We headed south with Vero to celebrate Tania’s 30th Birthday. A short 3 hour trip from Sydney got us to Christchurch, where we rented a small car to ride through this adventure. 4 days, 4 towns, so much to admire!
We slept at the Jailhouse Accommodation. Quirky hostel with a fascinating history as the Addington Prison from 1874 to 1999. We loved it! We didn’t stay much in Christchurch, but its worth a full day to discover this iconic New Zealander city. Take a stroll through the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and if you are lucky catch any of the arts fairs or festivals. Canterbury Museum and Air and Force Museum are some of the most recommended activities. Dormimos en el Jailhouse Accommodation.
Driving straight from Christchurch to Queenstown can take you 6 hours. However, the best way to travel New Zealand is renting a car or van and take time to enjoy the scenery, making stops on the way. The roads are impeccable, signage clear, perfect conditions to drive.
We arrived in Lake Tekapo, after 3 hours drive. We wondered around the beautiful lake. Then tried to visit the Observatory but it was closed. We decided to pamper ourselves in the Hot Springs having some warm baths and sauna. My kind of relaxing evening! Everything in this town faces the Lake, our Hostel and well as the Centre, one short block of street with diverse restaurants and lively bars.
The following day we hit the road again. While the trip to our final destination, Queenstown, would take only 3 hours, we spent the full day, sunrise to sunset, stopping by the the most impressive lakes and mountain landscapes. We wanted to spend some time in Wanaka, where we planned to have lunch, as there are amazing hikes through mountains and lakes. Still, the trip had many other stops, such as Lake Pukaki, and other random beautiful places.
Just before arriving to Queenstown, we made a turn to Arrowtown. Highly recommended stop. It’s a historic gold mining town, with an old charm given by the vintage shops with cute signage, the cozy bars and restaurants and the kind people. We enjoyed some hot wine and candies! Arrowtown is charming and quirky – a delightful gold rush village nestled below the beautiful peaks that surround the sparkling Arrow River.
Finally arrived! We wanted to stop every 100 metres of the trip to take photos or simply take on the marvelous beauty of this ever changing scenery. I first came to Queenstown in 2011 during my round-the-world tour with Flor. It was summer, colours where bright and magnetic. This time around, there is more white in the mountains, but my eyes are still hypnotised by nature. We only stayed a couple of days, but Queenstown deserves much more. There is too much to do. Of course, skiing is the main attraction at this time of the year. We tried snowboarding at the ski centre, Cardrona. Closer to the city you can also find The Remarkables.
New Zealand is the birthplace of adventure. Horse back riding, touring around the Lord of Rings sites, hiking, mountain biking, skydiving, you name it. And the most iconic activity: bungee jumping. No, I didn’t dare. But if you are brave enough, there’s no better place to do it.
Then, there is the town, with it’s shops and restaurants. The famous Ferburger, and lots of nightlife. Life is a party in Queenstown. The perfect place to celebrate friendship and adventure!
Photos and content: Josefina Luna