New Zealand, Part IV: Queenstown

It took me nearly a full day to travel from Bay of Islands, at the northern tip of New Zealand, to Queenstown on the South Island.

It began with a drive, followed by a car ferry, followed by more driving.

Next up, was a small jet from KeriKeri to Auckland.

The airport in KeriKeri is small and charming.

There’s a woman who makes cookies and sells them whenever a plane comes in.

(A long cry from the chaos of Los Angeles International Airport!)

From Auckland  it was about a two and a half hour flight to Queenstown.

I arrived around 4 p.m.

It was pretty easy to find my way out of the Queenstown airport.

Way Out © Suzanne Haggerty 2016 W

“Way Out” – Many of the signs in New Zealand made me smile.

I picked up my rental car and headed to my hotel downtown.

It was a spectacular late afternoon in Queenstown.

Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown, New Zealand, just before sunset.

The sky was clear, the weather was warm, the air was dry, and the scenery was stunning.

I hurriedly dropped my bags at the hotel and set off to explore.

My first stop was at a small cafe with an outdoor patio on Lake Wakatipu.

I hadn’t eaten in about twelve hours and I was starving.

I ordered a New Zealand craft beer and a $20.00 (New Zealand dollars!) steak.  (The equivalent of $13.40 US.)

The beer was STRONG and I was tipsy after just a few sips.

(Yes, I’m an alcohol lightweight, and also … empty stomach!)

Once I had refueled, I began walking the town and eventually hiked to the base of the world-famous Queenstown gondola.

I wanted to time my gondola ride for sunset.

In no time at all, I found myself approximately 1,500 feet (450 metres) above the city of Queenstown.

The view of the town, Lake Wakatipu, and The Remarkables was breathtaking.

Queenstown looks small when you’re on top of the mountains!

I hiked around as much as possible, mountain-top, before sunset.

I was already in love with Queenstown and my plane had only landed a few hours prior.

When I saw the mountains turn a beautiful indigo and golden rose with sunset, my heart skipped a beat.

The Remarkables bathed in sunset beauty!

Once the sun was out of reach, behind a mountain, I took the gondola back down to town.

I took this photo from the Queenstown gondola when I was over halfway down the mountain.

I don’t love heights, but the gondola ride up the mountain was definitely worth the view.

In large part, my day had been consumed by travel.

But, I definitely had made the most of my afternoon and evening in Queenstown.

I knew I was quickly falling in love with New Zealand.

(New Zealand travel stories to be continued ….)

New Zealand, Part I

New Zealand, Part II: Bay of Islands

New Zealand, Part III:  More Bay of Islands

7 Responses to “New Zealand, Part IV: Queenstown”

  1. Julieanne

    Hi there! Loving the posts so far! 🙂 out of curiosity, if the ‘way out’ sign made you smile, what do the signs for that say in the States? I can’t remember and just assumed they said the same as here in Oz (which is also ‘way out’)

    Love to hear what some of the other little things were that you noticed, so that I can see if it’s something our Kiwi cousins do the same as us (although even ‘across the ditch’ as we call the Tasman Sea – there are a few differences :-))

    • Suzanne

      Our signs say “Exit.”
      I made a lists of small things which I found new/different and/or amusing.
      Maybe I’ll mention them in other posts, or write an entirely separate post just listing them.

      • Julieanne

        Ha yeah I guess that makes sense 😉 I suppose I’m used to seeing both signs together (the green one being the ‘fire safety’ type one that stays lit in case of a blackout etc) and never thought about 🙂 you got me thinking, though, that our ‘entry’ signs never say ‘way in’…

        I just thought of another one! We call what you would regard as a ‘sweater’, a ‘jumper’, which apparently in some parts of the states means a dress? And there is the famous one about a certain piece of footwear you guys call ‘flip flops’ which, let’s just say, shares its name with what you guys call a particular women’s undergarment 😉 (spoiler alert, our Kiwi friends call them ‘jandals’

        Looking forward to your upcoming posts 🙂 xx

  2. gina

    I love hearing about your travel experiences and seeing the stunning photos you capture! That gondola ride must have been amazing! Colors are so vivid that I can’t imagine them to be real (says Dorothy from the Land of Oz).

    In ref to the “way out” sign….I wondered why there wasn’t just a large EXIT sign above the door. I thought at first perhaps the term “exit” isn’t used in New Zealand, but then I noticed the smaller exit sign. HMMM. Love those little differences in languages/customs.

    Thinking of you as the week progresses, and hoping for all the best for you.

    • Suzanne

      Thank you!

      The gondola ride at sunset was STUNNING.
      I really would like to return to Queenstown for a lengthier stay …
      It’s so beautiful and I’d like the opportunity to capture it during various seasons and light.

      I wondered the exact same thing about having both a Way Out and Exit sign next to each other. Maybe they think the American tourists won’t understand what Way Out means?
      Ha … It made me smile!

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