Where do l start, Queenstown is teenager heaven! Or in the wise words of Mr 13 'this place is epic!' Miss 15 also cracked it for a smile, saying 'it's pretty good' which when translated into human means 'this is an awesome place!'
Skiing & Snowboarding -
First snow day was Coronet Peak, we each had some lessons and pledged our allegiances to #teamski or #teamsnowboard. 3 to 1 with me skiing being the apparent wimpy minority. Note - we hired our gear up the mountain and it was fairly pricey and the quality left a lot to be desired!
Second snow day we drove about 40 minutes up the mountain to The Remarkables, it seemed a lot less busy and also smaller than Coronet Peak, but just as scenic. Note - from day 2 onwards we hired our gear from Green Toad in Queenstown, the price was great and more importantly the gear was awesome and basically brand new... winning! The guys at Green Toad are so friendly and casual, they actually fitted us properly and sent us on our way with plenty of tips! Not only that, but they let us keep the gear for as long as we wanted and they charged us accordingly when we returned it at the end of the week, too easy!
Third snow day was Cardrona, a little further from Queenstown (about 40 minutes) but scenic and amazing. The day we went up was minus 9, so a little bit chilly and challenging to keep fingers and toes attached.
Fourth snow day saw us back at our fav mountain Coronet Peak. A full day skiing and snowboarding with a few less falls, bumps and brusies and a milder temperature of 0. A wonderful way to end our Winter escape.
Skyline Gondola and Luge - this place quintessentially IS Queenstown! You can see it perched high on the cliff from almost everywhere in town and no trip to Queenstown would be complete without a gondola ride and a luge or two or three down their hill. No matter your age you've got to have a go on the luge, everyone was loving it . Mr 13 literally said "it was one of the most funnest things l've done in the last 13 years!" Um ok l think that says it all.
The gondola was right up there with one of the most amazing things lve done in the last 39 years, just saying! The view was beyond stunning and literally picture postcard beautiful. Thankfully so, as it took my mind away from my hatred of heights and the fact that we were dangling high up in the air on a wire. Without question a must do for any trip to Queenstown!
Skyline Kiwi Haka show (at the top of the gondola) - let's be honest l admit l had to talk the teenagers into this one, but thankfully they both decisively agreed that it was cool, in fact Miss 15 even suggested she would have liked it to go longer! Yes longer! I know right! Coming from a 15 year old girl that says everything!
It was very cool to have experienced some traditional Kiwi culture because l'm not sure l saw a single New Zealander in Queenstown, well maybe there was one or two but not many lol! We definitely recommend the skyline Kiwi Haka show, it's good for all ages.
Vortex - these guys know what they're doing! When it comes to indoor entrainment they have it all sewn up into one neat and very awesome package! We started with their 12D cinema and it's truly something that has the be seen to be believed. We watched 3 movies and all were completely faultless and thrillingly entertaining, we could have sat there all day! Next we went upstairs and got into some very serious laser tag. We were paired with another couple, so it was 3 boys against 3 girls. What a blast, I haven't laughed so hard in a long time, it was a great family experience and we are still taking about how the boys cheated and the girls won! Just saying . Last but not least we had some hilarious 'green screen' pics done and they are so realistic you have to look twice! We all thoroughly recommend vortex as exceptional family fun.
Goldfields Jet Boat - are you kidding me! Fun, fun, fun. No trip to Queenstown is complete without a little white knuckle jet boating! We choose to go a little out of town to Goldfields (the drive was beyond stunning and well worth it on its own!) and landed in the fastest yellow boat lve literally ever seen. It was mind blowingly ahhhhmazing and the skill of our driver to come so close to the rocky edge left me completely awe struck. As l'm no fan of heights Goldfields Jet Boat was the perfect thrilling adrenalin rush while still on the ground. Word for the wise.. Beanie and gloves are essential and don't forget to ask your driver for a few extra 360 degree spins.
Onsen Hot Pools - I know you're wondering, after all that activity what did you do to relax in Queenstown? Let me tell you, we literally did THE most relaxing thing on earth.. Onsen Hot Pools. Our hot tub was overlooking the snowy mountains and was the most 'picture postcard perfect' view l've ever seen. But wait there's more, while soaking in pure heated bliss they delivered us snacks and beer. OK you had me at 'delivered!'
Million Dollar Cruises - Who wouldn't want to cruise around one of the most pristine lakes in all the world aboard a very awesome luxury (and more importantly heated) boat? Um nobody! We thoroughly enjoyed our Million Dollar Cruise and the extremely entertaining comentary that came with it. If you are looking for an affordable cruise that comes with the worlds most outstanding views, this is it! Do yourself a favour and don't miss this opportunity while you're in Queenstown.
Minus 5o Ice Bar - Dressed like an eskimo we entered into the very chilly world of the Minus 5o Ice Bar. What an awesome idea and an experience like no other, as we sipped from glasses made completely from ice, we laughed and tried very hard not to drop the slippery drinks that were slowly melting in our warm hands. What an absolute hoot and the teenagers absolutely loved the fact that they too were welcomed with mocktails and a friendly smile. A must do Queenstown activity and a fantastic initiation into a freezing but fantastically fun Queenstown Winter.
10 days in Queenstown, New Zealand was not nearly enough, although certainly better than 5 days. I think you could possibly stay here for a month and still find hidden treasures to experience. Have you ever been to Queenstown? If so, have we left anything awesome off the list?