Tag Archive | Queenstown

Weekly Photo Challenge: Window

Weekly Photo Challenge: Window

I took this photo from my bed in a Queenstown, New Zealand, hotel.

After a long day of walking and sightseeing I went up to my room and almost collapsed on the bed. After a few minutes of resting I looked out of the window and saw this amazing and gorgeous view. The hotel is on a cliff overlooking Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains. I’m really happy with how the light coming in has provided a wide, dark frame for the photo.


New Zealand…day 5 – more of Queenstown


Gondola, Bob's Peak

Tonight was the night of the tour I was really looking forward to.  Going up to Bob’s Peak on the Gondola, the Kiwi Haka Show and dinner in the Skyline restaurant were an optional tour but one which all bar one of us on the tour were doing.  We could do any of the 3 or all of them.  I chose to do all of them.  I don’t know how else you would get up to the top.  There must be a road somewhere.

The Gondola cabins are very small.  Carol, Brad, Bec and I shared one and it felt a bit squashed.  Carol and I sat so we were looking down the mountain as we escalated up the mountain.  It takes about 8 mins to make your way up there, gently swaying (although sometimes it didn’t feel so gentle) in the wind.  Carol doesn’t like heights so wasn’t comfortable at all.  It’s a very steep rise too.  However the view made up for any discomfort.  It was still beautiful and sunny and we got a panoramic view of Queenstown and the mountains.

Once we reached the top we visited the gift shop before queuing to get in to The Kiwi Haka Show.  Two of the performers came from the theatrette to introduce themselves and ask for a male to be the chief to represent us in the show.  We tried to get Terry to do it but he chickened out so Bren did it instead.  His wife thought that was hilarious because he’s no chief.


The Haka Show was fantastic.  The men were very scary-looking but great performers and the women were also great.  We weren’t allowed to take photos but a group of the women in our group were asked to go on stage to perform some steps and tricks they were shown.  It was really funny to watch.  I wasn’t chosen so I was able to sit back and enjoy their comical efforts.

After the show we went upstairs to the entrance to the waiting area.   Two other performers came up and allowed us to have our photos taken with them.  By the time we did that we were able to go into the semi-circular restaurant that overlooks Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkable mountains.  I think these were the most stunning views I had ever seen while eating dinner.  Dinner itself was a huge buffet.  There was so much food to choose from.  There were soups,  meat, salads, vegies, seafood and not to mention – the dessert bar.  Yum!!! It was hard not to try everything but I managed it.  It was also the first meal we sat at communal tables so we had a chance to chat with different people on the tour.  We chatted about the things we had all done with our free day.  Some people had gone on a winery/lunch tour, others had gone horse riding and others had done some more adventurous activities such as bungy jumping.

Unfortunately we had to leave the restaurant at 8pm.  I was really disappointed because I’d been looking forward to a more leisurely dinner and being able to watch the sun begin to set.  We later found out that the venue had been booked for another group.  For me, descending in the gondola was scarier than ascending.  I was sitting with my back to the town and facing the mountain so I felt I had no control.

We got back to the hotel by 8.45pm so most of us went to the bar to have a few drinks and continue chatting.  It was this day that we all started to bond, the second full day of the tour.  We all agreed it would be great to have another day in Queenstown.  I think everyone loved it.  We were all sad to be leaving.  I went back to my room and watched the sun setting over the mountains again.  It’s a magical place, that’s for sure.  I’ll definitely go back one day to do the things I didn’t get to do.

New Zealand day 5…walking around Queenstown

The photo above is one of my favourite photos of my whole tour.

When I got off the TSS Earnslaw I walked around to the Queenstown Gardens.  I started walking along the gravel path on the lake front.  You can see across to the main part of town.  It’s a popular walk; I past a lot of people. The main part of the gardens are higher than the path around the lake.  I walked up to the top and got a surprise.  Whereas the lower path was more rustic, the higher sections are very manicured.  I loved the selection of plants and the sculptures up there.  At the exit I found a metal sculpture of a silver fern.  It was beautiful.


By this time I was getting tired so I walked back to the cafe and bought a hot chocolate then went to bus stop outside the visitor centre.  I had to wait for what seemed like ages for the next bus.  It eventually arrived and I got back to the hotel at around 4pm.  I sat on the bed and looked out the window.   The view was so beautiful.  The water was so blue and contrasted with the dryness of the mountains.  The view was framed beautifully by the window frame.  I had about an hour or a little longer before I had to get ready for our night out.  We were going up to Bob’s Peak to the Skyline restaurant for dinner and to see the Kiwi Haka Show.  I had never seen a Haka before so was really looking forward to it.

New Zealand…day 5 – in and around Queenstown

I woke up feeling nice and refreshed, knowing I had the whole day to myself.  I had put my name down to do a day tour but, as I was the only one who wanted to do it, it got cancelled.  My parents have been to Queenstown and told me about some things I could do in and around the town.

After breakfast I caught the bus down the hill into the main area of town.  This is where you find the bars, cafes and tourist attractions.  First stop was the Visitor Centre to book my ticket for the steamship TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak Farm http://www.realjourneys.co.nz/Main/TSSEarnslaw/.  The cruise is a 1.5hr return journey to Walter Peak Farm.  The Earnslaw turns 100 in October 2012 and it will hold a week of celebrations in that month.  It is known as ‘the lady on the lake’. It was slightly windy on land which translated into a very windy day on the steamship.  It was nice and sunny though so I really enjoyed the trip to the farm.  The view of the mountains is a lot different to when you see them on land.  When I’m on a boat or ship I love being outdoors.  For one, you get the best photos and you get the whole experience, including the wind blowing through your hair.

I stayed on board once we reached Walter Peak Farm.  There are 3 levels to this cruise.  One is the cruise I did where we just cruise there then come back, the second is where you can get off the ship and walk around and the third is take part in a bbq lunch and a tour of the farm.  I had other things to do so just did the basic cruise.

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New Zealand….day 4 arriving in Queenstown

After travelling for around 200kms in 8 hours we finally arrived in Queenstown and went straight to our hotel.   I fell in love with Queenstown the moment we drove in to the town.  The streets have a great feeling.  I don’t know if it was the shops, cafes or the views.  Actually it was probably the views.  There are gigantic mountains surrounding the town that is built on the banks of Lake Wakatipu.  When driving up Stanley St we were heading straight for Bob’s Peak.  Sitting atop Bob’s Peak is the Skyline Restaurant where we would be going for dinner tomorrow night.

We drove through the town and up the steep hill where the views became even more spectacular.  Our hotel was the Mercure Queenstown Resort.  By this time it was around 6.30pm.  We checked in and went to our rooms.  I opened my room and thought WOW, the room was large and spacious.  I was so glad I was staying here for two nights.  When I put my cases down I went to the window and  had another WOW moment.  The view over Lake Wakitpu to The Remarkables was amazing.  The sun was setting across the top of the mountains and the colours were magnificent.

Carol, Bec, Brad and I met for dinner.  Once again we were overlooking Lake Wakatipu.  It seems that you get the most amazing view from most rooms, bars and restaurants in the hotel.  After that I went to my room and relaxed and watched tv.  It was hard to believe this was only the second day of the tour.  We had travelled so far and seen so much.