Friday 26 April 2019

J&J Queenstown

Queenstown is one of my favourite places in New Zealand. Jake had never been, so it was time to take my boys to Queenstown and let this mumma show them exactly why she loves this city so much. 

We've always wanted to see more of New Zealand and it's crazy to think how much travel we have done as a couple and yet there are still places we haven't seen in our own backyard. We were down in Queenstown to celebrate something rather special, our five year wedding anniversary! We hired a helicopter and renewed our vows on a mountaintop! Gosh, I couldn't think of a more amazing way to celebrate five years of marriage with my husband, standing on the edge of a mountain top surrounded by mountain ranges. Full post coming soon!

We went to Queenstown with our close friends and talented photographers, Michelle and James from Patina Photography. This wasn't the first time we have been in front of their lens and I'm sure it won't be the last. We all decided to hire a Airbnb and make a holiday out of it! So you may see James or Michelle pop up in the photos, or they were probably behind the lens on some of these images. No need for our trusty friend the tripod on this trip! 

Exploring Queenstown:

There's nowhere quite like Queenstown, sitting on the edge of the lake surrounded by incredible mountain ranges. We took walks around the beautiful lake finding cute little rock jetty’s, gorgeous willow trees dangling over the water, and tire swings suspended from their branches. The town itself is filled with cute boutique shops, cafes and restaurants, with plenty of variety and must try eateries. My favourite landmark would have to be the Old Lower Shotover bridge which offers eye-catching 360 panoramic views of the river. We loved watching all the jetboats speeding below us, spraying water and hearing the screams of enjoyment from their passengers.

Where we stayed:

We stayed at the Old School House which is situated in a stunning location near the Shotover river. This converted old school house was beautifully renovated with so much charm. It was super warm and cozy, along with being very child friendly. We walked in the front door and felt immediately at home and loved having a fireplace along with a heat pump for instant heat. Staying in a Airbnb when you have a little one is extremely advantageous, like having a decent sized fridge for his food and a kettle to warm and sterilize things. We made good use of the kitchen and it had all you needed to whip up some easy meals. Becky, our wonderful host gave us a warm welcome, showed us around, gave us tips and suggestions for the area along with some delicious homemade treats. In the words of Mary Poppins “Practically perfect in every way.”

Where we ate:

Fergburger - Fergburger is super famous in Queenstown and for good reason. The line is super long but so worth the wait. We also popped next door to Fergbaker where they have the most scrumptious baking.

Yonder - A cute restaurant which is in an old converted historic cottage, where we managed to secure a table in the beautiful sunny garden out the front. They had an amazing brunch menu. I went for their pull pork eggs benedict and Jake had the kimchi bowl. Both were delicious.

The Pear Tree Kitchen - Be sure to pick up a Belgium hot chocolate or some real fruit ice cream from this cute food truck along the waterfront. It's situated out the front of Vesta Design Boutique which is the perfect place to pick up a gift or souvenir.


Lake Moke is a popular short, loop track walk. We walked around the edge of picturesque Moke Lake, through grassland and the surrounding majestic mountains. After a short climb, we were rewarded with a stunning view overlooking the lake.

Day Trip to Glenorchy: 

Glenorchy is only a 40 minute drive from Queenstown and another true slice of New Zealand paradise that is a must visit while in Queenstown. It’s so beautiful. This small quaint village has been used as the backdrop for Lord of the Rings and other blockbuster movies. The famous red building is a must see in Glenorchy and a walk out on the pier provided us with all those beautiful Instagram worthy photos.

Where we ate:

We popped into Glenorchy Cafe which is in walking distance from the famous red building. This is an iconic cafe with a rustic country feel that does amazing food and coffee!


Lake Sylvan - A hidden gem that sits on the outskirts of Glenorchy. The track starts off with a swing bridge and then you enter a gorgeous moss green forest which leads you all the way to the lake offering beautiful views of Mt Arthur. It's an easy flat walk which makes it family friendly.

Day trip to Arrowtown: 

Only a 20 minute car ride from Queenstown, Arrowtown is a beautiful historic and charming village beside a river that begs to be photographed especially in Autumn when all the trees turn golden! The river itself was once famous for a gold rush in the late 1800’s when the Chinese miners came to Arrowtown to hunt for gold. The settlement they created is still in Arrowtown today and you can visit their rustic huts and enjoy the little history lesson provided on information boards.

Where we ate:

The Chop Shop!  Wow! We were blown away with this place. Everything we ate here was incredible. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! So much so that I forgot to take a photo of everyone's food because well, I was licking my plate before I remembered that I hadn't taken a photo of my food! I did however manage to get a photo of their amazing kumara waffles. I need to make another trip to Queenstown just to eat here again!

Day trip to Wanaka: 

Wanaka is about an hours drive from Queenstown making it another great day trip. Driving over the hills on State Highway 6, look out for the photo opportunity by the historic Cardrona Hotel, one of NZ’s oldest hotels about halfway between Queenstown and Wanaka. I’m so happy we managed to squeeze this into our trip. Wanaka has gorgeous stunning landscapes without the Queenstown crowds. This is also where you will find the famous Wanaka tree! We spent most of our time here enjoying the warm sunshine whilst walking around the lake.

Where we ate:

Burrito Craft is a permanent food truck located on Brownston St in Wanaka. Michelle and James recommended this place to us and I’m so glad they did. If you're looking for a Mexican fix in Wanaka, you must get yourself down to Burrito Craft.  

If you loved this blog post then keep following our New Zealand family adventures. We are planning on doing a full campervan trip of the South Island which will give us another excuse to visit Queenstown again!

No comments:

Post a Comment