Queenstown is probably the #1 tourist destination in NZ, even by Kiwis. The setting is breathtaking even among the many beautiful sights of the South Island, and it is one of the larger cities. It has excellent shopping and the best food we’ve had in NZ, and it has about a million different ways to defy death for large sums of money. Bungy jumping was invented here, and they also have jetboat rides, canyon swings, a luge, skiing, skydiving, there’s probably super fun way to set yourself on fire that we missed, too. I’m not sure if it’s because you need a good stiff drink after all that, or because it simply attracts the same demographic, but it is also a hard core party town. We were easily the oldest people at our hostel until we found a girl traveling with her mom.
So what did us ancient J 30-somethings do in Queenstown? We napped. And. . .
Did laundry. Boy do we know how to whoop it up, huh?
We did get out and see the city. I took in the shops, and Daniel took a few laps around their pretty lake. They had a small rocky beach on the lake, and there were several people sunning themselves, but not really anyone braving the water:
We also walked around their botanical gardens, where the peonies were in full bloom. Daniel had seen it earlier and informed me there was a rose garden I would like. Wrong flower, but he got right that I would like it.
We were a little worried about the noise, both because we were staying at a Nomads, a chain of hostels that have a party reputation and because we were across the street from what appeared to be the busiest bar in town. However, we had a very nice private room and thick glass doors on the balcony so we slept fine. Here’s the view from our room:
Incidentally, the bar ended up having fabulous beef pies, and the restaurant where the Air New Zealand sign is had an amazing Green Curry Chicken. That was one of the things we enjoyed most about Queenstown—the food. On the whole, the food in Australia stunk, and NZ has just been a mite better. The desserts have been good, but the actual food has not had much variety or anything else to recommend it. You know it’s bad when I was excited about a KFC, someplace I hardly ever eat at when at home. We didn’t have a bad meal in Queenstown. We also had a Chili’s style burger at Fergburger with real bacon! How do you mess up bacon? It’s hard to describe, but they somehow manage it down under. The best, though, was the gelato served on waffles place. You can see Daniel’s enjoyment:
So, we didn’t live dangerously, but Queenstown did put a smile on our faces: