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Throwback Thursday – Queenstown, New Zealand

April 16, 2009

Jen and I left Auckland after only one day.  We boarded a plane to fly to Queenstown on the south island.    Queesnstown is the adrenalin capital of New Zealand and possibly even the world.    It’s also one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.  The city is surrounded by Lake Wakatipu and mountains, the Remarkables and the Southern Alps.

We were greeted with cold fresh mountain air immediately as we walked off the plane.  No fancy walk through a long tunnel like at most airports.  We walked off the plane right onto the runway.  We looked around, took a deep breath of cold fresh mountain air and knew immediately that this was a special place.     We got our bags, grabbed a taxi and were quickly driven to our hotel.

Room with a view!

Room with a view!

After settling into our little room with a view, we headed toward town.  We had a half day to explore and take in whatever we could.   Queenstown is a tourist center and a jumping off point.   By jumping off I literally mean jumping off point.  You can jump off a mountain and para sail.  You can jump off a bridge and bungee jump.   You can jump out of a plane.  All of these are then followed by a jet boat ride.     There were dozens of “tourist” shops in the town all pumping out loud dance music.   Queenstown is also the jumping off place to many tramps, journeys and explorations of the southern island.   We really wanted to go do a multi day walk, but we just didn’t have the time.

Even though the main strip of town was quite “touristy” and loud, we enjoyed our time.  Queenstown is an amazing place to people watch.  We saw people from all over the world.   We also got to see the first spring flowers and many beautiful home gardens.   It was stunning.

Late in the day, we went for a gondola ride. It was a cool way to see the city and the surrounding environment.

Lake Wakatipu - The burial ground for a mythical giant.

Lake Wakatipu - The burial ground of a mythical giant.

We capped our day off with a walk back to the hotel followed by a soak in the hot tub overlooking Lake Wakatipu.   It sure was a cold run back to our room but a great way to relax and prep for tomorrow’s big hike into the mountains.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 16, 2009 8:00 am

    I always heard that once you got to New Zealand it was hard to leave. I guess by seeing these pics and reading your thoughts, it might be true.

  2. Gnat permalink*
    April 16, 2009 4:14 pm

    GT – It’s true. NZ is a special place. Can’t wait to share my stories and pics.

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