Hello everyone. Today I am going to finish up my New Zealand recaps with our last stop, Queenstown.
In Queenstown we rid ourselves of our motorhomes because we had booked a house in Arrowtown, which is about a 15-20 minute drive from Queenstown. The house we booked was gorgeous and it was so nice to have space and separate rooms. I really enjoyed staying in Arrowtown too. It’s a quaint old gold mining town. It’s definitely worth a visit even if you are staying in Queenstown.
Queenstown is the adventure capital of the world. If there’s something extreme you want to do, you will find it in Queenstown. We spent our first day planning what adventures we would take on. Tom, my brother-in-law and I went bungy jumping while the others went zip-lining. And then we all (except Tom’s mom) went jet-boating. I wrote a full post on those adventures.
Queenstown itself reminded me so much of Banff. It’s a gorgeous mountain town that’s completely touristy. There’s an information booth every 2 steps and lots of souvenir shops. It’s great for walking around and people watching.
My brother-in-law spent his whole first day getting a tattoo. He was born in New Zealand and so he planned to get a Maori tattoo. He went to Zealand Tattoo, the artists there are incredible. You go in and tell them your story and then they freehand draw Maori art that is customized to your life. It’s a one of a kind tattoo and they did a beautiful job on it.
Tattoo talk became quite a topic with the family and I think we almost had Tom’s Mom & Dad convinced to get a tattoo but it didn’t end up happening. However, his sister Julene got one!
While we waited on Chris’s tattoo, the rest of the group went to an Escape room, which was gold rush themed.
An escape room is where you are locked into a room for an hour and through a series of puzzles and clues, you find your way out. Since we had a big group, we split into two rooms so we were actually racing each other to get out. I was with Tom’s parents and Tom was with his sisters and nephew. Technically Tom’s team won but they obviously had the advantage with my nephew on their team!
This ended up being so much fun. It’s one of those things that you have no idea what to expect but every single one of us came out buzzing with excitement. They have these in many cities including 2 in Calgary so I can’t wait to try another one.
After a couple of days, it was time to say goodbye to Tom’s family as they travelled back to the north island to visit my brother-in-law’s family and Tom and I planned to go to Milford Sound before heading off to Fiji. Unfortunately, our Milford Sound adventure got cancelled due to some storms that closed the roads so Tom and I had a couple extra days by ourselves in Queenstown.
We were very disappointed by missing out on Milford Sound but we found a great deal on a helicopter ride and that lifted our spirits (no pun intended).
I’ve never been in a helicopter and I have to tell you, if you ever get the chance, DO IT! The ride was incredibly beautiful and being taken up to our own spot on top of the mountain, it’s an experience I will never forget. I kept telling Tom I felt like I was on the Bachelor!
The rest of our time in Queenstown was spent doing a bit of hiking, running & bike riding.
And then of course enjoying a few adult beverages, both from ice in the Ice Bar and from teapots at World Bar.
New Zealand absolutely captured my heart. The country is so incredibly beautiful and there are so many more things I’d love to do there. Everyone kept saying that it’s a once in a lifetime trip but I have a strong feeling I’ll be heading back.
Previous New Zealand Recaps: