I didn’t want to like Queenstown. A friend of mine lived here for a year and when I told him I was going to be living in Auckland he gave me a disgusted face and said “south island’s better”. I was bitter, out to prove the north island was just as good. And now that I’ve seen a good chunk of both, there not comparable. They both have gorgeous areas and less gorgeous areas. It’s really where you want to live and what you want, and I would say there’s something in New Zealand for everyone.

So as we drove into Queenstown and I saw The Remarkables on one side, lake Wakatipu at the bottom and all the beautiful buildings that made up the town, I was pissed that I loved it. Queenstown was like nothing we’d seen yet, and really like nothing else in New Zealand. You probably know that it’s known as the adventure capital of the world, which I thought was a self proclaimed title, but quickly realized it was just plain true. It’s totally a tourist town, but not in an obnoxious way, I never thought something was ridiculous or tacky. It really just feels like someone built the town to have fun. And I use the term town loosely, I definitely thought it was going to be smaller and it is pretty small, with about 13,000 population, but it has a serious city feel. Also, we came in on a Friday night, and it was crazy how many people were around. There was traffic as we drove into the city which is not common in New Zealand. Then we remembered that Anzac Day was on Monday so it was the beginning of the long weekend, which made way more sense because everything was so busy.

We stayed in a holiday park right in the city which cost a bit more but it was worth being in the city and being able to walk everywhere. So we set up shelley and showered immediately. It’d been five days and I’ve never had a better shower. We went into the town to check it out and get some food and we found a delicious pizza place. We saw this other place called Fergburger which is famous in Queenstown and I kid you not, there was ALWAYS at least 50 people outside waiting for food. At all times of day there were at least that many, I couldn’t believe it. That night we went to this place called Winnie’s and we danced and had a really fun night.

The next day was our adventure day. I went zip lining. Upside down. Most people I tell that to here don’t find it impressive when I say that’s what I did in Queenstown, since the thing to do is bungee jump or sky dive or really anything where you can fall from a high distance. But there are two things to know about me:

I don’t like heights.

I don’t like going upside down.

So for me this was a feat. At the end of the day, after seeing my friends bungee jump, I think I could have probably done it, but it’s way more expensive and there’s no guarantee I would have liked it. So no regrets cause I had so much fun!

We arrived at their city office, checked in, then hopped on a bus to the Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge. There they have a huge building which looks like it could be some cool super villains lair. Again we checked in, and Steph and I got our zip lining ticket, and the others got their bungee jumping stuff. When we were looking at what to do in Queenstown, Steph and I looked at doing other things not at the bungee place, but I’m so glad we chose this one. We got to watch our friends bungee and all be together and have a really fun time. The whole facility has such a great atmosphere that makes it so fun and really well run. It was a really great day. Anyways, here’s the photos of me.


As Steph and I were standing in line waiting, we were looking at the board with all the different ways you can zip line. We started with the superman to get a feel for it, but after that we had a “Go big or go home” mentality. So we went upside down both times, which just consists of wrapping your feet in the straps. The view was incredible, flying through the massive gorge and seeing all the trees, water and cliffs. Also, to our right was the bridge, so I go to watch each of my friends jump one after the other, it was awesome.

Afterwards, once we were hyped up on adrenaline, we got back on their bus and were dropped back in the city. And we were STARVING. I’ve never been so hungry. So we went to this mexican restaurant which had a delicious lunch menu that featured one of the best burritos I’ve ever had. Also guacamole wasn’t extra, and that’s a huge plus. They also had sombreros you could wear, so that happened.


After I devoured my burrito, we headed into town to look around. There’s a famous ice cream shop right on the water front so we went there, I got this delicious mocha flavour. I’m still thinking about. Along the water was a craft market which goes on every Saturday, we only caught the tale end of it but I talked to this photographer for a while and bought one of her prints, she does photos and graphics right outside of Queenstown and prints everything herself. She’s living the life. Afterwards we walked back to the campsite and put on warmer clothes because for the evening we were going to take the gondola up the mountain to see the view. There’s a bunch of activities you can do up there and a fancy restaurant and bar, but the view is just enough. We strategically decided to go up at dusk so we could see the view during the day and night. The view was beautiful and the weather was cold, regretted not bringing my hat up.

The gondola ride was so nice, it’s so quiet inside and the ride goes right up through the trees.

South Island 38.jpg


There were about a million people on the observation deck. All asian, all had tripods. Quite a sight to see. It took some maneuvering to find some empty spaces to get some photos, but my elbows and I got them.

South Island 39South Island 40South Island 41South Island 42

As we were up there it started to rain on one side, but on the other side it was perfectly pink. So we watched as the rain got closer and closer, and then we went inside. We looked at one of the gift shops inside as we waited for it to get dark. Then we went outside again, but by this time it was so cold we didn’t stay long. But man it wasn’t beautiful.

South Island Rough 93South Island Rough 95

Then we took the gondola back down the mountain. We sat in silence going down, just watching the city grow closer, it was a really lovely moment. We walked back to our campsite and hungout for a bit but then went to bed.

This was our halfway mark of our trip, it was a really nice rest stop. We showered lots, ate well, and splurged a bit more than usual, but it was so worth it.






One Comment Add yours

  1. sharon says:

    You are fearless, Emily!.. congrats! such fun! – what a trip – what super memories. Keep up with the wonderful photography.. Love,Sharon


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