Wednesday 2 June 2021

Queenstown Mamamoon

There is no better travel buddy than your Mumma! Not only is she your best friend but she tolerates all your weird habits, forgives you when you get grouchy, you can borrow her clothes and you both know exactly what the other one would like to do and see while on holiday. I would hit up Coachella with my Mum (Yip, I'd choose her over all my besties). She’s the funnest, best person to party with. Trust me, we've danced on top of a few bar tables to know this!

We also needed some much needed mother and daughter time after spending a year apart due to COVID. So, we've invented a new trend called the Mamamoon! That’s right…a mother and daughter holiday! We love to go on trips together and have been to Ireland, Italy, and Greece just to name a few. But since becoming a mother myself our adventures have been more about changing nappies and making bottles.

With a global pandemic happening we are still blessed to be able to travel and explore our own beautiful country and decided to head down to Queenstown for some much needed girl time. This would be my very first trip away from Arlo so it was a big deal for me, but Mum was super supportive and understanding when I needed to facetime him every 5 minutes! Thank god for technology! It did make me feel better knowing that he would be enjoying one on one time with his Dad.

Queenstown makes the ultimate destination for a girls getaway. Each time I come here I’m reminded why New Zealand is called ‘The Land of the Long White Cloud’ with its magnificent beauty and snow-kissed mountain peaks. There is something here that photography just can’t capture. A certain je ne sais quoi – the stuff dreams are made of.

There are loads of travel websites that share what there is to do in Queenstown but, we're going to share exactly what we did on our girls trip. The crème de la crème of recommendations on what to do, eat, see and where to stay while there. We hope this inspires you to have your own Mamamoon or trip away with your besties.

We arrived at our destination mid-morning, grabbed our hire car and headed straight into town for the first thing anyone should buy when arriving in Queenstown…Fergburger

This is the best place to get a burger in the whole of New Zealand! The line can be super long but it's worth the wait. After picking up our burgers I knew the best place to go and enjoy them.

Perky’s Floating Bar is Queenstown and New Zealand’s only floating bar! Situated right in the heart of Queenstown bay, Perky’s has endless views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains. You can also bring takeaways onboard so this is the perfect place to enjoy a Fergburger while enjoying the views and a drink. They do a range of locally crafted beers and Central Otago wines that you can enjoy on their heated rooftop deck or snuggle up in their wooden booths inside the boat.

But we had sunshine and cocktails!

That afternoon we rode the Gondola up the mountain to the Queenstown Skyline, and what a view we were greeted by. As if seeing Queenstown from down at street level wasn’t magnificent enough.

This birds eye view showcased the town, Lake Wakatipu, and the Remarkables mountain range in all of its shining glory. It's probably the most touristy thing you can do but, without a doubt home to one of the best views in Queenstown.

It was time to check into our accommodation perched on the slopes of Fernhill, close enough to the city centre but far enough to feel remote and soak up some incredible wild, unspoiled, panoramic scenes of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains. Kamana Lakehouse is one of the newest, and fanciest, boutique hotels in Queenstown. 

The rooms are beautifully designed, with T2 teas, Bluetooth speakers and soft, modern decor.

After freshening up we made our way to Madam Woo for dinner. Mum and I love Asian food so this was a must visit while in Queenstown and I always find myself returning here every time I visit Queenstown because their food is so good. They do a range of Malaysian fusion style sharing plates and you must try their famous signature dish, hawker rolls.

Waking up well rested in our super king bed we made our way to the hotel's restaurant for breakfast where you can grab a hot breakfast made to order and they also have a breakfast buffet filled with healthy bits and pieces like fresh fruit, muesli, juice and coffee.

Any guesses what my favourite thing about this hotel was?! 

That's right, our own private hot tub! Available exclusively to Kamana Lakehouse in house guests, this is another reason why this hotel is gaining reputation for the most instagramable hotel in Queenstown. These tubs are much cheaper in comparison to the Onsen Hot pools which are often booked out weeks in advance but only a few steps from your hotel room. We spent the morning soaking in the tub and admiring the view overlooking the misty mountains.

For lunch we headed to Rata, a new restaurant I hadn't tried before but had heard great reviews about. It’s owned and run by Michelin starred chef, Josh Emmett and renowned local restaurateur, Fleur Caulton. It has been a while since I've wined and dined without a toddler on my lap and I enjoyed every moment.

 I loved the stylish setting and attentive service without being formal or overbearing and the food was fantastic. 

One of our favourite dishes was Southland cheese roll with bitter leaf salad, preserved apricot, honey & mustard, hazelnut.

It wouldn't be a mother and daughter trip without a bit of pampering. We headed to Sofitel So Spa which is voted one of the world's best hotel spas. I’ve been lucky enough to stay at a few Sofitels around the world and had treatments by So Spa before so knew we would be in the best hands. No pictures were taken here was so nice to switch off and fully relax. We both enjoyed a 90 minute massages. Afterwards we went and enjoyed their relaxation room and discovery bar, where we were encouraged to further unwind over freshly brewed tea and healthy snacks. We both left feeling so relaxed and energised and walked out feeling like we were on cloud nine! 

It’s no secret that Queenstown is beyond beautiful, and you can't visit Queenstown without going for a walk around the waterfront and enjoying Queenstown's botanical gardens which are only a few minutes walk from the main centre. You may even spot a few jet boats taking people out for a spin! There are a few places to rest, perfect stops for picnics, a rope swing and plenty of photo opportunities.

Ok, so if you can’t tell by now mum and I are big foodies. While planning our trip to Queenstown the most important thing was the selection of restaurants we wanted to try. We were both excited to visit Tatsumi which does authentic Japanese cuisine with a modern twist. If you like Japanese food this is the place to go! From the moment we arrived till the end of our dining experience, was delightful. The flavours were so good and the presentation was beautiful. Our favourite dish was the salmon sashimi. 

That evening we had a few drinks at Nest back at our hotel. There’s no real need to head into town, because the bar at Nest is exactly where you want to be when the evening rolls around. With luxe furnishings, like these incredible fireplaces that hang from the ceilings and comfortable couches it was the perfect way to finish our day.

You cannot visit Queenstown without visiting Arrowtown. A quaint historic gold-mining town on the Arrow river only 20 minutes away and quite possibly my favourite place in the whole of New Zealand. It's absolutely beautiful in Autumn when all the trees turn golden and becomes a photographer's dream! First stop was a mandatory photo at the ever so photogenic miners cottage and a walk along Arrow river.

Then it was off to breakfast at Chop Shop. I was so excited because this place hands down, is my favourite cafe where every dish is exceptional. Down one of the back streets of Arrowtown, you will not find it filled with tourists because only locals and those in the know, know about this amazing cafe.  Mum had the potato hash with smoky corn and capsicum salsa, sour cream, avocado, bacon and fried eggs. 

I had the Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes) with crispy prawns, sweet soy, pickled ginger, bonito flakes, Japanese mayo and herbs. 

After breakfast we explored the main street which is incredibly quaint, filled with European and Chinese styled buildings from those old pioneering days.  This little village is filled with amazing fashion boutiques and gift stores so we did what we do best and did some shopping before heading to our lunch destination.

We arrived at Amisfield Winery and Bistro for the ultimate food experience. As you enter the estate you can find the cellar door to your right and restaurant to the left with a huge window overlooking Lake Hayes. Walking past the huge fireplace and comfy chairs you will find the outside eating area with a reflecting pool in the middle.  

We were excited to try their signature ‘Trust the Chef’ menu. We enjoyed multiple courses of smaller portions. Each meal was artfully presented and the flavours went together perfectly. We were in food and wine heaven.

My all-time favourite dish was these storm clams with fig leaf and whey.

For our last night we decided to stay in Arrowtown’s countryside. Situated on the shore of Lake Hayes sits five private luxury cottages and one of them was ours for the night. This was the perfect way to end our time here providing a peaceful escape and some time for us to truly relax and enjoy each other's company. 

Each of the five cottages can sleep up to four adults with two bedrooms and en-suites, a large open kitchen, dining living room and bar.

We loved all the little details around the cottage along with aa hand written welcome note, a local bottle of wine and some fresh eggs for us to enjoy during our stay.

The beautiful lounge with a large window seat. This is the perfect spot to take in the awe-inspiring views  and perfect spot to cosy up to at night in front of the wood-burner.

The spare bedroom become the perfect place to put our shopping that we had done earlier in the day. 

Given it’s spectacular rural setting it’s no surprise that these stylish cottages have been designed with indoor/outdoor flow in mind, and the outdoor spaces offer a gorgeous haven to enjoy the landscape and tranquillity. We made up a platter and mum opened up a bottle of local wine to enjoy.

And then this beautiful rainbow appeared right in front of us!

What I was most excited about was our own private hot tub! Right outside our cottage overlooking Lake Hayes. It doesn't get much better than this!

Can you spot the aeroplane? 

We loved our time here. It was the perfect way to end our time in Queenstown however, we still had another destination to enjoy before heading home. 

We headed to the beautiful Milford Sounds! Blog post coming soon!

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