Queenstown – where have you been all my life!
I’m completely enamoured with the soul of this town, its vibe, its pep, its energy and its all-incapsulating landscapes that leave you utterly humbled and speechless.
Queenstown – on the shores of pristine Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by mountains – is New Zealand’s #1 adventure destination, renowned for adrenalin thrills, spectacular scenery and luxury style…this is what I had read about it, but coming here myself there is so much more!! The crisp mountain air, the vibrancy of the local people, the sheet buzz of the alpine town itself and the dropdead gorgeous landscapes that present themselves at every turn.
Let’s take a minute to revel in the colour of the water which is an extraordinary turquoise due to glacier sediment – it’s outta this world! A massive landslip has changed the face of the stunning Lake Wakatipu – New Zealand’s longest lake – and it has changed over time from a deep blue to a mesmerising turquoise hue that’s most obvious when viewed from above at one of the many lookouts in town.
The astonishing change was first noticed after a landslip occurred in the nearby Dart Valley. Glacial rock and fine glacial silt or “flour” travelled down the face of the slip and into the lake where it is suspended in water, creating the magical colour by reflecting the light.
I think even our hero, Sir David Attenbourough would be blown away by the marvel of nature running its true course.
Then of course, there is the myriad of choices for fine dining, bustling bars, awesome cafes and of course…a spot of retail therapy!
We dined that evening at Madam Woos and what an experience! This fun, busy modern take on asian is exceptional not only for the tastebuds, but for its amazing service, atmosphere and not to mention the wine list! Both avid pinot noir fans, we had to try a few! Matt tried the Two Paddocks / Central Otago which was slightly expensive per glass at $19 a pop (or $88 a bottle), but by the look on his face – well worth every cent! This pinot has the poise & elegance, charm & complexity of a classic bodice ripper. I tried the Coal Pit from the Gibbston Valley which tasted of bright cherries and had a slightly savoury tint but was absolutly sensational. If you visit Madam Woos after 7pm, be prepared to wait for a table as the queue was lining up outside the street. You also cannot go past the port and prawn sui mai – we were both so enamoured by this dish that we ordered 3 serves! The tiger prawn dumplings were a close second.
In terms of what to do in Queenstown, it’s actually a case of what not to do! The to-do list is compiled so quickly once we realise we only have 66 hours to fill in this awesome adventure capital! On our list is jetboating on the Shotover River, a visit to nearby Wanaka, a drive along the lakes to Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables, Glenorchy, and the list goes on! Then of course there is the hiking, the paragliding, bungy jumping, wine tasting and more!
Suffice to say, we ticked off what we could but another trip is planned for the not so distant future as we both felt like we had only just scratched the surface!
Oh and while we are talking about good food places, make sure you treat yourself to a yummy breakfast at Vudu in Queenstown, followed by a cheeky wine at the Bathhouse on the Lakes.