“Traveling – It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
This time for our next trip we had to choose a destination. The first thing that came to our mind was adventure. We both crave for adventure and that’s when we shortlisted Australia and New Zealand. We had around 10-12 days and we couldn’t cover both. We had to choose between surfing, beaches, rainforests, wildlife, kangaroos and Turquoise lakes, Mountain peaks, hot pools, skydive, Bungee, Tons of adrenaline, Street artists. WE CHOSE THE LATTER 😛
We booked our flights with Singapore Airlines with a layover at Changi airport. Quick tip – If you have a layover of more than 6 hrs, you get a free Singapore city tour. And you don’t need a Singapore visa for this. This usually lasts for 3 hrs where they take you to all the tourist spots including marina bay, Clark quay, Merlion and garden by the bay.
For more information visit – https://bit.ly/3bxC6oK
After the Singapore tour, We hopped on to our flight to NewZealand and got a surprise upgrade to the premium economy. Luxurious recliners, comfortable ambiance, Premium Alcohol and a better menu to select from make it worth experiencing.
P.S. Once you have experienced this, you won’t like your regular economy 😉
We arrived at the Christchurch airport on Christmas Eve and rented our car from the rental car counter and drove to our hotel. Most of the places were shut because of the Christmas Eve but we discovered a nice park.
Hagley Park is the largest urban open space created for leisure. You can take a nice romantic walk, an evening run or just chill by the lake. You will surely love this place.
The next morning we packed our bags and started driving towards Queenstown. This was one of the most scenic drives that I have ever experienced. Quaint cafes, Lavender fields, lakeshore roads, Expansive greens and empty roads make it a soothing ride. We drove for around 8 hrs taking pit stops at the roadside cafes and re-fueling ourselves with amazing hot chocolates, before reaching Queenstown.
Quick Tip – Don’t forget to stop by and take amazing pictures at these lavender fields near lake Tekapo.
Queenstown synonyms with adventure and being the world capital of adventure, it has a plethora of activities to select from. We reached Queenstown in the evening, Checked in and went straight to a bar to get sloshed.
Day 2 started with our 1st adventure that was Shotover Jet. Imagine getting on the world’s most exciting jet boat ride that passes through narrow canyons at the speed of 85 kph. And to top it over it rotates to 360 degrees at frequent intervals to give you the right amount of adrenaline rush. There are a lot of other jet boat sites in Queenstown but Shotover is the deadliest and filled with adventure.
Later in the evening we took a gondola to the highest point in Queenstown from where you can see the entire skyline. Make sure you experience luge once you are up there. The track has enough slopes and tunnels to make it exciting and as their tagline says “Once is never enough.”
After an adventurous day 2 we wanted to chill on the 3rd day. So we drove to a small town called Glenorchy that was about 40km from Queenstown. The frontier town of Glenorchy has provided the backdrop for many films, including The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. After roaming in the local markets we went to the top of the lake. This is one of the most famous places where everyone goes to click pictures. This usually crowded place can be skipped if you don’t have enough days in Queenstown.
We came back to Queenstown by afternoon and sat by the lakeshore sipping our hot chocolates and listening to street performers. We met Sven from Sweden who charms the audience with his antiques and a few bands who played soft countryside music by the lakeshore. It was a perfect day to relax and laze around.
Day 4 again had 2 adventures waiting for us bungee and skydive. We went to the adventure base station from where we had a shuttle service to take us to the AJ Hackett bungee site on the Kawarau bridge. This is NewZealand’s oldest bungee site situated over the Kawarau river, and the only one gives you 3 options. 1) Bob over the water. 2) Touch the water. 3) Take a dip in the water during your jump. Make sure you select the 3rd option for maximum adrenaline rush. Post the jump we came back to the base center for our skydive but unfortunately it got canceled due to bad weather. But we were lucky to have booked one more in Franz Joseph. After a minor disappointment we went to the historic Ferg burgers which always has a waiting of around 45-60 mins. We got our order in about 50 mins but the wait was worth it. The chicken burger was really good and had the right amount of spices in comparison to the veg one which was a little bland.
Day 5 again had an experience that we were trying for the first time. It was onsen hot pool. The experience was so good that it deserves a separate blog. This was the best way to relax after all the adventure. I would recommend everyone to experience this if you are in Queenstown. Make sure to book it way in advance. Later in the day we just sat by the balcony drinking beer, listening to music and talking about how amazing Queenstown is.
Quick Tips – Make sure the hotel you book is facing lake Wakatipu for amazing morning and evening views. In the end I’ll provide links to a few good hotels at the shore of Lake Wakatipu.
The next town that we visited was Franz Joseph. This one’s a really small town which has 2-3 good hotels and about 4-5 cafes to go to. Franz Josef is famous for its Skydive, Heli hikes and glacier hot pools. This has the highest skydive in New Zealand. Unfortunately due to the Australian bush fire, there was too much smoke on the glacier and once again both these activities were canceled. We had the entire day to chill and laze around. Luckily by evening they started helicopter rides which takes you to the base of the glacier. The snow had turned brown because of the smoke but we still enjoyed the ride.
We drove back to Christchurch, shopped a lot and came back with amazing memories. If I have to describe NewZealand in one line I would say it is a perfect mix of adventure and leisure. The only thing that I regret was not getting to skydive but you know what they say, ”There is always a next time.”
For more such travel stories, Hop on to eattravelrepeatweb.com.
If you’re someone who is not into reading & would still like to experience the journey then you could check our Youtube video.
Here’s the link: https://bit.ly/33Y5C4C
Hotel links –
- Chateau on the Park – Christchurch, a DoubleTree by Hilton – https://bit.ly/2wMaw8n
- Hotel St. Moritz Mgallery Collection by Sofitel
- Rydges Lakeland Resort Queenstown – (https://bit.ly/39qljme)
- Crowne Plaza Queenstown – (https://bit.ly/2yiugkC)
- Peppers Beacon Queenstown – (https://bit.ly/2wKOi6Q)
- Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier – (https://bit.ly/2QV4WHH)
- Rainforest Retreat Franz Josef – (https://rainforest.nz/)