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Queenstown – An Adventure Town no less! HELICOPTER SCENIC RIDE, FERGBURGER, QUEENSTOWN HILL, ARROWTOWN, GONDOLA

So after Te Anau, I took an early morning 7am bus which picked me up at my YHA hostel and went on to Queenstown. Queenstown is one of my most anticipated places to visit, purely because it looks like a really compact town, with pretty urban features yet is surrounded by so much nature to see. Prior to arriving, I’ve heard of people who didn’t like it at all, because it is noisier, and way more touristy. I always feel that certain places are touristy for a good reason! And for most of the time, it’s because a place is so worth seeing, that everyone has to visit. Right? Albeit usually crowded for sure…. Well, after experiencing a short stay there myself, I’ve got to say it’s definitely worth a trip down, and if given a chance again to go, I’d do skydiving for sure!I did my first ever helicopter ride there, and it definitely was a major highlight of my life!

I met up with a friend(whom I met along the Kepler Track) at a local eatery and tried their clam chowder. It was nice… but I really still liked the one from The Ranch in Te Anau! Haha! After which, I strolled along the main shopping streets of lovely Queenstown, and I really love the area around Beach street. So gorgeous, packed with people, but yet enough space to breathe in the fresh crisp air of NZ summer. The lovely pine trees that line along Lake Wakatipu added a lovely sweet smell to the air.

After which, I checked- in to my lovely airbnb, which has a gorgeous view overlooking the lake. It was a simple 1 bed room rental, but the view made staying there one of the highlights of my trip.

QUEENSTOWN ACCOMMODATION – QUAINT & COMFY AIRBNB

The house overlooked the gorgeous lake, and faced The Remarkables mountain range. Absolutely so beautiful. I could stand outside just looking at that beauty. I then spent my first day wandering around town and looked for things to do. Since I was there on a Saturday, I was lucky enough to chance upon the  Creative Queenstown Arts and Crafts Markets“, and saw several cute stalls selling handmade crafts! I got something back for myself too. A pretty handmade wooden craft to hang on my wall.

Creative Queenstown Arts and Crafts Market

QUEENSTOWN MUST- TRY – FERGBURGER

For lunch, I finally fulfilled my dream of trying the famous Fergburger. Thankfully I didn’t have to wait that long as the queue moved fast. I tried the original Ferg, it was yummy, but wasn’t really mind-blowingly good though! It was on my last night in Queenstown that I tried the Chief Wiggum, which has slow roasted pork belly and hashbrowns. Mind- blown! It also has lots of spicy mustard and pork crackling well… best burger I’ve ever had. Anyway, I was still rather physcially sore after the previous days of hiking in Fiordland, so I took a takeout and returned to my comfy airbnb and ate on the bed with some Netflix:) The view from the door was still as amazing as the first time I saw it.

Queenstown is truly an adventure town, with so many adrenaline-rushing activities to choose from! Skydiving, bungee- jumping, river jets and so many more! I initially thought I would be doing skydiving, but for some reason, I just couldn’t muster the guts to do it that time. Switched to an impromptu helicopter scenic flight instead! I chose a 30 mins ‘Grand Circle’ flight operated by The Helicopter Line.

HIKE TO THE TOP OF QUEENSTOWN HILL

So I scheduled it for the next day, but not before completing a hike out to Queenstown hill (907m) early in the morning. It was a relatively easy hike up, took about 1.5 hrs, and probably about 45 mins down. The real challenging part I remember was actually the walk up along the steep roads towards the starting point! The view up there was spectacular, overlooking Queenstown as well as the gorgeous Lake Wakatipu.

HELICOPTER SCENIC FLIGHT  BY THE HELICOPTER LINE – GRAND CIRCLE FLIGHT TO THE REMARKABLES

Soon after I had my breakfast (just a yogurt) on the summit at about 11.30am, I got a phone call from the heli company reminding me that I’ve got to reach the pickup point at 12.30. I sort of packed up real quick and hiked down. Was kind of excited then but I didn’t really imagine how it would all be like since I’ve never been on a heli before!

Prior to getting onto the helicopter, we all signed indemnity forms, as well as some forms which required us to put down our height and weight. I think I got lucky with the loads balance sheet or something but I got my wish of getting into the cockpit seat! I was so so happy then. And then we took off, into the gorgeous mountain landscape. It was so amazing. This Grand Circle flight route took us above Queenstown, around the Wakatipu Basin from the mouth of the Shotover River to beyond Coronet Peak… and in the middle of it all, we landed on The Remarkables, something amazing because the summit isn’t accessible by any usual hiking routes. So being able to stand on it felt really amazing!

Here’s a video footage I took while flying through the mountains! 🙂

DAY TRIP FROM QUEENSTOWN – VISIT ARROWTOWN

On my last day in Queenstown, I took a half hour bus ride to a rustic little old town of Arrowtown, and fell in love with the retro little shops lined up along the street.

Chanced upon the Lakes District museum, so I took a little bit of time to learn about the history of the town. Pretty interesting and worth a visit!

Passed by this cute little stall selling nectarines, plums and peaches! Took a sample of nectarines and fell in love. I’ve never had nectarines before in my life so it was pretty life changing. Haha! Of course, I bought a bunch of mixed fruits for lunch that day.

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I also visited the Chinese settlement of ancient Chinese miners, dated back to the 1980s. It was quite an eye opener, to enter the houses which they stayed in.

QUEENSTOWN MUST- TRY – PATAGONIA CHOCOLATES ICE CREAM

Well it was a hot summer day and Patagonia chocolates was something on my list to try on this trip. So I went a little overboard with my cravings and did 2 scoops of ice cream! I didn’t expect them to be giant scoops so I got a few head turns and giggles as I walked around town, while trying to eat it as quickly as I could to avoid exposing my true nature of being a glutton ! -_-

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QUEENSTOWN GONDOLA – GORGEOUS SUNSET AND NIGHT PANORAMA AND MAORI PERFORMANCE

On my last night in Queenstown, I took a ride up on the gondola, and stayed there till late, just to catch the gorgeous city lights from above. It was really peaceful up there, as many tourists were hiding away from the cold in the restaurants! While waiting for the night to set prior to that, I booked a Maori performance and was pleasantly surprised by how good it was, despite being another ‘touristy must-dos’. Haha!

For my last dinner in Queenstown, I got myself just one more Ferg-monster treat. The Pork Belly version yal! Took an early morning bus the next day, and went on to my next stop, Wanaka.

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