Three Days in Queenstown
Jobless and homeless, I took advantage and booked a last minute trip to visit an old mate from Cairns who now lives with his family in Queenstown, New Zealand. In three days, I went skiing, jet boating, saw the famous kiwi bird, luged down a mountain, played soccer with the locals, and had the best pie I've ever eaten. Queenstown is indeed, one of most beautiful places on this planet.
As I am passing through this world, I've had the opportunity to see many beautiful places and the pleasure to have been able to experience them with many great friends.
I called Eddie just a few weeks before this trip to tell him I had a few days free and was thinking of visiting friends in Cairns, or seeing him in Queenstown. I told him my friends just had a baby and his response was, 'I've got a baby!'; and within minutes, I booked my flights to New Zealand.
I was planning on booking myself into a hotel or Air B&B, but Eddie insisted I stay in their guest bedroom. Initially, I did not want to burden the young couple, but in hindsight, it made my experience infinitely more memorable through more engaging conversations and participating extra activities with locals, such as soccer and trivia (which we rocked!).
Queenstown is surrounded by dozens of mountain peaks, which makes it a destination screaming of adventure. Walk into one of the many tour agencies on Camp Street and you will be surrounded by brochure lined walls displaying sky, mountain, lake, and river activities.
My plan to see Queenstown from the air was thwarted by windy conditions, but that didn't phase me. In just three quick days, these were my highlights:
Skiing The Remarkables - Just one of a few ski fields accessible from Queenstown, the Remarks (as called by the locals) had the best snow at the time. Great day out, but if you're expecting a Canadian or Japanese experience, you'll be very much disappointed. (https://www.theremarkables.co.nz/)
Jet boating the Shotover River - Absolutely incredible how these pilots can manoeuvre their vessels, each harnessed with two V8 motors, so close to hazards and over shallow water. Beautiful scenery through the gorge. (https://www.shotoverjet.com)
Meeting a Kiwi bird - My expectations were set straight. The reasons why I had not seen one of these famous birds in the three previous visits to New Zealand are their nocturnal nature and being endangered. The best way to see and learn about New Zealand's birdlife is at the Kiwi Birdlife Park. (https://www.kiwibird.co.nz/)
Luging Bob's Peak - Take the Skyline Gondola, or walk up, to Bob's Peak for some great views and an adrenaline rush for all ages on the luge. I was actually surprised on the speed you can get to. (https://www.skyline.co.nz/en/queenstown/)
World's best pies and burgers at the Ferg - Ok, a bold statement, but I've eaten enough burgers and pies in my life to have an opinion. Located side by side, Ferg Baker and Fergburger are an absolute must if you appreciate good food. (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fergburger/431010833640105)
Cruise Lake Wakatipu - Listen to my mate Eddie talk up Queenstown on the Million Dollar Cruise. (https://milliondollarcruise.co.nz/)
I would 100% go back to Queenstown. There are countless adventures still remaining on my tick list and would need months to get through them all!
Three days in Queenstown
I had a window,
through it I went.
The tropics or mountains,
to the later I lent.
Soon snow and high cliffs,
will be only something I dream.
If you're ever been to Darwin,
you will know what I mean.
Surrounded by mountains,
I had to pick just one.
On the slopes of the Remarkables,
is where the ski day was done.
I finally saw the famous kiwi,
for this it must be dark.
Best chance for a view,
the Queenstown conversation park.
There was lots of adventure,
jet boat on the Shotover.
Through canyons and gorges,
a quick 30 minutes it was over.
Up Skyline gondola to the top,
but not high enough for snow.
Down the luge I went,
amazed how fast I could go.
3 days of adventure,
went by way too fast.
Skiing, luging and jetboating,
all such a blast.
The best part not these,
but something far greater.
Seeing you again Irish Eddie,
To you I promise - I'll see you later.