I recently traveled to Queenstown, which is located on the South Island of New Zealand. I have never been to New Zealand before so my whole trip was full of new experiences and sights.
Queenstown is similar to my home (Vancouver, BC) in ways. It has lots of water around it and mountains. The main mountain range in New Zealand that is visible in these photos is called The Remarkables. It shares a common trait with The Rockies in that it is the only other range in the world that runs North to South. These photos of Queenstown were taken from the viewing platform of the Skyline Gondola.
There were some fabulous views from up here. We also enjoyed a Haka performance at the top of the gondola. Haka is a traditional war dance performed by the Aboriginal people of New Zealand, the Māori. The dance was used to challenge other Māori tribes and show off the warriors with fierce postures. This is the only place you can watch a Haka performance in Queenstown. It occurs daily starting in the evening. We chose the gondola package that had the Haka performance included. There are also other activities like late night star gazing and luge tracks. There are several different spots to eat and drink at the top as well. Call ahead to book your spot during peak seasons. I was here at the beginning of autumn (end of April). Queenstown is very busy from December to March.
Patagonia Chocolates is a very popular spot in town. In fact, they have 2 locations very close to each other in the downtown core. They serve up all types of chocolate creations, hot drinks, churros and award winning gelato. If you didn’t get enough of them while in town, you can catch them at the Queenstown airport as well before you head out.
The lake water in Queenstown is so pretty because it is glacier fed. It always had a gorgeous dark turquoise blue colour to it. Queenstown is a skiing town too so it reminded me of Whistler, BC in some ways. There is a large ski culture present and there are many mountains nearby to ski on.
I cannot tell you how many rainbows I saw in Queenstown. From the moment we arrived to the day we left, I think we saw rainbows daily.
I had such an amazing week in Queenstown. I really loved it because it had such a relaxed vibe and so much supernatural beauty. Other than driving on the other side of the road, I found it very easy to be in New Zealand. Queenstown is a nomadic town so there are many nationalities from all over the world residing here, not just Kiwis. I would love to return to New Zealand one day and explore much more of it!