Yes, I did get hot chocolate from Bob’s Weigh three days in a row… It was that good.
After I read my book and finished my hot chocolate, I walked the rest of the way to the gondola station, bought my ticket, & even found a cool trail that I planned on hiking the next day when the rest of my friends got to town.
I still had some time to kill before Kim was ready to do the gondola ride (she was busy Canyon swinging – like bungee jumping, except swinging over a canyon). So I found a dock & grabbed my book.
I could have sat in this spot reading for hours. Queenstown gave me the same feeling that Duluth does. A homey vibe, with a spark of adventure. (Or perhaps a flame of adventure in Queenstown’s case). I was 100% content.
But, I bought a gondola ticket, and nothing was going to keep me from the top of the mountain, so Kim & I headed up at 1:30.
Not only was the view at the top gorgeous, but included in my gondola ticket, were also a couple runs on the luge at the top! I also had a blast on the luge. At one point it started to drizzle, so the track got wet and slippery. The wipeouts made it even better! It reminded me of something both my dad & my brother would have had a blast doing! (go pro videos to come)
We took the gondola back down, & I waited to have dinner until Emily, Jack, Kelcy, & Ro arrived in town. I was very happy to see the four of them as they got off the bus from Fiordland, & they came baring lots of stories from the Keplar track.
Much to my surprise, Kelcy didn’t arrive with the others, but I quickly learnt that she ditched them to go & see Milford Sound. Okay, ditched was perhaps an exageration, but none the less she showed up about 45 minutes later, with quite the tale of her past 24 hours.
We went to Fergburger again for dinner, & this time I decided to get a hamburger (still going to only eat fish from here on out). After dinner we went to a place called the Beer Cafe for some drinks.
New Zealand has some really amazing heat lamps outside everywhere (like at Tavern) so even though it was a bit chilly, we enjoyed our beers (& Ciders) outside, as we swapped stories from the past week since we split up in Auckland.
We were all very tired, so with full tummies, rosy cheeks, & good spirits we turned in for the night, knowing that Wednesday would hold just as many laughs that would turn into fond memories.