I never explored Queenstown properly before.
My 1st time here I was 18,
We stayed overnight
at the lakefront Crown Plaza.
I remember taking an easy stroll alone
âand arriving at the lake,
I remember admiring the mirrorlike surface at dusk,
standing on the beach right outside the city centre;
I remember noticing the white dots
on the tail feathers of seagulls here;
I remember a piece of rounded broken glass
I found and picked up on the beach;
I remember the blue hour light at dusk,
the glorious crisp light at sunrise;
and the $115 ammonite ring
I came across in an antique store.
My 2nd time here I was 22.
Again - I was with the Couchsurfing group.
âEverybody was a couchsurfing host in Wellington.
We never Couchsurfed the whole trip,
we stayed in our rented vans
or in funky wooden huts
(1 in particular stood out as it was pyramid-shaped.)
Our group made a brief stop-over, and visited
the house of a children's books writer.
He was an avid Couchsurfing host himself,
and had many guests there when we stopped by.
He pretty much lived on royalty,
and no longer needed to work
âfor the rest of his life probably.
It was a cloudy gloomy day,
I remember all of us chilling on the carpet,
I took a seat by the window, looking out
at the thin layer of clouds
floating at the waist of the Remarkables.
When the sky cleared up,
we went on the cable car
and saw all the pine trees below our feet.
As we headed to Wanaka afterwards,
âI didn't really get to experience Queenstown.
But this time :) -
This time I made Queenstown my base -
the center point for excursions
visiting surrounding regions
and towns in the vicinity.
This time - I became a local.
I stayed in Queenstown for a total of 10 nights.
After the 3rd day,
I no longer needed Google Map's guidance.
I prided myself as a short-term Q-town local for 11 days.
It was so exciting when I arrived
âas I finally parked the car at my accommodation on my 1st afternoon after hours and hours of dry driving through Christchurch...
It was sunny and HOT -
A huge change from the dreary,
rainy days at Otago Peninsula;
I had a view of the cable cars we were on from the accommodation,
the mountain was full of pines;
The sun shone with a blazing force
that could knock your hat off,
âand poured onto the carpet of my room;
The sky was so pure and blue
that the pine trees took on a blue hue.
Already on the way here,
the drive was full of colors and sunshine.
I drove through the yellow plains and golden hills of Central Otago,
some fields were covered with purple flowers;
I drove through many a gold-mining-settlements
which are now quaint little historic towns,
with rivers coursing through them
and interesting bridges to drive on;
I drove through Cromwell,
which welcomed visitors
with the teal color of Lake Dunstan
and booming jetskiing sound over the lake,
giving out a sense of leisure and fun.
You could take a break/go tramping at Roaring Meg -
part of the Kawarau river
which runs along the gorgeous Kawarau Gorge,
creating a trail of gold-mining sites
leading all the way towards Wakatipu.
The roaring force of Roaring Meg
has been utilised and set up as a power station
with a nice lookout which is worthy of a stop-over,
allowing you to admire the beauty
âand servitude of
âand the power of nature.
Cromwell itself is always a joy to come through.
It offers so much more than it's given credits for:
With waterparks and lakefront sites to camp at,
trails along Lake Dunstan for locals & visitors to enjoy.
The hills here are coated in purple flowers,
fields of orchards/vineyards
make up the view along the highway
âtowards Queensbury & Wanaka.
Here, there are fruits galore!!
It is the Eden of Te Waipounamu,
Hawkes Bay of the South Island.
I loaded up on fresh fruits from Webb's Fruits,
spent a total $65 on 4 boxes
of nectarines, apricots, cherries and peaches -
all my favourite summer yummies -
Deliciousness to live for.
Let the adventure begin!
There's no where better to be than Queenstown~
I hope you never hesitate to travel to QLD,
whether by flight, by ferry then by car.â
Queenstown LOVES having tourists around :)
A key reason I want to encourage others in NZ
to go travel more around NZ
is because domestic tourism industry here in NZ
really has suffered.
The prices for accommodation during the holiday
was tripled, if not doubled, in price,
just so business owners can take the chance
and make some $$$.
Otherwise they'll be left high and dry
through most of the year.
Many places I'd stayed last year
(I travelled pretty much every month in 2021)
didn't have any other guests but me there.
I was shocked when I was told e.g. at Belle Camping
that I was the 1st guest there, and it was October!
So I don't blame businesses for doubling their price,
even though it was a big slash off of my own budget.
I'd rather support local tourism
than seeing stores and accommodations shut down
and our own tourism industry wither away.
I want to see NZ tourism thrive again.
And I pray for the border to open soon,
hopefully by mid-year this year.
Meanwhile the reality IS:
Things have been REALLY HARD.
Shop owners have suffered,
hotels, motels, apartments and holiday homes
We need to make sure to go out there
âand support local businesses.
Buy NZ-made products,
don't shop from overseas - shop local -
purchase kiwi-made goods.
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