When I first had booked my ticket to Queenstown and saw that my flight landed at 8pm I presumed I would be just taking a taxi/shuttle straight to my hotel as it would be dark (in Perth the sun sets at 8pm in summer). When I arrived I was a bit confused – it was still so bright! Well of course, I realised, we aussies do sometimes tend to forget that NZ is quite a bit lower than us, so the sun ended up setting at 10pm! Which was great, because I went and dumped my bags and headed out to explore straight away. I’m so glad I did – it was a glorious evening, nice and warm with no wind, and EVERYONE was out enjoying the town!
The next morning due to jetlag I presume, I was up bright and early at 5am! Lol. By 7am I was out, grabbed a coffee and went to explore early. I decided to explore Queenstown Gardens, which was a great choice as it was so peaceful in the morning, and the small trail looping around the peninsula was only shared with the odd runner. It was a fantastic morning and the weather gods were smiling with a calm and beautiful day.
After walking around the gardens and the town I decided to go up the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak. The day was hot, and the lines were long, but after about a 20 minute wait I managed to get up to admire the absolutely breathtaking views of this amazing place. For $35 you can take the gondola up, explore from the viewpoints, and head back down. For more of a cost you can luge down on a track and a little cart thing, which looked like heaps of fun but would be more fun to experience with someone (after being so excited to holiday solo I was actually missing my husband and girl a bit when I saw the families having so much fun sliding down. A reason to come back with us all together right??). Anyway the gondola is a must, especially on a beautiful sunny day!
After walking hours in the heat and feeling the effects of the previous days travel, I went and had an afternoon nap before meeting up with friends who I didn’t know were in town until I saw a facebook status while playing on the phone at Sydney Airport. It was so great to meet S & S, whose daughter was in the same kindy class as mine in 2016 before they had to move to Brisbane for work reasons. They invited me over to their apartment villa and we had some wine and cheese while watching the sun set over Queenstown. It was also lovely to see how grown up their kids had gotten in the year since I had seen them last. Anyway at 11pm and after a few too many vinos it was time to walk (a bit clumsily mind you!) back to the hotel. I had a 5.30am wake up the next morning to begin my hike of the Routeburn track…..