Emily is a UX designer in Wellington, where she lives with her husband and dog Meko. She has always enjoyed travel and photography, and in 2020 she decided to combine her passion by starting her travel blog Emily in Transit and Instagram.
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I’ve always tried to take a least one international trip each year, but with international travel off the cards for the foreseeable future, I’m making an effort to explore more places within New Zealand. Queenstown is considered one of those must-visit spots and it seemed like the perfect place to combine relaxation and adventure.
I booked about 2 months in advance and booked most of our activities once we were in Queenstown. We stayed at The Rees Hotel, which had a special going on. We got a discounted room and a free daily breakfast.
Most of the activities were bookable a couple of days in advance, except for the Onsen Hot Pools, which I would recommend booking months in advance.
If you're staying in the city center, Uber is a great option, but if you want to go further afield and aren't reliant on tours, renting a car is a good idea.
Everything, New Zealand weather can be notoriously all over the place so I made sure to pack clothes for the rain, wind, and sunshine.
Arrived in the afternoon, settled in at the hotel, and grabbed a drink at the hotel bar. We then caught the complimentary shuttle into town and had dinner at Caribe Latin Kitchen. After dinner, we took an uber to Onsen hotel pools for a 1-hour spa and then went back to the hotel.
Had breakfast at the hotel and then caught the shuttle into town and walked to the gondola. We bought the gondola luge package and went down the luge several times before heading back down into the town. We had lunch at Pier on the waterfront and then walked around the edge of the lake.
For dinner, we went on the Walter Peak Farm tour where you can rent a steamboat across the lake and enjoy a delicious buffet dinner and then get to explore the farm and watch a sheepdog show
We started the day with breakfast at the hotel and then returned to the Gondal to go ziplining, which we had tried to do the day before but it was fully booked. We then went for lunch at The Bathhouse, which was a bit further away from all the other restaurants and a great spot to enjoy a view of the lake. We then went on a jet boat ride up the river with KJet. We celebrated our wedding anniversary with a 6-course degustation with wine matches at the hotel restaurant, which was absolutely incredible.
We started the day with the Hydro Attack, a shark-shaped jet ski submarine combo, and then went to High-Fly indoor skydiving. We had wanted to go paragliding but it was fully booked. For dinner, we went to the Pub on the Wharf and then had cocktails at The Lodge Bar, which was absolutely incredible, such a cozy vibe and great drinks.
When we were on the Walter Peak Farm tour, we were seated next to a couple who were from France but had been living in Queenstown for several months. A lot of the people who work in Queenstown are from overseas and are always up for a good chat.
The food on the Walter Peak Farm Tour was incredible. It was a great experience, and the buffet was next-level amazing. Caribe Latin Kitchen serves delicious Mexican cuisine and cocktails, and I highly recommend it.
The view from the top of the gondola is incredibly breathtaking, and relaxing by the lake and enjoying the view was incredible.
We definitely splurged on this trip and were not traveling with a budget-conscious mindset. We could have saved costs by staying somewhere different. There are a lot of budget-friendly options in Queenstown. Doing a bit more planning upfront so we could line up our activities when deals were available. Overall, Queenstown is not a cheap place if you want to do a lot of activities and eat out.
The view from the gondola, walking around the lake, the view from the Onsen hot pools.
Decide what activities you want to do, keep an eye out for deals, and make backup plans in case the activities you want to do are canceled due to weather.
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