The Onsen Hot Pools, Queenstown – Photos and review

If you’re visiting Queenstown in New Zealand, and you’re looking for something relaxing to do – the Onsen Hot Pools are perhaps one of the best options.

The Onsen Hot Pools are an absolutely stunning spa facility, located high in the mountains, overlooking a valley, rolling hills and beautiful scenery. As part of the experience, you get to sit in your own private room, with an authentic (and spacious!) hot pool to soak in, whilst enjoying all those incredible views. It really is magical, and something I had never experienced before. There are lots of things to do in Queenstown, but this has to be one of the best.

We made our booking for the evening (so we could be there for sunset) which sound like a super romantic option – and I wanted to make sure it was special as it was Pad’s birthday (my husband). The Onsen Hot Pools is probably the most relaxing thing I’ve ever done – not to mention one of the most romantic too.

I’d definitely recommend it to basically anyone – if you’re a group of friends travelling then it’s a great place to hang out and relax for an hour or so, but if you’re a couple it’s a lovely romantic way to spend a couple of hours together. Queenstown is known for being a bit of an adventure and adrenaline destination – and this is the perfect way to switch off from that and relax during your time there.

Onsen Hot Pools Queenstown

Where are the Onsen Hot Pools located?

The Onsen Hot Pools are located in Arthurs Point, about a 15/20 minute drive north of Queenstown (it’s pretty easy to get to) which is remote enough to feel secluded – but close enough to town for it to be an easy drive. It’d probably be about $25 in a taxi I reckon – so not too bad if you have someone to split the cost with. They also do a free shuttle from the town centre (when booked ahead) so if budget is an issue (or you don’t want to rent a car) then that’s worth knowing too!

You can see the Onsen Hot Pools where the red drop-point is on the map below. Queenstown is located just south, by the lake at the bottom of the map.

The drive over is a really easy one – so a normal rental car would be absolutely fine!

onsen hot pools queenstown

What is the Onsen Hot Pools experience like?

Basically, the hot pools are fresh-water private hot-tubs (although you can turn the jets off if you want) which are located in their own little private room, which has a re-tractable roof. Meaning you can have the hot pool enclosed or open to the fresh air. I love that you can choose – it makes the experience even more personalised and perfect. They’re open from 9am to 11pm every day, so plenty of opportunity for relaxation!

The Onsen Hot Pools are pretty perfect really – you have this incredible view, and massive hot-tub all to yourself, and even candles and aromatherapy if you specify when booking. You’re not overlooked either – the Onsen Hot Pools are completely private and that makes it all the more special. The only thing overlooking you is a big mountain range and the Shotover river.

Our booking was at 9pm, so when we arrived it was just starting to go dark (as you can see below). By the time we left the Onsen Hot Pools it was completely dark – so it was nice to see the pool in both settings. There are changing rooms just outside in the corridor and you can borrow lovely fluffy towels from reception too – there’s even a shower in your hot tub room – incase you want to cool off and then jump back in (which we did a few times).

We had the roof retracted the entire time, because that’s what makes it so unique I think, and it was lovely being in the hot water, but having a cool breeze from the mountains at the same time. The pools are huge too – there was only 2 of us in there – but I think you could easily fit 4/5. They’re so much deeper than the average hot-tubs too, and length wise I could stretch out and just about touch the edges (and I’m 5ft2 ish).

I was very happy – as you can see below! 

Onsen Hot Pools Queenstown

Onsen Hot Pools Queenstown

queenstown onsen hot pools

What time should you visit the Onsen Hot Pools?

As you can see, as the lights go down, it becomes another world. So much more romantic and special and something really magical. I guess the time of day you visit depends on what you’re after, whether you’re going for the experience alone, or whether you want to enjoy the views, etc.

I don’t know which I preferred if I’m being honest – I loved having the mountain view during the lighter hours, and I loved having the candles and stars during the darker hours. It’s hard to choose, they were both incredible.

If you’d like to experience both, I’d probably recommend having a similar time-spot to us, it was lovely watching the sun go down, and having about 30 minutes of pure darkness outside too. As you can see – the room looks absolutely magical in the darkness and the candles are so romantic too!

For any guys out there wanting to impress a special lady – this is without a doubt one of the most romantic things you could in the whole of New Zealand. It’s not too expensive either – we were pleasantly surprised at the price – considering how luxurious the entire experience feels.

Onsen Hot Pools Queenstown night time

Onsen Hot Pools Queenstown night time

What do the Onsen Hot Pools cost?

The price varies depending on the package you opt for, whether you have spa treatments, and also what time you visit (the sunset and evening packages are slightly more expensive).

The image below is one of the cheapest packages called “original onsen” and it was taken from their website in December 2019. The basic onsen package includes an hour in the hot pool, an aromatherapy burner, towels, a complimentary glass of the regions finest wine, beer or juice and a choice of ice cream, crisps or chocolate. You can see all their packages here.

The package go up in price from here, as the time increases or they include different add ons such as spa treatments and massages.

Onsen hot pools prices

How can I book The Onsen Hot Pools?

First off, I recommend booking in advance. If you know the dates you plan on being in Queenstown, book the Onsen hot pools a couple of months ahead of time. This place is hugely popular with visitors in Queenstown (I mean, why wouldn’t it be? it’s incredible!) so making sure you’ve got a slot is key! We tried booking 2 weeks ahead once during January, and there was absolutely nothing available!

Trust me you wouldn’t want to miss out on the Onsen Hot Pools – so make sure you book as early as possible.

You can book on their website (click here).

Phone: +64 3 442 5707


onsen hot pools new zealand

I hope this review and post about the Onsen Hot Pools is useful! It’s such an incredible day out, I hope you get to experience it.


5 of the Best Swimming Spots in Queenstown

If you’re visiting Queenstown in summer, you might want to find the best swimming spots in Queenstown and enjoy a dip in the lake! Lake Wakatipu is completely safe to swim in – and incredible clean too!

swimming spots in Queenstown the best areas

I do have a couple of tips though, before we get onto the best swimming spots in Queenstown…

Tip 1: The lake is cold! It’s the South Island and it’s a glacial lake – so make sure you have some dry towels to wrap yourself up in once you get out of the lake.

Tip 2: Find some swimming shoes. The lake in Queenstown is quite ‘stoney’ or gravely on the surface (it’s not smooth like sand) so you might want to wear something on your feet for when you’re walking in or out. Some cheap swimming shoes would work perfectly.

Tip 3: Wear suncream! The sun is so much more powerful in New Zealand, and it’s so much easier to burn. So if your in a bathing suit, be sure to wear strong suncream.

Now, onto the best swimming spots in Queenstown!

Queenstown swimming spot 1: Queenstown Beach

Yes, Queenstown might be a lake, but it has a beach! The beach is located right off the town centre, before you reach Queenstown Gardens. On a sunny day it’s a really popular swimming spot in Queenstown – as it’s close to nearby cafes and shops and there are public toilets too. The beach is a gorgeous place to take a swim in Queenstown, and it’s super easy to find and get to!

Queenstown swimming spot 2: Wakatipu Yacht Club (Kelvin Heights)

This little swimming spot in Queenstown is one of the most blissful in the town. It’s located on the otherwise of the Kelvin Heights Peninsula, and whilst it is possible to drive there, it’s much easier to get a water taxi from the town centre. The water taxi will drop you off on one of the jettys (pictured below!) right by the yacht club and then you can let them know a time when you’d like to be picked up again. It only costs a few dollars – and you basically get a whole beach to yourself.

swimming spots in Queenstown

Queenstown swimming spot 3: Kelvin Beach

Next on my list of the best swimming spots in Queenstown, Kelvin Beach is located about a 5 minute walk from the yacht club (above). The main difference is that you can swim off the beach, rather than jumping off the jetty. You’ll want to get the water taxi here as well (just get dropped off at the Wakatipu yacht club and walk the short distance to the beach). It also has an amazing view of The Remarkables (which I love).

Tip! There aren’t any shops or cafes at this side of the peninsula (it’s not as busy as the town centre) so if you want food and drinks, definitely take a picnic with you! 

swimming spots in Queenstown

Queenstown swimming spot 4: Closeburn Beach

Closeburn Beach is located a little way out of Queenstown (it’s a stop-off on the drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy). It’s about a 10 minute drive out of town, but if you’re after a private swimming spots in Queenstown, on a stunning beach – then this is it! There are even picnic benches and toilets too!

swimming spots in Queenstown 2020

Queenstown swimming spot 5: Along the Frankton Arm Walk

Last on my list of the best swimming spots in Queenstown… If you follow the Frankton Arm Walk (or Queenstown Trail) from Queenstown towards Frankton, you’ll find loads of perfect spots for swimming. There are lots of jettys scattered along the walk, which you could take a dip from!

swimming spots in Queenstown..

I hope this list of the best swimming spots in Queenstown has been useful! Enjoy your trip to Queenstown, it’s the most beautiful place, and you’ll love it!

If you’re taking a vacation in Queenstown, these other blog posts I’ve written might be helpful!

Driving from Queenstown to Glenorchy – everything you need to know. 

Everything you need to know about the Queenstown Luge. 

How to find ‘That Wanaka Tree’ in Wanaka, New Zealand.

What is the best way to see and experience Milford Sound?


10 things to do in Queenstown When Pregnant

Queenstown is an amazing destination, and it’s such a beautiful place to visit. However, if you’re pregnant you might be wondering what there is for you to enjoy – especially given that a lot of the activities in this beautiful town are adventure-themed or adrenaline-focussed. Hope this list of things to do in Queenstown when pregnant will help you out, and give you lots of amazing activities to fill your time.

Things to do in Queenstown When Pregnant…

Let’s get started on my list of things to do in Queenstown when pregnant!

Idea 1: The Earnslaw boat cruise

The Earnslaw boat is a perfect option for things to do in Queenstown when pregnant. This relaxing boat cruise takes you all the way along Lake Wakatipu, and you’ll get to enjoy the most beautiful views from the boat decks. There are toilets to hand (that’s important!) and there are also plenty of places to sit too. There’s also a cafe on board, if you need a snack or feel a little low-energy. Tickets are best booked ahead (especially during peak times) and you can book tickets online by clicking here.

Things to do in Queenstown When Pregnant 3

Idea 2: Visit Milford Sound

There are loads of amazing day trips from Queenstown that take you into the heart of Milford Sound, one of the most beautiful destinations in New Zealand. Milford Sound is where a lot of Lord of the Rings was filmed – and it’s absolutely breathtaking!

the best way to see Milford Sound

A coach tour is perfectly suitable for you if you’re pregnant, and most of the coach tours will also include a boat cruise in Milford Sound too (again, perfectly suitable for pregnant ladies). It’s a lovely relaxing day trip, and you’ll get to see so many stunning areas of New Zealand during the trip. There are toilets on the buses, and the buses make regular toilets stops on the way too! Here are some tours I recommend…

Idea 3: The Skyline Gondola

Next on my list of things to do in Queenstown when pregnant… The Skyline Gondola is a cable car that takes you up to the top of Bob’s Peak. This is one of the best places in Queenstown to enjoy magical views of the town, and the cable car takes you up into the Skyline resort complex where you’ll find a restaurant, a viewing deck, a cafe and the Queenstown Luge. The luge won’t be suitable for you if you’re heavily pregnant, but it’s worth visiting for lunch or dinner in the restaurant and also to enjoy the views from the viewing deck. They also do star gazing in the evenings, which is a gorgeously romantic activity!

You can book tickets to the Gondola by clicking here, or you can book for lunch and the Gondola (as a combo) by clicking here.

Things to do in Queenstown When you are Pregnant

Idea 4: Onsen Hot Pools

The Onsen Hot Pools are one of the most luxurious (but surprisingly affordable!) things you can do in Queenstown. Each hot pool has it’s own private suit, so it’s completely private – and each one looks out onto the beautiful views of mountains below. It’s honestly magical, very romantic, and unmissable. Don’t worry, the hot pools aren’t jacuzzis or hot-tubs – so there aren’t any bubbles (which means it’s pregnancy friendly).

For me, this is one of the best things to do in Queenstown when pregnant (or not!). You do need to book ahead though, this place gets busy and books up fast.

Things to do in Queenstown When Pregnant onsen

Idea 5: Rent a car and do the Glenorchy road trip

Next on my list of things to do in Queenstown when pregnant… A road trip!

Car rental is really easy in Queenstown (there are loads of places in town) and it’s also pretty affordable too. Renting a nice car for the day will cost you about $60-$80 (NZ dollars) and you can head off and explore the area at your own pace. I really recommend doing the Queenstown to Glenorchy drive – it’s been voted one of the most scenic drives in the whole world – and I’d have to agree! It’s not a super long drive (about an hour) and there are plenty of places to stop off and explore along the way.

10 Things to do in Queenstown When Pregnant

Idea 6: Relax on the beach

Queenstown might be better known for all the adventure activities, but don’t underestimate how many scenic and relaxing places there are in the town too! On a sunny day, there’s nothing nicer than sitting on the beach front and just watching the world go by. You can get comfy, grab a decaf coffee, and just take the day as it comes. Some of the best things to do in Queenstown when pregnant aren’t necessarily day trips or tours, it’s just relaxing and enjoying the atmosphere.

Things to do in Queenstown When Pregnant 2

Idea 7: Take a stroll through Queenstown gardens

Queenstown Gardens are located a 2 minute walk from the beachfront, and it’s a gorgeous way to spend an afternoon. The gardens are beautifully maintained, and have some of the most stunning views of the Remarkables and the town centre too. You can even play Frisbee Golf in the Gardens if you’re feeling a little more adventurous! The walking tracks that go through and around the gardens are pretty much flat, so it’s an easy walk, and there are toilets in the park too.

Things to do in Queenstown When Pregnant

Idea 8: Drive to Arrowtown

Next up on my list of things to do in Queenstown when pregnant, Arrowtown is a beautiful little town about 15 minutes from Queenstown and nestled in the mountains. It’s a lovely day out, and if you drive yourself (or if your partner drives) you can stop off a few different scenic spots along the route too. There’s not a whole lot in Arrowtown (it’s nowhere near as big as Queenstown) but it’s a really beautiful sleepy village, with lovely shops and cafes to enjoy. It reminds me of a cowboy town from an old western film!

Things to do in Queenstown When Pregnant 4

Idea 9: Eat a fergburger!

If pregnancy means eating for two…, then you get to try to burgers right?! Fergburger is the most famous burger in New Zealand, and it’s delicious. There are loads of choices on the menu, and I can basically guarantee it’ll be one of the best things you’ve ever eaten. Top tip! The queue outside can get pretty long, but if you call them up ahead of time to place your order, you don’t need to queue up when you arrive. You just go straight to the front to collect.

Things to do in Queenstown When Pregnant 2020

10. Go shopping

Finally on my list of things to do in Queenstown when pregnant… Shopping! There are actually lots of shops in Queenstown, from clothing stores, to food stores, to souvenir stores. So actually, browsing the shops makes for a really lovely afternoon. You could break it up with a decaf coffee at one of the many coffee shops, or even a scoop of the famous Patagonia ice-cream.

Queenstown things to do when pregnant

I hope you’ve found this list of things to do in Queenstown when pregnant really useful! If there’s anything you’ve been looking at that isn’t on this list, and you’re unsure if it’s suitable – the best thing to do is ask. Give the company an email and get their advice – they’ve probably been asked many time before!

Mainly though, just enjoy your time in Queenstown. It’s one of the most beautiful places in the world (hand down) and you don’t need to bungee jump or skydive to appreciate it!


What is the best way to see Milford Sound?

Have you been wondering what the best way to see Milford Sound is?

the best way to see Milford Sound

If you’re visiting New Zealand, one of the places you definitely won’t want to miss is Milford Sound. Milford Sound is one of the most stunning areas of natural beauty in New Zealand, so you’ll definitely want to find the best way to see Milford Sound for you. The area was made even more famous by the Lord of the Rings films (lots of scenes were shot in Milford Sound) so it really is an unmissable location in New Zealand.

There are lots of ways to see Milford Sound, depending on how you’re exploring New Zealand and what your budget is. In this post I’ll go through the best way to see Milford Sound and explore the different options open to you!

Option 1: Bus and Boat tour

First up on my list of the best way to see Milford Sound… This is the classic option that most people visiting New Zealand will opt for. There are bus & boat tours that leave from a few different towns surrounding Milford Sound, so if you’re using Queenstown, Wanaka or Te Anau as a base, you’ll definitely be able to get a bus and boat tour to Milford Sound from there.

the best way to see Milford Sound

The tours are a full day, usually departing at 7am and arriving back at 5-7pm. You’ll head to Milford Sound in a coach, making a few scenic stops along the way, and when you arrive at Milford Sound you’ll board a boat for your cruise in the sound. It’s a long day, but it’s so worth it for those amazing views!

The tours I recommend from Queenstown and Te Anau are below. I especially recommend the premium glass roof bus tour – it gives you so many more chances to enjoy the incredible views en-route.

Option 2: Helicopter tour

One of the quickest ways to reach Milford Sound is actually by helicopter. If you’re stopping in Queenstown and you plan on visiting Milford Sound from there, there are so many amazing helicopter companies that can take you over the the mountains in half the time a coach or bus would take.

the best way to see Milford Sound

Because of this, it’s definitely one of the best way to see Milford Sound! Taking a helicopter tour from Queenstown to Milford Sound lets you see all the best bits, without any of the coach journey, and it’s honestly one of the most magical experiences. And , of course, you get the most AMAZING views from the helicopter too! It gives a whole new angle on Milford Sound, and gives you so many photo opportunities.

Option 3: A scenic plane ride

Similar to a helicopter flight, a scenic flight will fly you directly to Milford Sound so you can enjoy all the views (without any of the coach journey!). The planes used for these scenic flights are pretty small – so you’ll be able to get really close to the mountains in Milford Sound and see some of the wildlife and amazing landscapes.

There are loads of different flights available – the main thing you want to look out for is how many landings you get during the trip. The more landings the better – as you can get out and explore on foot each time you land!

Here are some of the scenic plane rides I recommend…

Option 4: Drive yourself

If you can drive, it is possible to rent a car and drive yourself to Milford Sound. It’s quite a long drive from most bases in the south island (which is why I generally prefer the coach option if you’re going to go via road). But if you’re a confident driver and you have someone to split the drive with (don’t risk getting tired halfway) then driving yourself is a great option. There is a car park at Milford Sound, and once you’re parked up you can then book a boat tour separately and jump onboard!

scenic Driving from queenstown to glenorchy


Option 5: Hike it!

Finally on my list of the best way to see Milford Sound, if you’re driving to Milford Sound yourself, you can park up and actually do the Milford Sound hikes in around the Sound. It’s a pretty magical way to explore the area, but be prepared for a challenging hike, and make sure you’re ready with the right equipment and also water too. Hiking is an awesome option if you want to take your time enjoying the views.

the best way to see Milford Sound

I hope this list has helped you find the best way to see Milford Sound for you! Milford Sound is amazing from all angles, and whichever way you decide to see it will blow you away! It’s one of the most amazing places in New Zealand!



Everything you need to know about Queenstown Luge

everything you need to know about the Queenstown luge go carts

Are you visiting Queenstown and needs to know all the information on the Queenstown Luge? Keep reading!

The Queenstown Luge is one of the best activities in Queenstown, and it’s so much fun. If you deciding whether or not to visit the Queenstown Luge during your stay in the town, hopefully this blog post can convince you how amazing it is, and answer some of your questions!

What is the Queenstown Luge?

Basically, they’re like super fun go-karts. You sit in your luge kart and you zoom down a course, with amazing views of the town below. You can go as fast (or as slow) as you like, and it’s a great activity.

everything you need to know about the Queenstown luge 2

Can I buy tickets online?

Yes! I’d recommend buying them online as it makes the process easier when you go to the Skyline Gondola. Click here to buy tickets. 

Is it the Queenstown Luge child friendly?

Absolutely! For children above a certain height, they can ride in their own luge kart, and for children who are a younger age, they can ride in the kart with their parent or guardian. Here is the official information from their website:

Children must be at least 6 years old and 110cm or taller to be allowed to ride the Blue Track unaccompanied.

Children must be 135cm or taller to be allowed to ride the Red Track unaccompanied.

Children under the age of 6 years old or under 110cm can ride the Luge in tandem on the Blue Track, with an adult aged 15+ years at a cost of $2 per ride (Future Luge Rider)

Is the Queenstown Luge safe?

I think so! It’s basically a go-karting course, with amazing views! There are no cliff edges or anything you could fly over (so don’t worry!), and there’s a beginner course and a fast course.

Everyone has to complete the beginner course (which is a lot less steep and a bit easier to get around) before they can go on the fast course, which means you’re not bumping into newbies whilst going super fast. They also have loads of staff and helpers – if you did get stuck.

everything you need to know about the Queenstown luge for families

How long does it last?

That depends how fast you go! But I’d estimate one ‘turn’ on the course lasts for about 2 minutes. It’s pretty fast, but it’s so easy to head straight up to the top to ride it again. You could probably enjoy a few hours riding the luge, and then spend the afternoon checking some other day trips around Queenstown. 

How much does it cost?

Their pricing can change, but it generally tends to be around £30 – £40 (depending on how many luge rides you want). You need to buy a gondola ticket to get up to the top of the Skyline, so you’ll always be buying a combo ticket which includes the Gondola (as this is where the Queenstown Luge is). The only other way to get up there is to do the mountain trek!

So, given the fact you’ll be taking the skyline gondola anyway, the combo tickets work out the best value. The Gondola is an enclosed cable car, which takes you from the town up to the top of the Queenstown Hill (and the Luge is at the top of the hill). You could buy a skyline gondola ticket on it’s own first, and then add on luge tickets later, or you could buy the combo initially and have it all included. It’s really up to you.

Is the Queenstown Luge scary?

I guess that depends on how scared you get! There’s definitely an adrenaline rush, because you’re zooming down the hill! Another bit of the experience which people might find scary is the mini open ski-lift you have to take up to the top of the luge course. This is totally safe, but if you don’t like heights, you might find this a bit daunting! I’ve included a photo below so you can see what I mean! This open ski lift only lasts for 30 seconds (approximately!).

what you need to know about the Queenstown luge

Do you need to take your own helmet?

No, everything you need is included in your ticket – and that includes your helmet. They have lots of different sizes (which are colour-coded) so it’s really easy to find one that fits.

everything you need to know about the Queenstown luge 1

Is there food?

Yes, there is a buffet restaurant (which is actually really good value!) which overlooks the town, and a cafe at the back which serves things like chips, pizza and sandwiches. If you’re opting for the buffet restaurant, it can get booked up easily during peak times – so it’s worth booking ahead.

Do you need to book in advance?

No, you can buy tickets at the skyline gondola base at the bottom of the hill, and buy your Queenstown Luge tickets there also (in the combo tickets mentioned above). You can also buy top-up luge tickets once you get up there, if you want to keep going.

I would advise booking in advance though if you have access to the internet, because it saves a job, and it’s a way of guaranteeing entrance to the buffet (if you want that included in your combo!).

Can I use my camera on the luge?

You’ll need both your hand to break, so not really. If you have a body mount or a helmet mount for a Go Pro, you could use that though. I noticed some of the helmets had the Go Pro mount on them already, which is kind of cool. They do have cameras on the track though, so you’ll get snapped whilst you’re on there – and you can purchase any photos you like before you leave.

Are there places to take photos of Queenstown?

Yes there’s an amazing viewing deck where you can take loads of photos of Queenstown below. Once you’ve finished the Queenstown Luge (or before) you can head out there and enjoy the incredible views.


Driving from Queenstown to Glenorchy – Everything you need to know

Are you driving from Queenstown to Glenorchy? Here’s everything you need to know!

If you’re stopping in Queenstown, one of the things you absolutely MUST do, is the incredible drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy. It has (quite rightly) been voted one of the most scenic drives in the world, and you’ll understand why when you get on the open road.

The road between Queenstown and Glenorchy is surrounding by mountains, rolling hills and crystal clear Lake Wakatipu. It’s a stunning way to spend the day.

Here I’ll answer as many questions as possible about the drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy, so you can make the most of your time in New Zealand and this amazing scenic road trip!

How long does the drive take?

It takes about 45 minutes (without stopping) to drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy. But if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to pull over a few times to enjoy the views along the road. I’d put aside about 90 minutes in total, leaving time for a few photo-stops, and a toilet break. Also, remember, you may get stuck behind slower vehicles on the route, which can increase the drive time too.

Driving from queenstown to glenorchy

Is it a difficult drive?

It depends on your level of experience driving, and how confident you are behind the wheel – but I would say the drive is pretty easy. You’re the best person to judge how confident you are – but there aren’t any ‘hairy’ bits on this drive that I found scary or intimidating. There are some areas that might be a bit trickier than other parts, but generally, the road is well maintained, and the incline is steady (nothing too drastic).

If you’re careful and responsible about the drive, you shouldn’t really have any issues. Lots of camper vans and tour groups head down this road too, so you shouldn’t have any issues in a normal rental car. If you do find yourself feeling a bit nervous, maybe wait for a day with good weather, and avoid doing the drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy on a windy or rainy day.

Driving from queenstown to glenorchy nz

Are there toilet stops along the way?

Driving from Queenstown to Glenorchy doesn’t take too long (so you might not need the toilet) but yes there are a few places to stop for the toilet! If you’re used to driving in the UK or USA where you have rest-stops and service stations, it’s not quite the same in New Zealand.

Instead you want to look for ‘picnic’ signs – these are the rest stops that usually have toilets. They won’t be big buildings, it’ll usually just be a pull-off on the road, with a picnic area and a long drop toilet, or a shed toilet. They’re usually very clean though, and not too scary!

Is it easy to pull over to take photos?

Yes, and there are so many opportunities to pull over whilst driving from Queenstown to Glenorchy. In order to be completely safe – don’t every just pull over on the side of the road if it isn’t a designated area.

Along the Queenstown to Glenorchy route there are lots of designated places to pull over where you can take amazing photos – so use these to your advantage! It’s easy to spot them, usually they’re gravelled in stone, and usually there will be other cars parked up. The picnic areas (mentioned above, with the toilets) are also great places to pull over and take photos during the drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy.

Below is a photo of one of my favourite pull-over areas. 

scenic Driving from queenstown to glenorchy

Are there any tolls to pay when driving from Queenstown to Glenorchy?

No, it’s a toll-free road! No charges!

What kind of photos will I be able to take?

If you’re driving from Queenstown to Glenorchy, you’ll have so many amazing photo opportunities. There are so many photo spots along the way! From mountains to lakes, to farm land and hills. Honestly, you’re spoilt from choice when driving from Queenstown to Glenorchy.

new zealand queesntown roadtrip

Can I rent a car in Queenstown?

Yes there are loads of car rental places in Queenstown, so you should easily be able to rent a car (even at late notice) from Queenstown.

Can I take a tour bus instead?

If you’re feeling a bit nervous about driving, there are tour groups that can take you there instead. Those tours will stop at the photo spots, and also take you to a few secret ones too! It’s actually nice to let someone else drive A few tours I like the sound of are…

Lord of The Rings Jeep Tour from Queesntown to Glenorchy

Glenorchy and Paradise half day tour (from Queenstown)

driving from queenstown to glenorchy

What is there to see in Glenorchy?

Not a whole lot in the town itself! But that’s kind of the charm, and why you visit. Obviously the town is surrounded by stunning mountains and the lakes, so there’s plenty of outdoors activities to get stuck into… but it’s a quiet little town, and it’s beautiful for that very reason.

I’d recommend stopping at Mrs Wooly’s village store (they have pies, souvenirs, great coffee and toilets!). And then walk down to the pier and the Glenorchy ‘lake hut’ thing. That’s a great photo opportunity!

Where can I buy food along the drive?

I recommend stocking up on food in Queenstown, as there are loads of food options in Queenstown to choose from.  There are plenty of supermarkets in Queenstown, or you could buy yourself a Fergburger and save it to eat at one of the picnic spots along the way. In Glenorchy, Mrs Wooley’s is the best place to easily stock up on snacks at.


Review of the Ramada Central in Queenstown (Jan 2020)

Queenstown is one of the most incredible places in the world and one of the most beautiful places to spend time. But it’s not cheap in Queenstown, so to get the best value for money – you’ll want to make sure you find somewhere cheap and central!

Hostels are usually the best choice for cheap and central accommodation – but if hostels aren’t your cup of tea and you want a bit more personal space – then the Ramada Central in Queenstown is going to be for you. Because of how big Queenstown is (it may look small on the map but it’s actually quite a large town!) you’ll want to be in the heart of everything if you can. Being walking distance to the town centre (and Cookie Time and Fergburger!) definitely pays off!

ramada central queenstown review

A brand new hotel in Queenstown

The Ramada Central in Queenstown is brand new and only opened in late 2019. I actually stopped here in January 2020, and was so impressed. We used to live in Queenstown and I really wanted to stop somewhere as central as our apartment used to be – and this hotel ticked all the boxes.

It’s by far the most amazing value I’ve come across in Queenstown, especially for the price, the quality of facilities, how modern the rooms are… and the AMAZING views on offer too. The rooms have floor to ceiling windows  – and when you’re stopping somewhere as beautiful as Queenstown this is a massive bonus! The views on offer are simple stunning, and the rooms make the views the full focus.

ramada central queenstown review

The hotel and facilities

The hotel is small (compared to other nearby hotels such as The Copthorne and The Millenium) but this kind of adds to the charm. There are only two lifts, the lobby is small and cosy, and you’ll get to know the staff during your stay. The rooms are a good size, and our studio apartment even had a dishwasher (so we couldn’t complain!).

We found the the staff are super friendly and willing to help with just about everything. When we decided to rent a car spontaneously, they were more than happy to help us with garage parking and even offer a valet service from outside the hotel.

The location

It’s only a 5 minute walk into town too – so it’s very central! It’s on the slightly hilly side when you walk back from town – but Queenstown is an alpine town so you’ll find there hills and inclines just about everywhere. You’ll soon get used to the hills and the walking!

The views

Just check out the video below to see how amazing the views are… This was the view we woke up to every morning and it made the stay perfect. There’s nowhere in the world quite as scenic as Queenstown – and this hotel is an amazing place to stop if you want to make sure you’re enjoying the views on offer of the nearby mountains and lake.



It’s so easy to fall in love with New Zealand

I recently read a blog post by the wonderful Geraldine from The Everywhereist about a trip she had taken to Bushman’s Kloof in South Africa (you can read her post here). In the post, Geraldine talks about her attachment to this beautiful place, and how when she and her husband Rand visit, it’s like being where they belong.

It’s their favourite place. It the place that brings out the best in them.

It really hit a chord for me. When I was reading it, I was mentally agreeing with everything she wrote. Except my Bushman’s Kloof, is Queenstown in New Zealand.


I really miss it there, and it took reading Geraldine’s perfectly beautiful description of her own ‘happy place’ to make it sink in. Queenstown is the place where Pad and I adore, it’s the only place I’ve ever called perfect. It’s the most magical, beautiful, breathtaking place, that I can’t even believe exists in real life.

That’s where we’d belong if the world wasn’t so big, flights weren’t so expensive and jet lag didn’t exist.



In our London apartment I surround myself with photographic reminders of Queenstown (we lived there for 6 months, so it’s not like I have a shortage of photos to choose from). I have a canvas in the living room, I have magnets on the fridge and I have countless frames in the bedroom.

I mean, don’t get me wrong – London is amazing and we’re beyond happy here too – but the muddy brown Thames doesn’t quite match up to the crystal clear waters of Lake Wakatipu. And I’ve yet to find anything in London that captures my imagination in the same way The Remarkables do.



So I guess that’s all this blog post is about. I miss New Zealand. Quite a lot actually.

But, I guess it’s justified. I mean who wouldn’t miss a place this beautiful?







Where is your happy place?


The Restaurant list: Best Places to Eat in Queenstown

You’d never imagine that a small, tiny, alpine village in the remote country of New Zealand would be such an AWESOME place for food. Seriously.

Queenstown is the best place for food in the entire world. I lived there for 6 months – and in that time experienced the following things:

The best burger I’ve ever tasted, the best ribs I’ve ever tasted, the best sushi I’ve ever tasted, the best Chinese take-out I’ve ever ordered… the list goes on. If you’re visiting Queenstown make sure you save money for dining out – because you’re going to need it. There are so many incredible choices.

Here are my favourites….

Flame: www.

Hands down, the best ribs I have ever had. With no exceptions. Flame have nailed it.

I would pay a huge amount of money to get some shipped over to the UK right now. Wouldn’t that be something.

I don’t care if you don’t like ribs. If you go to Flame you should get them. Try them. And then eat your words as well as your meat. It will blow your mind. They also do amazing cocktails – because obviously you need something to wash down all the ribs and steak you’ve ordered. The portion sizes here are huge – but the quality isn’t compromised by the size, which make it all the more enjoyable. If you do anything whilst you’re in Queenstown – make it Flame.

flame ribs queesntown

flame ribs queesntown

eating ribs flame queenstown


If you’re heading to Queenstown you’ve probably already heard of Fergburger. It’s like this urban myth. Travellers talk of a huge burger so juicy and so delicious you’d eat there every day if you could. Think I’m exaggerating? I’m not.

It’s basically a take-out burger place (if you do manage to grab a seat – you’re very lucky, as there aren’t many) so it’s perfect for a sunny day, when you can grab a  burger and go sit by the lake. The portions are also huge here – so unless you haven’t eaten in weeks all you need to order is the burger… no chips necessary! My favourite was the CockadoodleOink – but in all truth you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. Except maybe the vegetarian options…. because then WHY!?

fergburger review queenstown restaurant

fergburger review queenstown restaurant

fergburger review queenstown restaurant

Palace on the Lake:

Chinese food is one of my favourite kinds – so I really wanted to track down a decent Chinese place in the first couple of weeks of living in QT. This is a great choice for dining in or dining out. Try the lemon chicken. YUM.


I’m pretty sure one of the first things you do when you move to a new place is order pizza take-out, right? So we were pretty chuffed when we stumbled upon Fat Badgers. Don’t go to any other pizza place in town – because I’ve tried the rest and they don’t even come close to Fat Badgers.

Fat Badgers is amazing. No, scrap that, IT’S THE BEST PIZZA YOU’LL EVER HAVE IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE – so much good pizza yummyness. Get the Smokey Badger (personal favourite) and make sure you’re hungry because these pizzzas are HUUUGGGGGEEEE.

fat badgers pizza Queenstown

fat badgers pizza Queenstown


This place is great for those with a sweet tooth or a coffee habit – because you’d be beyond satisfied here. The do this amazing ice-cream (every flavour ever in the world) and also incredible sorbet too, the have the biggest range of home-made chocolate I’ve ever seen, and they also do good coffee. Oh, and there is free-wifi and it’s right by the lake so the views are great.

The Sushi place on the Mall Highstreet

I went here at least 4 times a week when we lived there (probably more…) and it was awesome. If you like sushi you’ll love it here. It’s a tiny place, tucked somewhere in the middle of the high street. Get there around midday for the best selection, because once it’s out it sells out fast. Why? Because it’s delicious and cheap. Perfect for a quick lunch.

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Johnny Barr’s Sandwiches:

Another great choice for a quick lunch – this place does the best sandwiches in town. My favourite was the pulled pork with coleslaw (I could’ve eaten those every day). Chow down inside the deli, or grab yours to go and eat it on the beach. Either way, don’t give this place a miss – it’s scrummy.

johnny barrs queenstown review

Could I look any happier about that sandwich??

johnny barrs queenstown review

johnny barrs queenstown review

The Remarkables Sweet Shop:

Got a sweet tooth? Go and grab some amazing sweets or homemade fudge from The Remarkables Sweet Shop. Top tip? If you head in and look curiously towards the fudge fridge, they’ll let you try the fudge FOR FREE. So much yummyness, so little time.

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Cookie Time:

Another choice for those with a sweet tooth… head over to Cookie Time for cookie happy hour (buy one get one free!). Such a treat, and full of loads of flavours and choices. Always warm and chewy, and there are cold crunchy ones too for those who prefer them. I try not to think too much about Cookie Time now I’m back in the UK. It just makes me sad. And hungry.

cookie time queenstown

A few other places worth noting…. 

– Winnies (good pizza, and a great lively atmosphere and bar in the evenings)

– Moto (a solid choice for breakfast!)

– Vudu (another solid choice for breakfast!)

Where are your favourite places to eat in Queenstown?

Did you like the photos featured in this blog post? Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @TheWorldAndThenSome where I post lots more gorgeous photos from my travels!


A Photo For Everywhere I Went in 2013.

2013 has without a doubt been the best year of my life. We’ve been to more places than I can count, so here they all are and I’m hoping I haven’t missed anywhere out… Also, these aren’t in any particular order!

One photo for each place we visited 🙂 I’ve tried to choose the photo that summed the place up for me, or the photo or moment I remembered most.

paris slow motion night time


Queenstown view gondola blue

Queenstown, NZ

London shard sunshine clouds

London, UK

NYC blue building greenwich

New York City, USA

Girl in grand canyon sunshine

The Grand Canyon, USA

Bellagio fountains las vegas blogger

Las Vegas, USA

Hong Kong slow shutter speed skyline

Hong Kong

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Phuket, Thailand

grand palace bangkok summer sunshine

Bangkok, Thailand

wild elephant koh samui thailand

Koh Samui, Thailand

marina bay sands sparkle singapore


thailand beach sunshine aqua longboat

Angthong National Park, Thailand

kuala lumpur traders hotel view sunset

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

byron bay beach sunset surfers australia

Byron Bay, Oz

gold coast surfers paradise ocean beach

Surfers Paradise, Oz

brisbane evening night time reflection

Brisbane, Oz

noosa australia beach wave surfing

Noosa, Oz

fraser island australia sunset beach

Fraser Island, Oz

hamilton island parrots birds view reef hotel

Hamilton Island, Oz

great ocean road view mist storm

The Great Ocean Road, Oz

woman wetsuit great barrier reef ocean

The Great Barrier Reef, Oz

view from plane cairns clouds

Cairns, Oz

melbourne in the evening with slow shutter speed

Melbourne, Oz

surfers on the beach in New Zealand

Christchurch, NZ

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The Blue Mountains, Oz

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Bondi, Oz
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Sydney, Oz

 For more memories, and my other travel highlights from 2013, take a read of this blog post, about my favourite moments from the year.

Did you like the photos featured in this blog post? Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @TheWorldAndThenSome where I post lots more gorgeous photos from my travels!

What has your 2013 highlight been?


My Favourite Moments from 2013

2013 has been a pretty good year for me…. after months and months of planning and organising our big round the world trip – 2013 was the year we finally got to set off and do it. Because it was such an incredible year, I wanted to put some of our highlights down on paper (virtual paper!). So here are my favourite moments from 2013 (in no particular order I might add!).

Storm chasing in Hong Kong 

Whilst we were in Hong Kong, it never seemed to stop raining. One particular day though, as we boarded the Star Ferry, on our way back to our hotel – we could actually see the storm approaching. You can see it in the photo below, and from the moment that photo was taken, it took about 5 minutes to reach us on the boat. I can honestly say, I’ve never seen or felt rain like it. It literally came out of nowhere, and then just pelted down for about an hour at full force. Pad and I were in absolute awe of it, and although we attempted to shelter for awhile, in the end we just legged it into the rain and decided to risk it. Needless to say – we got absolutely drenched.

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Waking up to this view in Hong Kong

We wanted to book ourselves a room with a view when we were in Hong Kong (because as far as views go – Hong Kong has a pretty incredible one on offer) so we opted for a suite at at The Langham Place Hotel in Mongkok. It was so stunning, and the room was everything we’d hoped for. The view from our window is what you can see in the photo below – and it was just perfect. Waking up (and going to sleep) with that outlook was just incredible.

For more photos of gorgeous Hong Kong, click here.

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Winning (and gambling) at The Marina Bay Sands in Singapore

Now, Pad will claim it was his idea to walk away from the table when we did (whatever…) but whoever’s idea it was – we went away from the Casino $200 up. If only we’d been as lucky in Las Vegas a few months later….! It was literally like we couldn’t stop winning… I think the old man next us was our lucky mascot. Definitely an amazing way to end our time in Singapore.

To read more about my time in Singapore, click here.

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Having a private luxury pod on the Singapore Flyer

We were gifted some complimentary tickets for The Singapore Flyer by their PR team, and expected to rock up and experience the regular tourist attraction. What actually happened, was much different! We were chauffeured through to a private entrance, got to skip the entire queue, and walked straight into our very own luxury pod at sunset. It was pretty amazing – and even more so because it was a complete surprise. It was also the first time we’d both tried the famous Singapore Sling – and The Flyer was the perfect place to try it for the first time!

For my full review of The Singapore Flyer, click here. 

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Our 5 days on The Gold Coast

The Gold Coast was one of our last stops in Australia, and after a month of hostels and budgeting – we splashed out a little when we finally arrived at Surfers Paradise. Our hotel room overlooks the beautiful rivers, and every night the sunset was just beyond beautiful. We had planned to cram our 5 days there full of theme parks and activities – but when we arrived we realised all we wanted to do was relax and take it easy. We drank a lot of cider on that balcony, we (attempted) our very own Oz BBQ (and failed miserably!), we ate a lot of frozen yoghurt, had the best caesar salad ever, and we spent hours laying on the beach doing absolutely nothing.

For more information about The Gold Coast, click here. 

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Learning to surf in Noosa

We hadn’t really prioritised surfing to be honest, but a girl we met at our hostel recommended it to us – so we decided (on a whim) to give it a try. I think we were both a bit apprehensive looking back – but within 20 minutes in the water we were both in love! Learning to surf was so much fun, and both us have agreed several times since, that it absolutely was one of the best things we ever decided to do. I know that Pad is beyond excited to give it another go as soon as we’re anywhere near another beach – so next year should be much the same! If you are looking to learn surfing, Noosa is such a beautiful spot to do it and quite an appealing spot too. The waters are warm, not to deep and it is home to Australia’s best surf school!

Click here for info about our first surfing lesson in Noosa.

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Seeing The Great Barrier Reef

I can’t really put this into words. But if you’ve been – you’ll know. I’ve never before felt so small, so insignificant and yet so free and inspired. I know that sounds super lame-ass. But you really can’t understand until you’ve been and seen this whole other world under the waves. We didn’t even get the best weather for it (I suffered pretty horrendous seasickness whilst on our boat) and yet, you still can’t avoid the beauty and the peacefulness that lies underneath the waves.

It was bizarre actually. Above the water there was wind, gales and you were being thrown about, but then once you were underneath the sea it was completely different. Pad and I spent our time gliding around under the water holding hands (otherwise we would’ve drifted apart!) trying to point out all the amazing creatures. At one point this turtle swam up literally a few centimetres in front of us, and I got to reach out and touch it’s shell. That right there, was just amazing.

To read the full blog post about our day on the reef, click here.

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Introducing these guys to Fergburger (and other things!)

During our last few weeks in Queenstown, two of my very best friends came and stopped with us in New Zealand for a few weeks. Sharing our new home with them was so much fun – and it was great to share all these amazing things we’d done and found with them too. This included Fergburger, Flame (Ben’s face when he saw the size of the mixed grill was hilarious!), Fat Badgers (which we had like 3 times?!), and the gorgeous Kelvin Heights (where we finally jumped in the lake).

More about all that, by clicking here! 

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Onsen Hot Pools in Queenstown

This was such a treat, and really was a once in a lifetime experience. Onsen Hot Pools are located a little way out of Queenstown (about a 10 minute drive through the mountains) but worth the trip – especially for those who want to do some relaxing after all the adrenaline activities. We went for the evening package, and has champagne, candles and even a little picnic hamper. Perfection!

For a full review (and lot’s more photos!) of The Onsen Hot Pools, click here. 

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NZ Road trip with Moogan

For Paddy’s birthday, we rented a car and explored our little bit of the South Island. We crammed so much in, and it was so much fun just zipping around, playing music a bit too loud and finding all those hidden places we’d never have found without a car. The reason he looks so happy below – is because of how modern and swish the car was. The previous time we had rented a car in NZ, we’d been stuck with a car that was about 30 years old… and still had a cassette player. One of my most hilarious memories from this road trip was Puzzling World in Wanaka. They have this one room on there where you feel like you’re walking up but actually you’re walking down. It’s weird – and difficult to explain. Anyway, the aim of this room is to (quite simply) get to the other side without falling over. We’d both fallen in to the final wall and were already laughing, when this old Chinese man turned the corner and mouthed “help me!” with all seriousness. All three of us burst out laughing and we were still laughing out it an hour later.

For more on our road tripping stuff, click here. 

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New Years Eve in Sydney

I can’t think of a better way we could’ve started 2013. The night was perfect, the view was breathtaking and the experience was just priceless. I’ll never forget it – and for anyone even contemplating spending NYE in Sydney, I would just say DO IT. We spent the night at Sydney Harbourlights and it was the best money we’ve ever spent.

For more info about an incredible night, click here. 

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Finally seeing the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas

I loved Las vegas, and my favourite part was (of course) the Bellagio Fountains. Not much to say other than WOW. Yes they’re touristy, but they’re so magical too! I’d been so excited to see them, and they didn’t disappoint at all. We’re hoping to go back to Las vegas in 2014 – so I hopefully won’t have to wait too long to see them again!

Click here to read more about Las Vegas. 

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The Grand Canyon

Another thing I’d been dying to see, needless to say, the Grand Canyon didn’t disappoint either. I mean…. how can it?! We went with Pink Jeep Tours and everything about the day was just fantastic. I wouldn’t have changed a thing about it.

For more info on our day in The Grand Canyon, click here. 

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Putting our padlock on Padlock Bridge

Paris was our last destination of the year, and putting our Padlock on the bridge seemed really fitting. We’ve been through a lot this year, and that seemed like such a perfect way to round things off.

Click here to see more photos from Padlock Bridge in Paris.

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Moving into our new London home 

After months of being on the road earlier in the year, we were both so excited to be settled into a home again. We’ve decided to settle in Balham (South West London) and our home is so gorgeous. Moving day has definitely been a highlight, and every day since too.

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I Have Something To Confess.

One thing I was hoping to get out of travelling – or rather, get rid of – was my fear of flying.

I know. Why travel the world when you are absolutely petrified of flying?

Why put yourself through multiple flights on average, every 5 days, if you hate it?

Well, honestly – because I think my passion for travel out-weighs my fear for flying. But that doesn’t make it any less real. 

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I honestly thought that eventually, by travelling, my fear would gradually fade into the background. That it would simmer down and that perhaps I’d be able to finally relax into a flight and the idea of flying instead of dreading it the entire day prior.

But that hasn’t really happened.

I had a bit of a breakdown on our last night in Bangkok, because I’m so sick of feeling paralysed by this fear. And I think it’s important to talk about it – because unlike what many people may believe, travelling isn’t fun 100% of the time. For me, it’s incredible the entire time we’re on solid ground. But the day when we’re due to fly? And the flight itself? You’ll find me clutching my boyfriends hand, a bag of nerves, wishing I was anywhere else but there.

So maybe it’s important to be honest about these things. 

And maybe, if you’re someone who also has a fear of flying, and you’re reading this. Maybe you’ll feel encouraged by the fact that even though I hate flying and it fills me with pure dread, I still board that flight and I cope with it the best I can. Because I know travel is worth it all.

But I’m trying so hard to overcome it, despite a few hiccups along the way.

Over new year, we had a terrible flight into Queenstown, NZ where our plane had a missed approach on landing and we had to surge up the engines again metres from the runway and take-off again. I was an absolute wreck during those few minutes, and I think it erased any progress I’d made previously. Before that, I’d never really hated the landing part (because, hey – it means you’re nearly there) but now my nerves are so on edge during landing I find myself glancing around the cabin frantically every 30 seconds. Pad compared me to a Meerkat – if that helps you imagine it. A super panicked Meerkat. Having a bad day.

Ever since then I’ve felt myself getting worse and it’s become a bit of a downward spiral. In Thailand on a couple of internal flights we had to fly on smaller planes with propellers instead of engines. This was almost a breaking point for me. I literally felt overwhelmed by the fear. I even contemplated having us drive across Thailand and hiring a taxi to take us to our next destination (making a 45 minute plane journey a 7 hour drive). But Pad being the ever supportive boyfriend he is, assured me that I’d be OK – and we were. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t spend the entire flight gripping his hand and cutting off his circulation.

Why am I writing this?

Well, after I had my Bangkok-Breakdown, Pad asked me what I was actually scared of. And I put it down to a mixture of things.

I hate not having control.

I don’t understand how it works.

I hate the sensation of flying.

I dread the turbulence. And I hate the dreading.

It goes on.

So Pad told me to start researching how a plane works. To help me understand. So I could understand exactly what all the sounds were that scared me so much. So I could change my outlook of flying, to a positive one instead of a negative one.

I don’t know why I’d never thought of it before honestly. I feel a bit foolish for never typing into Google “How does a plane stay in the air” or “tips for fearful flyers” but I never had before that night. Which is stupid. Because there are so many people out there with the same fear (1 in 6 apparently) and they are all there, online offering advice.

So now, I know how a plane stays up. It’s something to do with lift, and the way the air glides over the wings of the plane – which creates different pressure levels. And that makes me feel a bit better.

I also know that whilst turbulence is a discomfort – it isn’t dangerous, and the planes are designed to with-stand it and they are designed to be strong and safe in turbulence.

I found this website…. and I read through the FAQs and the forums and I can’t thank the guy who wrote it enough.

I read tips like, watching children’s television helps – because they distract you easily and are designed for short attention spans. I read that it helps to imagine turbulence as bumps in the road or like waves on a boat. I read that it helps to imagine the captain doing day-to-day things like brushing his teeth and driving to work. And then imaging him going home after the flight to his family and having tea. Because, although it isn’t to you – this flight is completely routine to him.

It’s helping now, just typing all this stuff out. 

So, last night when we boarded our plane to Hong Kong I was feeling OK. Not confident, not happy or excited – but OK. Which was enough for me at that moment in time. I told Pad, that during this flight I was going to be brave, and that I was going to cope. Which I did.

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Turns out, it was a blessing I found all that advice, and especially the website which I mentioned earlier – because this flight to Hong Kong was a particularly bad one. We actually descended into Hong Kong at night time through a Thunder Storm, probably the biggest thunder storm I’ve ever seen. My heart is beating harder in my chest just describing it. We could see lightening out of the window, bright and white. The turbulence was bad – very bad. At one point we dropped a considerable distance, and many people on board screamed.

But the entire time, I kept my head down, I kept my hands in Pad’s and I closed my eyes. I kept telling myself all the information I’d read the night before. I kept recounting it in my head over and over. I even said a few of the things out loud, as if that might make it more true and convincing.

But I didn’t cry. And I didn’t panic.

In fact, when we touched down, I had dry eyes and I even managed to smile. And then minutes later, I managed to laugh. I had trusted the captain, I had trusted the plane and I was OK. Yes it had been horrible and frightening – and even now I’m trying not to think about it – but I had been so brave.

I don’t think I’ve ever said this, but I was really proud of myself. I’d actually surprised myself with how brave I’d been.

So, I probably can do this. 

And because the World has a sense of humour (and maybe as a reminder to me to have one too in situations like this), after the flight had taxied to the airport I started to pack up my stuff from the little pocket in front of me where I keep my tablet and headphones, etc during the flight. I reached in, and I saw something small, red and yellow, stuffed in the bottom of the pocket and pulled it out. It had clearly been forgotten by the last person who sat there.

It was a super hero mask.

Maybe that’s all I needed all along. 

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Queenstown in Video

So over the last 6 months I’ve been filming a few bits here and there, on and off. And this is the end result. I hope it does Queenstown justice, as the gorgeous place it is!

I’m actually hoping to make more of these little videos once we set off travelling next week, and I’m planning on making a mommoth one of the whole trip at the end of it all, so keep an eye out for them 🙂

Here it is….

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Welcome to Queenstown, New Zealand! from Elle-Rose Williams on Vimeo.


ZipTrek Eco Tours – Queenstown


Yesterday we went up the Gondola again (yay!) for an afternoon of ZipTrekking through the Queenstown forest! We were really lucky to have been given some complimentary tickets, so it was a great chance to enjoy one of Queenstown’s lesser known activities.

The ZipTrek tour is found at the top of the Gondola in Queenstown (where you’ll find some incredible views, an amazing restaurant and also the luge) and it’s a quick 2 minute walk from the Gondola to the left of the building. So easy to get to, and it was an awesome way to spend the afternoon – especially as a group of 4. We were in a tour group of about 8/9 (I can’t remember) who were all lovely. There was a variety of ages in our group, and everyone had a good bit of banter and chat along the way which was lovely – some of the older people in the group were actually the first to try spinning upside down! So kudos to them!

The tour starts with dressing up – in harnesses. Surprisingly – the harnesses were actually really comfy to wear and easy to get on. But don’t worry about this too much – the two tour guides who take you round will take care of getting you strapped in. Once you’ve got it on, you barely remember it’s there. So don’t worry about uncomfortable wedgies or anything…!

ZipTrek Eco Tours Queenstown

ZipTrek Eco Tours Queenstown

ZipTrek Eco Tours Queenstown

It’s a short walk along the amazing tree-houses to the first zip-line, and they definitely ease you in. Once you’ve done the later ones – the first one seems relatively tame in comparison  We were the first ones off this Zip-Line and it was great. I’m no adrenaline junkie – and was pretty nervous about the whole thing – but actually it was great. You feel really safe when you’re attached, and the tour guides who take you round will put you at ease and encourage you if you’re a bit slow off the edge. Which I was a few times!

ZipTrek Eco Tours Queenstown

ZipTrek Eco Tours Queenstown

ZipTrek Eco Tours Queenstown

Just in general, the tour is fantastic for sightseeing a bit of the nature surrounding Queenstown – and catching some gorgeous views. The tree-houses are so scenic, and reminded me of being a kid again. I mean – how much would the ten year old you have loved this treehouse?! Some of the views along the way were just magical, as you can see above. There’s about a 20 minute walk towards the end of the tour, downhill through the forest – and you can take the time to enjoy the views during that time – incase you missed them whilst zooming through the trees earlier.

ZipTrek Eco Tours Queenstown

After your first try on the zip-wire, the tour guides (ours were TJ and Rich) will teach you some tricks along the way. If you’re brave enough, you can swivel upside down along the way (props to Paddy for doing it!) and at one point you can also do a leap of faith – type thing off one of the platforms. Definitely a bit scary – but really cool. This was Paddy’s favourite part of the tour – which doesn’t surprise me as he loves jumping out of planes and stuff.

ZipTrek Eco Tours Queenstown

ZipTrek Eco Tours Queenstown

If you’re a bit of a fraidy-cat (like me) the nerves do wear off as you go along – and you become more confident. I don’t look nervous at all above – which I think was our 4th zip-line. I enjoyed the 4th and 5th zip-line’s the most as they were a little longer, which meant you had more time to enjoy the views along the way.

Another thing I’d recommend (if you’re a traveller experiencing this solo, which a few people in our group were) is to swap cameras with someone. That way you can each take photos of each other on the zip-lines.

ZipTrek Eco Tours Queenstown

ZipTrek Eco Tours Queenstown

ZipTrek Eco Tours Queenstown

This was one of my favourite views of the entire tour. It was great watching people zooming through the gap in the trees – and how photogenic is the view? This was one of the longer zip-lines, and one of the most enjoyable too. You had some great views of the lake as you went across – a paraglider even floated past as I was on it- which was bizarre!

ZipTrek Eco Tours Queenstown

ZipTrek Eco Tours Queenstown

ZipTrek Eco Tours Queenstown

ZipTrek Eco Tours Queenstown

The last treehouse of the tour is above, which is one of the steeper zip-lines and takes you down the last leg of the mountain! And of course – special mention to TJ and Rich who were our tour guides for the afternoon, who were awesome! And Jada who we met when the tour finished! 🙂

ZipTrek Eco Tours Queenstown

If you’d like to book yourself a place on one of ZipTrek’s tours you can do so here, on their website. We’d all recommend it as a fun afternoon in Queenstown – and they run all year round which is great too. So you can either do the tour during ski season – or during summertime. As I mentioned before – it’s something that is relatively hidden – but super easy to get to and a great thing to combine with the Skyline restaurant and Gondola beforehand.

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Cheap Thrills on the Thunder Jet, Queenstown

We managed to score some super cheap tickets on the Thunder Jet in Queenstown today (from the website) so that was the morning activities taken care of. Up early (well earlier than usual) and by 10am we were zooming at 85 KM/Hour along Lake Wakatipu. Definitely a good way to start the day and get you up and awake.

Thunder Jet Queenstown

We are the annoying rowdy ones in the back.

The Thunder Jet is the cheap version of the Shotover Jet that leaves from the centre of town, but there is such a huge price difference. Shotover Jet is about $129 for 30 minutes, whereas Thunder Jet costs around $90 for a whole hour (and that’s without a discount – our tickets actually cost £65). If you’re on a budget – the Thunder Jet is an awesome alternative – and you get more time in the water anyway – and you see some gorgeous sights as you’re whizzing round The Remarkables, so it’s worth every penny.

I decided to do something a bit different this time, with the photos – as we took a few clips of video too. So I’ve compiled it all together into a little movie below. Enjoy!

(It’s best to watch it in the small sized screen here – any bigger and the quality suffers a bit) 



Swimming in the Lake: Queenstown

You can’t visit Queenstown in the summer without getting in the lake. Swimming in the lake in Queenstown is one of the most fun things you can do in the town, it’s amazing!

Lake Wakatipu is huge, and there are loads of places you can go for a day of swimming by the lake. We headed to Kelvin Heights Golf Course and set up a little picnic by the big jetty. It’s only $10-ish return on the water taxi (which leaves from the centre of Queenstown every hour) and it feels a million miles away from the busy town centre.

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The first time jumping in the lake was COLD. I mean really cold. But it’s so worth it.

It’s so nice swimming in the lake, because it’s not salty and you can open your eyes under the water – and not have to worry about swallowing horrible salty water unexpectedly. Which makes it pretty awesome – even though it’s freaking cold.

The second, third and forth times we jumped in though – it got much more bearable. Maybe our skin was just going numb though and we weren’t noticing the cold as much as before… If you have a little wet-suit type swimming costume you might be able to bear the cold a little better – so I’d definitely recommend wearing one if you can!

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Make sure you have some towels handy for when you get out – because you’ll need them! I also recommend having some food and drink handy too – there aren’t really any food shops or vendors near the area where the water taxi drops you off.

If you can time it right, I’d grab a few fergburgers before jumping on the water taxi, and then you literally have the most epic snack ever for you time by the lake.

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Your transport for the day will be the water taxi. It’s a little tricky to board it from such a high jetty – but it’s all good fun and I guess if you fall in the lake whilst doing so – it’ll be something to tell the grandkids. The water taxi is actually a pretty awesome way to see the lake from the water too on your way over – it’s cheap and cheerful, so it’s a pretty cool experience in itself.

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Queenstown LUGE!!

New Zealand is Beautiful – especially in the summertime. And by far, some of the most fun I’ve had since living here was our day spent on the Queenstown Luge. WE LOVE THE LUGE! It’s basically an awesome go-cart track (but more awesome) with big slopes and scary bumps and (obviously) a gorgeous view too.

It’s hard not to get excited. Let’s face it. There are even free rides on the ski lift too (even if you’re not riding the Luge). And the helmets come in 4 colours. Amazing.

The restaurant at the top of the Gondola, is by far the best view in the whole of Queenstown. Maybe even New Zealand? Big claim – but I think it stands. It’s not too pricy either (considering how spectacular it actually is up there) and the buffet is yummy. If you don’t quite have the budget for the restaurant though, there are some super cute picnic tables outside (pictured!) where you can set up your own little al fresco dining experience. Two pretty good options, I think you’d agree?

I mean, even if you aren’t going to ride the Luge…. going up there for these incredible views is worth it. You can parachute down the hill back to town too – something I’m super excited to do sometime before we leave. I’m terrified of jumping from a plane (way too high for my liking) but the idea of jumping off the side of a hill doesn’t seem so drastic and scary. After living in QT a while, you actually get used to seeing the parachutes in the sky, and it becomes almost normal to see 3/4 flying above you as you have a coffee or walk round the shops.



Skateboards and Hitch Hikers

There are two things in life, which I (being totally honest here) thought only existed in American movies. These two things are: Skateboarders and Hitch Hikers. Sure, I knew that both of these things were actually things (and not made up, like say – Unicorns) but growing up in the UK, you only ever get skateboarders in skate parks, and you only ever get hitch hikers – if they’re doing some charitable event across Europe.

In NZ (and Australia I noticed) though – people use skateboards as a legitimate mode of transport. They actually use it to get from Point A to Point B. Not just for fun, or for doing fancy tricks in the park, or even to fill some teenage angst stereotype – people skateboard here because it is a fast, and nifty way to travel. It’s a weird thing to get used to really – at first it used to scare the bejesus out of me every time one of them went past.


Because skateboards are loud! Not like Tony Hawk would have you believe on his video games. When people are using them to scoot at 40 miles an hour down the road – they sound like cracks of thunder, and you look and there is nothing there – just some barefoot hipster (yes, barefoot – those danger dabbling ruffians) making his way to work – zooming down the street 10 ft ahead of you.

The other thing, as the title suggests, is hitch hiking.

Now, I know that hitch hiking is a thing. That people do. But if I’m being honest – I thought it was something that people only do in two of the following situations:

1) Raising money for charity, so you can say you’ve hitch hiked across Europe or to Morocco. Or something like that.

2) In horror movies as a sure fire way to “get dead”.

These are the only two situations of hitch hiking I have ever come across. EVER. Oh, and that episode of Friends where Joey and Pheobe drive back from Vegas and pick up the random guy. But even in that occurance the first thing she asks him is “Are you a murderer?”

In New Zealand though, hitch hiking is pretty common, and it’s (apparently) perfectly acceptable and safe. Not that this would ever convince me to do it, but I’m always surprised by how common it is here. Pad and I walk to the gym most days in the town, and on numerous occasions now I’ve spotted people standing on the main road with their thumbs stuck out. It’s so cliched I want to laugh – but it’s real and they’re actually doing it.

When my family came to stay in November, they drove to Glenorchy, and on the way back told me they picked up a random girl who had been planning to walk back to Queenstown. First of all – this girl is mental, because that’s like a 5 hour walk – but also they didn’t really think it was a big deal. But if the same had happened in London – I’d be like “YOU PICKED SOMEONE UP OFF THE STREET!?”

But in Queenstown, I think it’s a bit different. Maybe it’s because of the travellers lifestyle here in NZ and the common goal that most people seem to have. Who knows.

Have you ever hitch hiked? 



A Queenstown Christmas

Just a note to say, Merry Christmas to everyone, have a fantastic day! We’re 12 hours ahead of you all – so we’ve already had our Christmas day – and are now slobbing out on the sofa, so very full of Christmas food and sweets and chocolate.

Here are some photos from our day – enjoy!

Christmas Carols in Queenstown town centre on Christmas Eve evening. Swiftly followed by drinks on the beach.

A very busy Queenstown beach. Such a great atmosphere!

Gorgeous, right!?

We did all the traditional things – like cooking a huge Christmas Dinner, with all the trimmings (even Yorkshire Puddings!!) and opening present, drinking and then falling asleep infront of a film. When we woke up from the film though – we headed down to the beach in 26 degree heat, to enjoy some sunshine and ice-cream. Pretty sweet, huh?

Here’s some photos of our amazing dinner:

And of course…. CAKESSSS!!


Sky High Views Are The Best Kind.

When we first flew into Queenstown (when we first moved here) I didn’t have a window seat. Which is always rubbish. Especially when you are flying over New Zealand.

When we flew out to Wellington this week though (more on that here)… I DID HAVE A WINDOW SEAT! Which means I spent the entire flight blocking the window with my big head and my camera.

I also played Temple Run for several minutes (the official Disney version incase you’re curious) and beat my high score TWICE. 

So all in all, it was a good flight.

Mainly because of all the high-score ass-kicking I did. But also because of these beautiful photos I took:


The Best Places to Eat in Queenstown

Whilst we’ve only been here a just under a month – I feel as though I am completely in the right now to write a post about the best places to eat in Queenstown. Granted, there are still lots of places we still need to visit (there is a Japanese restaurant outside our gym, which always smells amazing) but I can always do a Part 2 – once we’ve been to the Japanese place. And also the Burrio place up the road from the gym too.


Anyway – Here are our favourite places so far:


Apart from Hawksmoor in London (which also serves up super awesome ribs) – this places is now home to the best ribs I have ever had. I don’t care if you don’t like ribs. If you go to Flame you should get them. Try them. And then eat your words as well as your meat. They also do amazing cocktails – because obviously you need something to wash down all the ribs and steak you’ve ordered. The portion sizes here are huge – but the quality isn’t compromised by the size, which make it all the more enjoyable. The only downside is the size as it’s quite a small restaurant – but this wont affect you if you’re clever enough to ring ahead and book a table (which you definitely should).


Fergburger is like a little hub in the middle of Queenstown. We’ve been there a few times now – and it’s always either bustling or completely full – one a few occasions there have actually been people queuing round the block for one. It’s basically a take-out burger place (if you do manage to grab a seat – you’re very lucky, as there aren’t many) so it’s perfect for a sunny day, when you can grab a  burger and go sit by the lake. The portions are also huge here – so unless you haven’t eaten in weeks all you need to order is the burger… no chips necessary!

Palace on the Lake:

Chinese food is one of my favourite kinds – so I really wanted to track down a decent Chinese place in the first couple of weeks. A week in we mistook a Korean place for a Chinese place and had a kind of bizarre meal (I guess it was OK though….) but then we finally found a normal Chinese place, that was soo good. I keep trying to find excuses to go back. Is it Chinese New Year anytime soon? No? Damn.

Hell Pizza:

I’m pretty sure one of the first things you do when you move to a new place is order pizza take-out? You know, when you haven’t been shopping yet and you haven’t got anything in the cupboards! Hell Pizza is amazing – So much good pizza yummyness. They also do this thing (which is beyond awesome) where you can play ‘Pizza Roulette’ and in one slice of pizza (but they don’t tell you which) they pile in loads of hot chilli’s into the sauce. Oh an the pizza box makes scary faces too. Which is cool.


This place is great for those with a sweet tooth or a coffee habit – because you’d be beyond satisfied here. The do this amazing ice-cream (every flavour ever in the world) and also incredible sorbet too, the have the biggest range of home-made chocolate I’ve ever seen, and they also do good coffee. Oh, and there is free-wifi and it’s right by the lake so the views are great.

Places we still need to visit: 

– The Japanese place near the gym

– The Queenstown Grill @ The Hilton

– Winnies Pizza (Update: We just went here, it’s veryyyy good! Awesome bar area too). 

– The Burrito place near the gym

– Breakfast @ Vudu



A Photo Post

Thought I’d do a post full of photos – I haven’t uploaded all our photos so far (for obvious reasons…) so loads of really nice ones have been missed out. But they’re so pretty – so I thought I’d dedicate a post to some visual loveliness. Enjoy!

Cute Couple having Wedding Photos near the Lake

Cute Couple having Wedding Photos near the Lake

Queenstown Gardens - New Zealand

Queenstown Gardens – New Zealand

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Queenstown Gardens

Queenstown Gardens

Our Balcony View

Our Balcony View

The Remarkables

The Remarkables

Queenstown Gardens

Queenstown Gardens

The Remarkables

The Remarkables

The little lake in Queenstown Gardens

The little lake in Queenstown Gardens


TSS Earnslaw

TSS Earnslaw

The Remarkables

The Remarkables

Lake Wanaka, Queenstown

Lake Wanaka, Queenstown

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Gorgeous Yellow Tree Thing

Gorgeous Yellow Tree Thing

Pretty Plant that makes pretty photo.

Pretty Plant that makes pretty photo.

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This Is What We Moved Here For

When we were planning our move to New Zealand, the sheer amazingness of the views on offer in Queenstown, were what swung the decision for us. When you Google Image Search: Queenstown, the most common image that pops up is taken from the Gondola thing at the very top of the town. Ever since I saw that view (and ever since we arrived here) we’ve both been dying to go up and see the view for ourselves.

Amazing right?

We finally went up there today and it was amazing! We decided to hold off for a sunny day (we’ve had two in a row now…wooo!) so the views would be clear, and it was definitely worth the wait. We got up there in the mini cable cars, which were steep and scary, and then had lunch at the gorgeous restaurant at the top – which looks over all the amazing lake and mountain views. It was buffet-style, and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone visiting here, we both had Salmon Steak with Caesar Salad for mains and it was so yum. I am hungry again just talking about it. Damn it.

We planned to have a walk around outside afterwards (which we did) but only for around 10 minutes as the wind really picked up and neither of us took a proper coat. Serious mistake. We managed to take a few photos before both us were basically freezing alive – so we ran back to the cafe and had a drink instead. They actually closed the chair lifts today too because of the wind, which made us feel less wimpy.

We’ve also been chatting a lot about where we want to be going next – and it looks like Thailand has been on both of our minds a lot. For me, it’s because I’ve been there before and know how beautiful it is. For Pad, I think he’s eager to get out and see that part of the world, because he’s yet to see it all. The sunshine is quite appealing too – both of us are craving a beach I think! And maybe some sea and sunshine!

Yesterday we went on a bit of a booking spree though, and booked a few extra days in Sydney for NYE (we were originally staying for a week – we’re now staying for 2) so that’ll be awesome. We’ve got a swish hotel for the first week in the city centre, and then we’re staying in the YHA on Bondi Beach (recommended by Lauren) for the second week – which will be a nice change of pace. We also booked a trip up to Wellington for the beginning of November. And I really want to book Milford Sound soon too – but it’s probably best to wait until summertime for that – seen as they recently closed the entire place because of snow.


10 Things I’ve Learnt About New Zealand

We’ve been here 10 days now… so I thought I’d write about 10 things we’ve learnt since arriving. I think New Zealand is the kind of place you don’t fully understand until you’ve visited. You can’t really describe it or explain it until the person is stood right next to you, looking at the same incredible views or experiencing the same ever-changing weather.

This is kind of the situation I put Pad in before we left. Sure, he told me it was beautiful. And big. And epic. But his words could never do it justice (and neither could mine)…. So it wasn’t until I arrived that I understood. 

But also, as you’d expect – there are things we needed to learn during the first few days here. After all – WE MOVED ABOUT AS FAR AWAY FROM HOME AS WE POSSIBLY COULD. It’s not like I expected it to be the same as the UK, but we’ve definitely had to adjust. Because our London habits weren’t doing us much good in the mountains. Figures. It’s just the little things really – things I never would’ve thought of. But here are some things we’ve learnt in the last 10 days:

1. The water is blue here. All the time. Not just on sunny days. 

You know The Thames? You know how on sunny days it is glistening and blue and beautiful? But then on a rainy day or a dull day – all that glistening blue gorgeousness just gets forgotten (and instead you have a brown river)? Well New Zealand isn’t like that. At all. The water is always blue. ALWAYS. And it’s not just blue, it’s like blow-your-mind turquoise.

2. Pumps (and heels) don’t cut it. 

I am a pumps girl. And a heels girl. In New Zealand (in particular Queenstown) pumps and heels just don’t work. This breaks my heart a little bit – but I have worn trainers more in the last 10 days than I have in the last 10 years of my life. But actually, what with all the walking, hills, rain, snow and steps – nothing other than trainers / mountain boots is worth wearing at the moment. Sure, it’s still winter here and once Spring and Summer arrives (which should be soon) I think I’ll have the go-ahead for normal girl shoes once more.

3. The weather changes every minute. 

Don’t even bother Googling the weather in New Zealand – because chances are it’ll be wrong. The weather here is like some unpredictable toddler with a toy box. It doesn’t know what it wants to do and changes it’s mind every couple of minutes. One morning we woke up with blue skies and sunshine – within an hour it was snowing and I couldn’t see out of the window for cloud. Whilst this can be annoying (“What should I wear Pad?! Is it going to Snow do you think or will the sun come out and roast us alive?!) it’s also very exciting. I kinda like it.

All of these photos were taken within 24 hours

4. New Zealand TV is awesome. 

I know it’s New Zeleand and I shouldn’t even be watching TV (I should be watching the mountains) but it’s so hard when the TV is so good. For years I have watched the brand new How I Met Your Mother , Dexter and Simpsons episodes illegally, due to the UK’s inability to broadcast them at the same time as the US. But New Zealand have it sorted. Boom. Also they show Futurama every day. This is wonderful. Oh and most importantly… Ellen Degeneres!!

5. Hills are everywhere

You cannot escape them. Our walk into town is all downhill (oh, nice and relaxing – I hear you say). Yes. Not on the way home though. On the way home we kick the hills with anger. Why can’t you be equally distributed and not steep? Why?!

6. They sell guns here

We’re going to buy one and shoot the hill. Just kidding. This doesn’t really impact us. It was super weird going into a shop and seeing real guns on the shelves though.

7. Everyone is super nice

We have not met one unfriendly or stressful person since arriving here, everyone is so nice and everyone smiles and everyone just takes it easy. Which seems like a huge departure from London. I hate to say it – but when you go from London rush-hour scowls to super-friendly people everywhere – you really notice it. It’s infectious too.

Here is us. All infected with happiness.

8. There are no Pigeons 

I can’t remember whether we saw pigeons in Auckland (I wasn’t exactly looking for them, you know?) but since being in Queenstown, we haven’t seen a single Pigeon. Instead of Pigeons, there are these lovely fat, happy ducks (from all the fergburgers they get fed) and chirpy little seagulls. Which seems like a pretty decent trade.

9. The sun is turning my hair red

Who knows why but this is happening and it’s a reality. Pad has taken to called me by two new nicknames: Ginger and Ginge. It’s not at Ron Weasley stage yet but the sun here is so powerful it is literally bleaching my hair. We were in the sunshine for a couple of hours today – and not only is my hair looking a few shades lighter, but we’ve both burnt a little too.

Definite red-tint

10. It’s awesome

We knew it would be. But it’s nice to be right about stuff like this. Couldn’t be happier.



sunset in queenstown

Last night we went for an amazing meal at this restaurant called Flame in Queenstown. I know I dedicated a whole post to Fergburger – but ohmygosh this restaurant also deserves a whole post too. I’m not going to give it one (short of time here) – but it does deserve one (just so we’re clear). If anyone is planning a trip to Queenstown in the near future – visit Flame (on the main street by the lake-side) and order a full rack of BBQ ribs. Trust me, you’ll be so thankful.

What do these ribs come from… Unicorns?!

It’s also the first clear night we’ve had whilst we’ve been here. In the past few nights, by the time evening comes the sky is clouding over slightly, or it’s raining, or it’s snowing. It was really nice walking into the town because the sun was still shining and last night the sky was just kind of dusty cloud so you could still see the sunset.

We like.

Those who know me, will know that sunsets are my most favourite thing to photograph. I get a bit camera crazy when sunset happens. It’s like tourettes but with a camera. I can’t control the shutter button. It’s a problem. A problem that makes pretty pictures though.

My favourite place so far in Queenstown is the Queenstown Gardens – just outside the centre of town. We can actually walk through the gardens when we walk into town, it takes a little longer – but it’s so pretty and the views and incredible. We both biked through there yesterday (on our new bikes!!) and it’s really gorgeous and a decent ride too. The only down-side being, on the way back home there is the world’s BIGGEST hill. Needless to say – we didn’t bike up the hill. We crawled. Whilst crying into the pavement. 

Sometime soon I will photograph the afore mentioned hill so you can understand the steepness. But just so you can picture it properly (and don’t think we’re just being hill-wimps) it kind of looks like this:


Anyway. Here are some pictures of the sunset:

Pretty nice, huh? 🙂


We Were Born to Eat This Burger – Fergburger

If you’ve ever been to Fergburger you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t – it’s a pretty solid reason and pretty strong justification for booking a trip to New Zealand.

No, really.

I’ve never had a burger like this before.

I don’t think my photographs do it justice either. Which is actually probably a good thing – what with the risk of you drooling over your keyboards right now. What makes it so damn good?

– The bread. Not crumbly and not to squishy. Just good bread. Also it is the perfect huggable size for the burger – so you don’t end up a slipping sticky mess come the final bites when the bread to burger ratio is all ruined.

– It’s cooked right in front of you. And you get it within 10 minutes of ordering. That’s fast food. Except it isn’t “fast food” it’s yummy hearty proper food, just fast.

– It comes with the best mayo I ever had. I’ll go back just for the mayonaise. Seriously.

– You don’t need to order chips. Which is money saving. The burger is so MASSIVE you would be a fool to order chips. Unless you are some hugely experienced burger genius who is trained in burger and chip consumption.

– It’s very fresh.

– It tastes so good.

– It’s also VERY reasonably priced. Which in a tourist hot-spot is quite rare. Also considering the burger now has “cult” status – trust me – they could be charging double.

I am actually really proud of us for only going once so far. We’ve been here 4 days – and only had one Fergburger. That’s quite an achievement. We are here for 6 months though – so I’m guessing that by the time we leave – we’ll have sampled every single burger they have to offer.

Challenge ACCEPTED. 

Here is us all excited from burgerness:

Also – this was on the wall near our seat. It is funny. It also explains in better words than I ever could, how huge the burgers actually are:



An hour in Queenstown

We woke up this morning to heavy snow over the mountains – which was gorgeous! I was hoping we’d get to see some snowfall whilst over here – but it seemed unlikely because NZ is approaching summer rather than winter – so I’m considering myself very lucky to have seen some!

Needless to say I was straight out onto the balcony taking photos (I now have numb feet from the cold) and the photos were stunning. Funny thing was, as soon as I got back inside and got warmed up – the view outside had completely changed again. Meaning I had to go back out to take more photos.

It carried on this way for a good hour. The weather changes so fast here – I’ve never known anything like it. One minute you’ll have blue skies and the next (literally – maybe 60 seconds later) it’s chucking it down and the sky is black.

This is how much the sky changed within 60 minutes:



So this is where we live now!

So, let’s start off by saying… Queenstown is amazing. We were so lucky, when we landed we were surrounded by clear blue skies – and the place was completely in it’s element. We went straight to our apartment to pick up our keys, and couldn’t have been more happy with it. It was a little nervewracking signing a contract on an apartment without ever having viewed it – but actually the apartment is gorgeous and the views are better than any photo could ever show you.

I’ll try though: 

There is a huge living area and open plan kitchen – which opens out onto a huge balcony, all with amazing views over the lake and The Remarkables. We’ve been super lucky actually, because our flat is at the very end of the street, so we don’t overlook anyone else directly – and we don’t have anything obstructing the views. And with views like this – it’d be a total bummer if you had something obstructing it!

I can’t quite get my head around the fact we’re actually here yet. Driving from the airport to the apartment felt incredibly surreal – after months of Googling photographs and Street View – it was so bizarre actually seeing the place for real. It surpassed all expectations too. The water is bluer, the mountains were bigger, the air is fresher than I ever could have imagined. I think Pad was sat there in a bubble of relief – because it was completely his call moving here!

I can see now why Pad was so dead-set on moving here. For a while I was thinking, maybe we’d be happier in Auckland because I’m more of a city girl than a country girl (even though I grew up in the countryside) – but actually (having now been to both places in the last couple of days) Auckland has nothing on Queenstown.

Queenstown feels like somewhere that someone has painted. You know that scene in Mary Poppins where they jump into the paintings and everything is a little brighter and a little better? That’s kind of what it’s like driving through Queenstown on a sunny day. It just exceeds all your expectations 100%.

Like I said, photos don’t do this place justice. I tried – but they just don’t. Here are some more though from our balcony. Because they’re still really pretty….!

Here are some photos of the interior of our gorgeous apartment too… (nearly) as beautiful as the exterior! We have 2 awesome double bedrooms, both with ensuite bathrooms (so guests will be more than catered for – come visit us!). The showers are INCREDIBLE too- literally amazing, ooh and there is underfloor heating too – which we won’t be using (because it’s summer time here) But still. That’s when you know you’re living somewhere awesome. Paddy once said to me when we first started dating, that he’d know he’d made it when he had a toaster with room for four slices. I might buy one just to confirm it for him. But I’d hope the underfloor heating has him convinced.