It was a long flight but there was no one in the middle seat so I could lay down on the flight! #almostlikefirstclass 💁♀️ #briansaysnotreally 🤣
Today we flew from St. Louis to Los Angeles to Auckland.
We had a bit of a hiccup when we checked in at the airport 😳
But the good thing is that we were able to get our boarding passes and we were hopeful that we were actually going to make it to NZ!
We went to the desk to check our bags and the guy was trying to check us in and the system kept saying we weren’t approved to fly 😦😦
Turns out they recently passed a law that you now need a travel visa to go to NZ... which takes up to 3 business days after you apply to be approved.. who knew!
Long story short... we quickly applied and the guy made a few calls and then gave us our boarding passes 🤷♀️ we don’t really know why or what was said on the phone calls but we were just happy to get our boarding passes so we did t ask any questions!
Once we were in the terminal, we grabbed a bite to eat at Chili’s and then went to our gate!
The flight from STL to LAX was pretty uneventful and we were ready for our long flight to Auckland
We arrived in Auckland around 10am and were luckily able to to check into our hotel early.
We stayed at the Four Points Sheraton by Marriott hotel, which was a change from our typical hotel choice of Hilton hotels. We didn’t have free breakfast at this hotel either.. so jury is still out on the ongoing debate of Hilton vs. Marriott!
The hotel was very nice though and we stayed in room 501.
Once getting to the room, we fought off the urge to snuggle up in bed and freshened up so we could go explore Auckland! We walked down to the port where there were a ton of cruise ships parked and their Sea Port festival was going on!
We grabbed a snack at a restaurant on the water and split some fish and chips and enjoyed a drink! And then we couldn’t resist popping into the gelato shop nearby for some ice cream!
Once we finished exploring the port area, we headed up the hill to go check out the iconic Sky Tower.. which is the tallest bldg in Auckland. And as crazy as it sounds, you can buy a ticket to jump off of it. It has already been a long day, so we decided to just buy the ticket to ‘observe’!
Video of a man jumping off the Sky Tower!
Once we were finished up there, we went to dinner at a highly rated Indian restaurant called 1947 Eatery!
And it was delicious! But the food was spicy! The waitress was joking around with us about how much water we drinking 😂
We love our waitress at the restaurant! She was born and raised in NZ but she studied abroad in Oregon two years ago. She said the US was a ‘culture shock!’!
They are also known for their cocktails so Brian and I shared a hibiscus tea/gin cocktail and it was also very delicious!
Today was our trip the wineries... which didn’t exactly go as planned!
The day before, we were getting settled in and planned out the rest of our days in Auckland to make sure we checked everything off the list that we wanted to see or do. And a wine tasting tour around the island of Waiheke was top on the list, so we got on TripAdvisor, looked at all the available tours evaluated each and everyone of them, checked ratings, pricing, reviews, things included, destinations, timing, vehicle, # of people in the tour, etc. etc. etc. and when we finally found what seemed to be the perfect mix of all those items, we booked it!
I’m the morning, everything was going to plan. We woke up at 7:30 and had breakfast at the \240buffet in the hotel, Brian got ready and left the room a bit early to go shopping for hat, i was running a bit late to meet him, attempted to rent a scooter (rode it down a hill and got scared i was going to crash so abandoned that plan and decided just to walk fast), and made it only 10 mins later than originally planned 😅 (9:40 rather than 9:30) and we took the 10am ferry to the island (it was a holiday in Auckland bc it was the city’s anniversary, so we were told to get there early bc the ferry would fill up quickly). But we were early enough and got a great spot up top and the views were beautiful!
This is the ferry!
When we arrived, we were told there was going to be someone on the deck waiting for us where the ferry unloaded that would have a sign with the name of the wine tour. Seemed \240easy enough. We got on the ferry and took a beautiful ferry ride to Waiheke Island!
So, we get off the ferry and see all of these tour guides waiting on the deck with big signs that have the tour group name, along with the names of each person in their group. Well.. that’s great and wonderful for all of those people. But where’s our name? Where’s our tour guide? Something can’t be right... everyone is leaving and no one is here to claim Brian and me!! So, after walking around the deck countless times, searching for our guide with no luck, I stopped to ask another guide if they happened to know anything about my group. She looked at my confirmation email and her exact response “oh fuck... I don’t know. But you should call them. And don’t be nice. They’re eating into your tour time that you paid for” side note- I learned throughout this experience that there are no curse words in NZ. Anything and everything goes, no matter who you are. So, I took her advice and I call the number. No answer. I call again.. No answer. I called a 3rd time. No answer. Long story - kind of short- I ended up call TripAdvisor and found out that our tour guide had a ‘family emergency’ and wasn’t able to make it 🤨 but they could offer us a refund. Okay, that’s great but we already paid $80 for a ferry ride to an island.
Now, it’s 10:45 and Brian and I are stuck on an island with no tour guide.
So, we walked over to the help desk and found another wine tour that departs at 2pm and they have a couple of spots left. It was $300 and a much larger group than we ideally wanted.. but at least there was wine! We thought we would pass the 4 hours we had by taking a bus into town and exploring the other wineries that weren’t included in our tour. We jump on the bus which was an adventure in itself and get off at a stop that was close to the one winery that looked to be right on the harbor and just our luck.. it was closed. Bc of the holiday 🙄🙄
But it was beautiful so we at least snapped a few photos before walking back to the bus stop.
At this point, we have spent a good 2 hours trying to figure out the bus map and waiting for buses that our patience is running low. So.. we decide to go back closer to the ferry and find a spot for lunch and before going to our meeting spot for the ferry.
This is when the day started to turn around.. despite Brian feeling that right then was a good time \240to give me a lesson on the budget... we got passed that little hiccup and we \240had a great lunch at a place called Vino Vino, which had a beautiful view of the bay:
From lunch, we got on a random bus (which was part of a different wine tour) but it ended up taking us to ferry on time to meet our 20+ group for the wine tour!
We had an interesting group that consisted of an Indian newlywed couple (the wife was a little demanding to say the least), a couple with a handicap girl who were from Boston, an Instagram girl in her 20s traveling by herself from Brazil, a group of ladies (one of which judges every solo traveler on the trip but to their face continued to say how brave and free spirited they were).. she ended up passing out on the bus at the end of the tour.. there was an interesting 19 year old from Germany, who made friends another couple on the trip who seemed to be our age, and after a few glasses told the couple he was hooking up with a 17 yr old and asked the couple if they thought he would get in trouble for assaultng an under age girl 🙈, and then you had the geologist who was allergic to red wine and the husband. So it was an interesting group! We had a really good tour guide that told us a lot of fun facts about the island bc she had actually lived there pretty much her whole life. Fun facts included... the island was formed from like 58 volcanoes, a very wealthy man was building a house in the shape of a circle, the population on the island is 9000+ and something like 3000+ commute by ferry to Auckland everyday for work! Who knew! She went on & on the whole trip but her microphone didn’t work great so it was hard to hear her and many times you didn’t even realize she was talking!
Now that introductions are over.. back to the wine tour... the first stop of the tour was a beautiful winery called Mudbrick. It is the most sought after place for weddings on the island because of the view! A husband and wife opened the winery and their house is made from mud bricks, which is how the winery got its name. The husband was an accountant but wanted more out of life, so he opened a winery and it took off! The wine here was great! We took a walk up this big hill and got to learn about the grapes, see a helicopter land (not a planned part of the tour) and take pictures! Bob greeted us with wine when we got off the bus and he’s the one that took us around the winery:
The second winery we went to was called Cable Bay Vineyard and was beautiful but they put us in a room that was pretty warm and didn’t have much airflow. They did have a delicious cheese plate that we could snack on!
Te Motu was the third and final winery we went to.. this winery was very good as well. Their pours were the most generous of the 3 and we sat and talked to the couple with the handicap girl the majority of the time. They were very nice and traveled quite a bit.
After that, we took the bus back to ferry.. we ended up just missing the 5:30pm ferry and had to wait for 6pm ferry to arrive. The German 19 yr old ended up finding us finding us after his kiwi friends left and he continued to be a bit interesting. I think he could tell we weren’t at the same stage of life as him and we didn’t have too much in common so once the ferry came, we parted ways! All and all, it turned out to be a \240great day!
We had dinner at a place called the Federal and walked back to the hotel and called it a night!
We made it to Queenstown! Everything looks just like we left it 2 years ago!
After getting the our luggage and rental car, we stopped by the supermarket to get snacks and water! Brian was trying to limit us to 4 items each 🤔... needless to say, we (or me) went over our the snack limit 😁!
It was a beautiful 3.5 hour drive from Queenstown to Mt. Cook! We saw lots of sheep and great views of the ‘Remarkables’ mountain range!
We arrived to Mt Cook around 4pm! We got all settled in and are keeping an eye on the weather to see if the smoke will clear from the Australian fires.
We are dinner at Chamois Bar and grill... which is just a short walk from the room!
And after dinner, we took a nice walk up to the retail shop and I bought a kiwi water bottle! Super great purchase!
And then we went back to the room to get ready for the next day! Excited to get some exercise and explore the city in the morning. 🤞 there’s not too much rain!
Here’s a picture of our little home for the next couple of days!
Rainy morning today but it looks like things should clear up in just a couple hours!
We decided to walk up to the Alpine Room at the lodge and have the breakfast buffet!
I think we done eating for the rest of the year now!
After breakfast we set out to do some hikes! And we wound up doing a little more than I was anticipating but the weather started clearing up so we just kept going! We did a total of 4 hikes, which ended up being just under 7 miles 😱🤗😅
The first hike was called the governors bush.. it was a little rainy but it was a relatively easy trail to get us started.
Here are some pictures from the hike!
Here’s a video from the bridge... Brian clearly didn’t realize I was taking a video!
After we finished up those two hikes, we went back to the room, had a quick snack and then jumped in the car for a short, 10 min drive over to Tasman lake for the second part of the day. This part was just about the same length, about 3.3 miles but only 512 ft elevation:
We did the Blue Lake Trail and the Tasman Lake Trail. The Blue Lake Trail was our least favorite from the day.. mostly bc we were expecting blue lakes... but the more of a murky green color:
But then we came across this sign, which helped explain why the lakes were blue!
From there we went onto our last hike of the day, which was Tasman Lake Track.
This trail gave us a great view of the lake at the top of the trail. The lake is glacier fed so it’s a pretty, light blue color:
It’s kind of sad because the glacier is slowly disappearing, so I’m glad we could see it before it’s gone. In 1990, the glacier was all the way down to the top of the ledge...
Here’s a video that shows how much it’s gone away...
We were almost caught in the rain and I left my rain coat in the car so we did a light jog back to the car and avoid getting too wet!
Once we got back to the room, we showered and relaxed. Ninja Warrior was on TV, so we watched that which was fun! And then we got ready for dinner! We’re going to walk to the Chamois Bar & Grill (same place as last night!)
This time, Brian got a pizza and I order the mixed grill kebabs!
Today definitely tested our limits!
We woke up around 8am today to set out to Mueller Hut. Our legs were a bit sore from the day before and we had read reviews and heard from various people around the lodge that it was the hardest day hikes you can do here... and now we know why!
Here’s some information on the trail:
The first mile or so wasn’t bad but then the climb started and didn’t stop until we got to the top! The hike was combined with a trail called Sealy Tarns.
The way up to Sealy Tarns was a marked trail and had stairs... lots and lots of stairs!
But the views were beautiful!
Once we got to Sealy Tarns, the stairs were done, but the rock climb began... it was more fun than the stairs bc it created a situation where you had to be more strategic on foot placement. There were several situations where it was just a pile of boulders that you had to climb through. Another kicker to the situation was the gale force winds that would just about knock you over!
Brian took the video of me below! It was certainly a climb!
The video below might make you a bit dizzy to watch, but it was me climbing! I just couldn’t believe how rocky it was so I took a video, but it really doesn’t do it justice!
Below is just another video!
But, just as we had heard and read about online, getting to the top of the mountain was worth the climb!
The wind was crazy strong! And it was a bit chilly!!!
Standing on snow!!!
Picture of Mueller Hut!
The hike down was exhausting and pretty hard on our feet! Hiking boots would have definitely been helpful for this type of a hike!
Once we made it back down to Sealy Tarns, we were at least through the rocks and only had to tackle the stairs! We both liked the rocks over the stairs on the way up, but I preferred the stairs on the way down.. Brian was a fan of the rocks both on the way up and down!
But either way, we still felt like getting down the Sealy called for \240a little celebration and a selfie!
And by the time we got down to the bottom.. we were exhausted and just wanted to be in the car! I did manage to muster up the last bit of energy I had to take one more photo 😂
We feel pretty good about the progress we made today!
Similar to the other days, we got back to the room and relaxed, showered, and headed out to dinner! We’re at the same place we’ve been for the last 3 nights (Chamois Bar and Grill) and were even at our same table! Brian says it’s the best for people watching 😂! This is kind of funny because the winds got really bad in the evening and there was a ‘Herd of Asians” walking in the grass and one of them got blown over 😂.. she was fine so we can laugh about it!
In case you’re wondering.. here’s a bit of history on the Chamois!
We had a bit of slower start today... mostly because of our calves being so sore from hiking up to Mueller Hut yesterday! It was also still pretty cloudy from the storm over night.
We walked up to the Hermitage Hotel and get a couple of breakfast pies from the cafe upstairs. We both looked funny walking down the stairs because we were holding onto the railing for dear life bc of how sore our legs were 😂
After breakfast, we went back to the room, Brian took some pictures and I took some Advil!
Brian looked up the best time to take pictures of mount cook and everything pretty much said sunrise or sunset, so we decided that we would relax for a couple of hours and do some hikes later in the afternoon, which worked perfectly fine for me! We just packed up a bit and then listened to my Crime Junkies podcast for about 2 hours!! It was actually a lot of fun!
Around 2pm, we decided it was time venture out and start our day! We went to the visitors center that was up the hill from our room (we drove this time 😁) and then we did a small hike called.
It was a really short trail but it was really pretty because it was in the woods and ‘natural’ looking. There was a nice picnic bench at the top that had great views of mount cook! We stayed there until a dragonfly started circling me!!
View from the bench!
After that, we drove about 10 mins and did another short trail called Tasman Glacier Walk. We did this the first day, but couldn’t go down to the Lake because it started to rain. So we decided to do that part of the trail today! It was nice. Not my favorite, but the neatest part was seeing actual pieces of the glacier floating in the lake that had broken off and fallen down. I had also found a nice rock that worked as a perfect seat!
Video below where you can see the glacier pieces floating in the lake...
After that, we headed back to the Hermitage Hotel for a snack at the cafe and were planning on doing the Hooker Valley Trail around 5pm. This is an easy trail that takes about 3.5 hours round trip and not much elevation but supposedly has some of the best views! So, we definitely excited for to see what all the talk is about! It’s about a 10 min drive from the cafe and I’m driving!! For the first time! So this is going to be fun!!
Update: driving was a little harder than it looks... I didn’t hit anyone and we can go ahead and leave it at that!
We headed out to Hooker Valley and it was definitely one of our favorite hikes! It was awesome! It was 6.5 miles, but it was flat, had these 3 awesome swingbridges, and the whole trail was very well maintained.
Eating a snack down in the valley!
Trail had a few stairs.. but not nearly as many as yesterday!
Today was a pretty great day!
We woke up at 6am 😱 which was surprisingly my idea! So we could get to queenstown early and enjoy almost a full day here because it looks like the next couple of days it could rain.
We got to the hotel around 1030 and were able to check in around 11am. We did get a room upgrade but we didn’t get the upgrade we got the first time we were here.. so no hottub 🥺 but at least we got upgraded to a room with a balcony overlooking the lake!
The weather was a bit misleading and I didn’t account for the wind... so lesson learned... wearing shorts was not my best decision thus far. I was a bit chilly to say the least! We started the day by taking a water taxi from the hotel into Queenstown!
And then booked one of our favorite adventures!
... Mt. Nicolas Farm. It was very similar to last time, but since they were shearing the sheep, it offered us a different experience, which was nice. The farm was so beautiful and was got to spend some quality time with sheep 🐑, a cow 🐮, a chicken 🐓, and dogs 🐕 (which was probably our fav.. Brian even strolled over to their pens at the end to say by to Con and ?? We forgot the name other other dog). The dog we can’t remember the name of was actually at the farm when we went back in 2016 and he’s 9 years old. Con is a ‘Hunterway’ which is the one of the only .. or the only (depending on who you ask) AKC dog breedl recognitzed as being originated from New Zealand. Here’s a picture of Con:
We got to feed the animals and hang out for a bit!
Before we left the farm, we made sure to document it! Which I actually really like this picture!
The ferry also offered some really good views.. on our way there we sat on the top and took these pictures!
On the way back, I threw up the white flag and surrendered to being cold and sat inside where I could stay warm and ordered a beer 🍺😂
After Mt Nicolas, we walked around the shops and just hung out, before going to dinner at an American restaurant called Muskets and Moonshine! It was nice to have a taste of home! And ranch dressing 😁
I thought this was pretty neat how they save your table when you have a reservation! Brian didn’t think it was as cool as me 🤪
After dinner, we went to our favorite gelato place... Patagonia 😋 and I had one of the tastiest flavors yet! I forgot the name but it had these wafer bites in it that were delicious! Brian went a little more standard with his dark chocolate waffle cone.. but it’s what he loves!
After that, we took a very bumpy but fun water taxi ride back to the hotel and decided to cash in on numerous drink coupons they gave us at checkin and sat by the fire while we booked many of our adventures and restaurant reservations for the next couple of days!
Now it’s bedtime and I’m very excited about sleeping on real pillows (mt cook had flat rocks as pillows). Sweet dreams tonight 🥱😴
Oh yes, I almost forgot.. there were performers in queenstown, one of which included a singing dog 🤣 (videos below)!
Today was another great day in Queenstown! The weather was a bit rainy in the beginning, so we had a slower start to the day, but we woke up around 9am and headed down to breakfast. We were very excited about finally our getting free breakfast! And it was delicious! We had everything from fried rolls with sweet chili sauce, sausage, these really good lemon pastry things, chickpeas curry, yogurt, fruit, even ‘detox’ water! Which was really just watermelon water, but it was really tasty 😋
After breakfast, Brian went to drop the car off at the airport and I got ready for the day!
Once we were ready, we headed out on the 12:15 water taxi and went into queenstown!
Once we were there, Brian got a coffee and we just sat and ‘people watched’ for a little while he drank his coffee and then we set out for an activity that we have both been wanting to do for a while! See a kiwi in real life and it was AWESOME! They don’t let you take pictures of them bc they are nocturnal birds and the flash would upset them but you could take pictures outside!
And I did sneak and take a picture of the kiwi .. without my flash of course but it didn’t turn out well...
The kiwis were much bigger than we expected and we learned lot of fun facts about them.. like they’re the closest bird to being a mammal, they technically have the shortest beak of any bird because a kiwi is the only bird with its nostrils at the end of its nose and the beak of a bird is measured from the nostrils to the end!
Here are some other pictures we took along the way:
Check out the video of this bird pulling this piece of wood! 💪
After our kiwi time was finished, we headed out and had to get a mid afternoon gelato! This time we went to a place called Mrs. Fergs! Brian got a Black Forest chocolate waffle cone and I got a Carmel, chocolate thing.. which is a little surprising for me bc I don’t normally like Carmel, but this one was really good!
We continued on our way and did a little bit of sightseeing and walked along a trail called the Queenstown Gardens Walkway!
After a little bit of walking and sightseeing, we went to dinner at our all time favorite place from last time we were here.. Botswana Butchery! And it was just as good as we remembered! We got the Botswana Peking Duck as a starter and then we both got the deer for our main course! It was quite delicious!
After dinner, we took the 7:45 water taxi back to the hotel! Here’s a picture of what the water taxi looks like!
After we got back to the hotel, we walked down to the hotel restaurant and had a drink before calling it a night!
Today was Super Bowl Monday in New Zealand! Which didn’t mean too much but it did provide a little bit of a taste of being home, which was nice.
We woke up and enjoyed our FREE breakfast 😋 that was filled with all sorts of delicious foods.. but today’s favorite breakfast item was the slightly undervalued cinnamon rolls!!!
After breakfast, we got ready and took the 10:15am water taxi into town. Once we were there we learned the answer to the old question of .. if everyone jumps off a bridge, would you jump off the bridge?!!
I guess so 🤪
It was super fun and I’m really glad I did it! Brian was right there with me and was the one to actually convince me to the Canyon Swing... so blame him for anxiety that the video has caused!
After that little adventure, we went to the World Bar to watch the Super Bowl! It was a great place to watch the game because it was t too crowded and they had projector screens set up all around the inside and outside of the restaurant. We ordered a couple of IPAs and we split the Castiron Beef Nachos which were 👌👌
After KC won the game, we walked over to our all time favorite burger place, Fergburger.. which happens to be Ed Sheerans favorite burger place as well!
After eating our delicious burgers, we caught the 5:45 water taxi back to the hotel and went but you to the room to regroup. The weather had started to clear up, so we were going to go on a walk but the rain picked up again so we decided to go play cards at the restaurant next to the hotel and grab a couple of drinks! I was good with that option 🥂
Oh and this was kind of funny.. Brian walked out of the room moments before me, and he hid behind the wall and jumped out at me when I walked by! He scared the bajeebers (spelling?) out of me!!!
Brian looks so amused 😂🤣
After playing a couple of games of gin rummy, we headed back to the room to get showered and call it a night. We did watch a little bit of tv before going to bed and watched a show about people who are caught trying to smuggle things into the country and lying on their applications... we were laughing \240about how that could have been us on our way here! We also half of a show called “dirty John” on Netflix 🤣.
After that we went to sleep 😴
We started out the day by enjoying our breakfast downstairs of the hotel! They had all of our favorites and we had a good seat by the window! It’s the 3rd day of heavy rain so there’s quite a bit of flooding and not too many people out because I think everyone is starting to get sick of being wet! The water taxis also weren’t running today.. we assume because of how high the lake is getting.
So, after breakfast, we opted to stay around the hotel and go for a walk. It was a really beautiful walk, even with the rain because it made for some really pretty waterfalls and the ducks were pretty active. It also just had a fresh feeling in the air, so it was nice to get out and walk around for a bit. We were planning to walk all the way around to the golf course but got stopped about 1.5 miles in because of a giant mud puddle that we couldn’t get across... not for lack of trying though! We tried to get passed in going up, down, through it, and it just wasn’t happening if we didn’t want to get our feet soaked.. just another reason boots or at least real hiking shoes would have been smart to bring! So, we decided to turn back towards the hotel and go the other direction. We got passed the hotel and we’re going to try to make it up to the bridge ... but we got stopped in amour tracks bc of another large puddle! Here’s some pictures from our walk!
After our walk, we went back to the room to get showered and head into town for dinner and to do a little shopping!
We had to take a regular taxi into town because the water taxis weren’t running and it was quite a bit more expensive ($46 vs $10 😱), so I think we might try Uber on the way home!
Once we got into town, we did a little shopping.. we bought 3 shirts and we were hoping to find something for our house to remember the trip by and we found the perfect thing! It’s this kiwi carved out of ancient wood! I would take a picture but it’s all wrapped up!
We went to the chocolate place after that to get a coffee/tea/carrot cake to split while we waited for the place we are going to dinner to open up! We will likely come back here after dinner for some gelato before going back to the hotel 😜
After we finished our tea and coffee, we went to dinner at the Blue Kanu, which was a Polynesian type of restaurant that definitely reminded us of Fiji! and it was quite YUMMY 😋! They have a menu that it split into ‘shareables’ (which is like the appetizers) and the ‘big kahuna’ (which is the main course) but each item can be shared.. they recommended 2 shareables and 1 big kahuna, so we got the the dumplings and the calamari for our appetizers and the Pork Belly dish for the Big Kahuna! Despite the name “Big Kahuna” the portions were a bit small, but the flavor and carmelization of the meat was 💯👌.
After dinner we went back to Patagonia for gelato! Brian got the dark chocolate macadamia cup (first time not getting a waffle cone 🤣) and I got the Tomontana.. which was similar to the flavor I got last time which was vanilla, chocolate, and Carmel!
After ice cream, we were ready to get out of the rain and go back to the room. We decided to take an Uber over the taxi because it was a couple of dollars cheaper!
We’re just going to take it easy for the rest of the night, play cards by the fireplace in our room and get a good nights sleep for the big adventure we have planned for tomorrow!!
The sun is finally out this morning!!
We woke up and went down to breakfast around 8am. Today is going to be a busy day bc it’s our last day here and we want to take in all of the sunshine! ☀️ ☀️
We are heading out to our last big adventure of the trip! Here’s a link to what we have in store for the day!
The shuttle will come pick us up from the hotel at 9:30am and then we will pick up the rest of the people before heading out to Glenarcy. We will enjoy a jet boat that flies through the canyons, about 4 hours of funyaking, and there will be lunch included as well. We chose this for our last day because it was in an area that we haven’t been to before (well we attempted to go to ‘paradise’ on our last trip and we don’t think we saw everything there was to see) but paradise/glenarchy is where the lord of the rings was filmed! So we will get to see all of that, which should be a lot of fun!
Welp false alarm! The river is flooded so they aren’t doing any trips today so our adventure was canceled! We’re disappointed but it saved us about $800 NZ dollars... which is around $600 US money and said it’s just another reason to come back again in the future!
The good thing is that there’s not a shortage of things to do here on a nice day, so we are now waiting for the water taxi to come pick us up and we are going to see what’s available in town!
Once we got into town, we stopped at Patagonia to get ‘tea for 2’ as they call it and booked our adventures for the day! We love the white tea cranberry!
We decided to book the one hour jet boat ride and then we are going to take the Skyline Gondola up in the evening and enjoy a couple of rides on the luge!! The life is very similar to go karts and you can race around!
Here’s a link to information about the jet boat that were going to go on at 12pm.
It’s the only jet boat running today 🤔 but they’ve had yours all day so it’s gotta be safe and should be a lot of fun!
The jet boat was awesome! We sat next to some very talkative, but very nice people! The one couple looked to be in their early 60s and traveled a lot! But they did have a lot of advice to offer for our next trip to Italy! The other 2 men sitting next to us were from India and they were super nice! We met a couple of people from India...the first one became Brian’s friend while he was waiting for the water taxi .. “friend, the taxi is here” 🤣😂 as we are standing just a couple of feet away... where we can clearly see the taxi is coming! And then the pair sitting next to me were just as friendly
The jet boat was a lot of fun! They went around two of the lakes connected to the big lake (lake wakitpu) and they did fun circles and splashed us! The views were beautiful though! Here are some pictures and videos from the trip!
The dogs name was Blue and he was the sweetest dog.. and was a black lab so he definitely reminded us of Duke, which kind of made us sad... but unlike Duke, this dog was super chill and fell asleep on the deck in the midst of of all these random people walking around him! Someone who worked for the Jetboat company, KJet, stood by him and was jokingly blocking him saying “dog sleeping here.. don’t step on the dog!!”
After the jetboat, I had to go to the restroom and Brian found a nice place on the ground to wait, and we both ended up taking a quick catnap on the grass!
Brian woke up not feeling great and you could tell he was feeling worse as the day went on, but he was a trooper and really never complained as we decided to take a walk around the queenstown gardens before going up to the gondola!
Brian continued being the best trooper and we headed up the gondola and do the luge rides, and we had a blast!
Here goes Brian... VROOM!!!
After we were done with the luge, we went up and to the viewing area and took some beautiful pictures!
After the gondola and luge fun, we ran back to the city to make the 5:45 water taxi and we made it! Our initial plans were to get fergburger one more time but I could tell Brian was ready to go back! He was very happy that we made the taxi!
We went back to the room to shower and went to a restaurant across the street called Mee&Mee for dinner and brought it back to the the room! Even though Brian wasn’t feeling well, I was totally good with a relaxing night in!
I cashed in the rest of our drink coupons.. couldn’t let those go to waste 🤣
After dinner, we just relaxed, watched TV, and called it a night! 😴😴