QUEENSTOWN: A SLICE OF HEAVEN
Six days in Queenstown, New Zealand wasn't nearly long enough. Queenstown is a literal slice of heaven and Eric and I both fell madly in love with it and its beauty. We were fortunate to have some company on this trip as Eric's dad and his girlfriend met us there. We all met up at the airport and then rented a car to have for the duration of our trip. The car rental place took a while to get the car ready so we were forced to go explore outside the airport while we waited. We came across a coffee shop and snacked on chips and iced coffee with a peak of the mountainous view that awaited us in Queenstown. Soon after, we got our car and ventured to our Airbnb which was nestled off of the main road right up against the lake, with the most stunning views. It was extremely spacious with three bedrooms and all the necessity's you could possibly need in an apartment. The balcony was the highlight of the rental, which we took total advantage of for sunsets, sunrises, and #views for days. Nothing beat sitting out there as the sun was setting with a glass of wine just soaking in the mesmerizing scenery. We also got extremely lucky with weather. With forecasts that it was going to rain all week, we were skeptical, but it ended up being beautiful with plenty of sun for most of our time there. Queenstown is a mountain town that sits on Lake Wakatipu, so you can lay on a beach while surrounded by mountains and trees. It's an absolutely gorgeous town, it's almost impossible to describe. It thrives on tourists but since our accommodation was tucked away from the main area, it didn't feel overly touristy at all. There's so much to do in and around Queenstown, for every type of person to enjoy. The gondala downtown takes you up the mountain and shows off a 360 view of the area. At the top you can do the Luge, basically a little go cart that you can drive through a course at the top of the mountain. We all did it a few times because it was so fun. There's a few other activities at the top such as a zipline and restaurant which we didn't take part in. It is the adventure capital of Austra-Asia so there's a million different activities for the adrenaline junkie to enjoy. From bungy jumping to sky diving to white water rafting, Queenstown literally has it all. After much contemplation, Eric and I decided to do the Nevis Bungy, the highest bungy in NZ at 134 meters. You leap out of a what I would describe as a hut basically suspended in mid-air 200 meters above the canyon and then free-fall for about 8 seconds until the bungy catches you and bounces you up and back down a couple of times. It was an experience unlike anything I've ever done. Yes I've skydived a couple of times and I've done a bungy "swing" but those were all completely different. The bungy, you have to take that leap yourself and until the moment that you are free falling, it's freakin scary. But once you jump, it is pure bliss. Nothing else matters, there is literally 0 fear. I wish more people would just make themselves do "scary" things because as my favorite quote goes, "the best things in life are on the other side of your maximum fear..." and that is just so true. Eric and I were on another level when we finished. That adrenaline rush just does something to you that is indescribable. I did unfortunately jump out a little further than you're supposed to and got whipped a bit from the bungy pulling me back. So my eyes felt like they were going to pop out of my head from all the blood rushing to it once I was pulled back up. I also woke up with slight whiplash and tiny popped blood vessels around my eyes. WORTH IT THOUGH!!! Bungy battle wounds ;) I would do it again in a heart-beat and Eric and I are ready to do an even higher one the next time. If crazy, adrenaline junky stuff isn't your cup of tea, no worries, because Queenstown has even more to offer. Isabel (Eric's dad's fiance) and I dragged the boys to Amisfield winery only 20 minutes outside of town for some tasting which was absolutely amazing. New Zealand wine is phenomenal and I couldn't help myself from buying a $50 bottle (I've never spent more than $20 on a bottle... big girl moves). But hey, he waved our tastings because of my purchase so we got a little freebie with it. We sat at a table overlooking the mountains and the vineyard and sipped Sav Blanc, I was a very happy girl.
Another highlight was the five hour coach ride to Milford Sound, a picturesque fiord that connects to the Tasman sea. We then cruised through Milford Sound to see the towering peaks and the waterfalls that run down the sheer cliff sides. The cruise was breathtaking and the weather was absolutely perfect for it. I've done Milford Sound a couple of years ago when I was in New Zealand and didn't get as much out of it due to crappy weather. So this time around, I completely understood why its one of the worlds natural wonders. I thought the bus to get there was also a great part of the experience. The driver stopped at multiple stops all along the way to let us get pictures and take in the amazing scenery. The way back from Milford was a little less glorious, a straight four hour shot through windy roads after a long day. There's also an option to fly to milford, which would have been incredible, but it is extremely pricey. So maybe some day! To top off our incredible day at Milford Sound, Eric's dad proposed to his girlfriend, and she said YES! So how's that for a cherry on top. The rest of our time in Queenstown was spent exploring downtown, eating at the famous Fergburger, experiencing amazing gelato at Patagonia, and simply looking out over the lake at the near fake looking backdrop. Like I said before, I had been to Queenstown/New Zealand in general a few years ago and absolutely fell in love with it then. I didn't know it was possible but I think I fell even more in love with it this time around. Eric and I both agreed we will be back... there is just so much of that beautiful country that we'd love to explore.