Adventures Down Under: Queenstown, New Zealand

‘It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.’-J.R.R. Tolkien

Let me start off by saying that Queenstown and the surrounding area is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. It is literally Middle Earth, as much of the Lord of the Rings films were filmed nearby. But outside of my love of the series, the views are stunning. My photographs will never even come close to capturing the beauty of the area. I ate a lot, spent a lot of time outdoors, and, most importantly, on the water!

I spent two full days in town and my hotel, the Novotel Queenstown Lakeside, was perfectly situated on the banks of Lake Wakatipu (you may know it as Amon Hen). I was able to walk everywhere. Queenstown is not a large place and actually reminded me a lot of my hometown of Lake Arrowhead, CA. There was a village area with loads of shops and restaurants. The shops came in handy because it was much colder than I had anticipated, by about 15 degrees. I bought a hat and some gloves. I also bought a heavy duty North Face Campfire pullover in a pretty green. The currency rate made it a bit cheaper there but I knew I would wear it a lot so I was willing to spend the extra money (they’re a favorite of mine and I know the quality is worth the extra price). And it kept me warm and it’s so comfortable! It will get a lot of use when I begin hiking in the the Cascades and Sierras starting later this year. I also bought a pair of Ugg slippers…they were on sale and cost me about $50. While it is currently a bazillion degrees in Philadelphia, I cannot wait to live in them!

My favorite place to pop into was Patagonia chocolates. They have great chocolate, ice cream, pastries, and juices. I went about 5 times in 3 days! I also took a gondola ride to see the city from above. It’s about $25 but the views were stunning! It is also the point in the trip where I had some issues with my Lumix G7 camera. I was having issues taking pictures at night and staying in focus. The problem would persist through the rest of my trip, so some of my photos had some issues. I still think my camera is awesome 90% of the time but I’m trying to figure out the issue.

I have heard the city swells in size during the summer months but I loved the emptiness of the area. It was just you and the ducks! the next few posts will highlight why I love this place so much, so stay tuned!

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