Just a few days ago I went on a quick solo trip over to Queenstown and for someone who is from New Zealand, it is almost a crime that I hadn’t been until now (or at least that is what people proceeded to tell me).
Being relatively close to the town I would usually opt for catching a coach down or hiring a car but since I booked this trip so far in advance I managed to score cheap flights through GrabOne! Which helped to also cut my travel time by at least 5 hours!
The flight itself only took an hour and as we flew down in-between the snow-capped mountains I was greeted with some of the most breathtaking views (something all too common in Queenstown). So if you ever find yourself booking flights over I must say this is one of those times you should definitely upgrade to a window seat!
As I arrived at my destination blue skies and sun beaming I made my way through the airport and out the other side, the airport itself is rather small with only one door in and one door out.
Over the zebra crossing is the bus shelter where you can catch the number 1 bus which takes you straight into town, when hopping on you have the choice to pay a cash fee or like I did, purchase a ‘Go Card’ for $5NZD with a $10NZD minimum top-up, buying a card cuts your travel fares down to $2 so if you plan on taking a few bus trips while you are there a card is a great option!
It took just around half an hour to reach the main town centre while the bus journey itself was just as picturesque as the flight (prepare to take a lot of scenic shots!) My hostel, along with all the many others, was right in the centre of town which is perfect! I stayed at the Adventure Q2 Hostel which was a nice, cozy space with friendly staff and lots of things on offers like ski gear and activity planning support.
I spent a lot of my first day following my feet around the town, Queenstown itself is actually pretty small, especially the town centre so it’s a nice place to just wander around.
After aimlessly walking through the many shops and along the bustling water-front I decided to invest in a gondola ride for some views overlooking the town.
Being on my trip solo came with an advantage when it came to the gondola ride, the company has just recently introduced a line-skipping option when you arrive solo or are willing to split up with your group, this means you can skip those long lines and be first to head up on the gondola! It does mean you may have to be third-wheeling with other couples like I did but for me, it was worth the awkwardness!
The views from the top were just spectacular!! I spent a good couple of hours up top looking out over the mountains, watching people bungee jump and even grabbed myself some free pizza in the cafe!
On day two I decided to take myself down to a well-known place called ‘Fergburger’ for brunch. If you have ever been to Queenstown you will no doubt have heard of this place! It is world-renowned for its burgers and is buzzing with eager customers from the moment it opens to the second it closes! I thought of bringing myself down for brunch might result in me missing the dreaded cues but there’s no escaping it! But in saying that the customer service was A+ and my food was made in record time for how busy they were!
I can’t quite say the burger was really all too life-changing but the place itself has so much hype it almost becomes a must-do when coming to Queenstown, even Ed Sheeran has eaten there!
After my brunch, I decided to take a casual stroll around the beautiful Queenstown gardens and along the shore of Lake Wakatipu while watching people have ago at the Frisbee golf that is set up around the park. The park itself is just a short walk away from the town centre so it is the perfect place for you to stretch your legs and get some fresh air before heading back to the hustle and bustle.
As I made my way back I decided to stop into the ‘Patagonia Ice Creamery and Chocolaterie’ for some of the best ice cream I have ever had! The place has so many goodies on offer and if you choose to eat in, opt for sitting upstairs where you can watch the bakers in action and catch some great views of the lake!
Since I am not quite the adrenaline junkie myself, two days was enough for me to get a great feel of Queenstown and experience a lot of what the place has to offer on a budget! Although it really is a place that thrives on adventure sports you can still have a nice time taking it a bit more easy like I did!
I loved every minute I spent in this winter wonderland and plan to return one day in the summer and maybe even find the courage to try paragliding!
If you even make it to New Zealand, Queenstown is a must-see place no matter who you are!