I'll admit right at the beginning of this post that I was not excited about going to Queenstown.
I'm not an adventure junkie and I don't like places filled with tourists (even though I'm a tourist myself), but I prefer a higher ratio of locals to tourists in any one place and unfortunately Queenstown is not one of those places.
However the drive from the east coast to Queenstown was breathtaking. From views of the Southern Pacific Ocean to lush green hills and farm land to almost barren mountain tops. As we started to descend into Queenstown, coming through the outer little towns/suburbs I started to get excited. Things were looking good.
And then we hit the centre of town.......urgh!
We were surrounded by fast food outlets, groups of young tourists sitting on the curbs with their slabs of beer and noise. Lots and lots of noise.
My worst nightmare had come true and it was one I didn't want to stay in at all. So a compromise was had and instead of staying the four nights like we'd planned, we pulled the plug on the last night and got the hell out of there.
I'll admit, we managed a couple of highlights during this part of the holiday, all mostly located outside of Queenstown, however they have allowed me to have a really nice memory of the town.
First highlight was the little French bistro
we found and which we ate at twice (in the one day I might add). Stopping off for a breakfast of a yummy omelet and coffee, we decided to come back for dinner. An evening 'trying' to speak French with the lovely waitresses, munching on yummy and way too much French food and listening to some beautiful jazz music. I slept well that night.
The second highlight occurred when we escaped from the hustle bustle and headed into Arrowtown. A quiet and charming little historic town where we felt the peace and quiet of New Zealand come back to us again, and some brilliant scones to boot. Served with real cream! It doesn't get much better than that.
The third highlight occurred after a quick breakfast at the pretty Bathhouse and a leisurely cruise on the lake.....
A lazy lunch at one of the wineries located in the Gibbston Wine Region (about 30 minutes out of Queenstown). At Gibbston Valley Winery we munched on the harvest platter which included frittata, pickled vegetables, cheeses, charcuterie, fresh bread and the most delicious hummus dip I've EVER had. Such a creamy, smokey flavour that I wanted to take some home with me.
And finally, the last wonderful memory I take away with me from Queenstown was the breakfast we had on the last day. The food was lovely (nothing too exceptional), however it was the atmosphere that made it so enjoyable. Sitting out on in sun at a little cafe called Vudu sipping our coffees made for a very special memory of Queenstown - before we then ran far far away!