New Zealand travel series: South Island
Queenstown, New Zealand is a land full of whimsy as it is affectionally called the adventure capital of the world. If you want something thrill-seeking, Queenstown is your place. For our honeymoon, we flew into Auckland, (read about the 17 hour plane ride here and our adventures in the north island here) then flew to Queenstown to see what the south held. The south island held adrenaline and relaxation for us both.
Photos courtesy of Millbrook Resort
The Millbrook has multiple awards for many different categories including best luxury golf and lifestyle resort and number one hotel in New Zealand. The resort is situated on a golf course with a spa, restaurants, workout facility, and more all on the property. We could have stayed there and not left the property for days. Their rates are fairly reasonable for a resort and I would highly recommend staying there for a relaxation portion of a trip.
We stay at a wide array of places from hostels to resorts and this was definitely a “treat yoself” stay. If you watch Parks and Rec, then you know what I’m talking about. We ordered room service, got a couples massage, relaxed in the hot tub, and took strolls around the resort. This place is a must in my opinion. Check out the resort here.
We also stayed at an Airbnb in Arrowtown which is located just 15 min east of Queenstown where we flew in. If you are looking for a budget friendly option, look into this adorable little town for some lower rates than Queenstown. You can get $20 off your Airbnb booking here!
I would consider myself a moderate adrenaline junkie because I have always enjoyed experiences that push me out of my comfort zone like sky diving and climbing half dome. Bungee Jumping has been on my list for awhile and once I heard the highest bungee jump in Australasia was by Queenstown and was suspended by cables, the butterflies in my stomach were saying I had to do it. I will admit, it was probably the scariest thing I have done to date. There’s something about jumping off a platform by yourself and hoping that the cord doesn’t snap that will truly get your heart pumpin.
We bought a package to get photos and video, which was totally worth it. I love having documentation and proof to look back on since you basically black out through the process. I remember barley being able to talk or walk before I jumped because I was so nervous. If you watch the video you can see how hesitant I am walking to the platform and how slowly I make all of my movements. It pushed me way out of my comfort zone, however, I am so glad we did it and I had a blast once my feet were off the platform.
We booked our experience through AJ Hackett, which is worldly known for the adventurous experiences they provide. I was extremely impressed by their well oiled system and high quality service. There’s nothing like not trusting a company right before you could plummet to your death… however, they made us feel very comfortable and that we were in extremely good hands. They also offer other experiences like giant swings and zip lines. This experience took about 1/2 a day to complete and if you’re an adrenaline junkie like me, you have to try this!
Fergburger is worldly known as a tourist necessity, so much so that there is hardly ever a time that a line is not spilling out of their doors. We waited for about an hour for our burgers and were happy to once the delicacy hit our lips. Everything is made fresh in the restaurant and the burgers definitely lived up to the hype. Try to go before or after typical eating times. You’re most likely guaranteed to wait in a line, but it might not take you as long as normal.
The experiences in Queenstown are reason enough to visit, but the scenery and beautiful landscape are their own. We were constantly awestruck by the staggering mountains surrounding the city and the type of people the city holds. Queenstown truly is a magical place.
Next up in the series is our overnight kayaking adventure in Milford Sound. Stay tuned.