That costs how much?!!
Looking for a short trip – either a girls weekend or a romantic getaway – look no more; Queenstown New Zealand is picture-perfect for both. The town offers bespoke and authentic luxury experiences, charmed by the ruggedness beauty of the surrounding mountains.
Queenstown is nestled on the shore of Lake Wakatipu and famous for its wineries, restaurants, golf courses, paramount scenery (For the movie buffs, The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit Trilogies were filmed in various locations across Queenstown and yes there is movie tours). For thrill seekers, Queenstown is known as the adventure capital, including helicopter rides, bungy jumping, jet boating, horse riding, canyoning, sky diving and river rafting all year round plus skiing in the winter!
For an unforgettable experience would highly recommend a helicopter over Cecil Peak stopping at The Ledge for a glass of French.
For a romantic getaway stay at the Hilton Queenstown like no other Hilton, Kawarau Village is Queenstown’s lakefront lodging and dining precinct situated directly on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Showing off unobstructed views of The Remarkables, the hotel is located just outside of the main town area where you can be delivered by water taxi, cruise or jet boat. Make sure you book the suites that have their own private hot tub outside overlooking the lake (Don’t forget your man!).
And for the ultimate indulgence, I beg you to visit their spa eforea and try the Rest and Restore Body Wrap (bliss).
Hotel St Moritz perfect for a girl’s weekend away located in the heart of town, known for its architecture and style capturing the essence of the alpine landscape featuring live fire places, great bar, nooks and crannies for that girly gossip session.
As I am a burger gal, you must try Fergburger. A hamburger restaurant specialising in gourmet burgers it’s so famous also known internationally in spite of not being a chain and only having the one location, my favourite the Southern Swine (make sure you try).
Wanting a fine dining experience, Jervois Steak House is definitely worth the splurge (and certainly not a restaurant for vegetarians) run by New Zealand’s Masterchef Simon Gault. Who has created some of New Zealand’s most innovative food offerings, try the JHS steak tartare with truffle and parmesan (I’m a sucker for truffle), Wagyu sirloin (marble score 4-5, they even have the Blackmore Wagyu marble score 9+ regarded as the best Wagyu outside of Japan pretty impressive, don’t you think?!) and if your still hungry would suggest the chocolate fondant or crowd of New Zealand cheeses for dessert.
Without a doubt, you will return home tranquil and fulfilled, knowing that you have just had a one-of-a-kind experience in Queenstown.
By Lisha Singh
Image via demo.gumgum.com, stmoritz.co.nz and jervoisqueenstown.co.nz
We have all heard of the Inca Trail, or bucket-listed the Everest Base Camp trek, but what about the other walking wonders of the world? These trekking holidays are the best way to take in unique scenery and discover hidden treasures, unseen by the regular tourist crowd. For those with a keen sense of adventure and an enviable fitness level, consider putting these atop your travel list.
Lycian Way, Turkey
The Lycian Way is a 509km (316 miles) walking track along the south coast of Turkey. It is estimated to take 25 days to complete the mountainous trek from Oludeniz to Antalya. It is best to visit in Fall or Spring as the Summer is far too hot for strenuous exercise in Turkey! You will find accommodation in small villages along the way and public transport is also available for those lazy days. Discover Lycian tombs, byzantine ruins, forests, and one-of-a-kind views of the Mediterranean coast.
Camino De Santiago, Spain
This is considered one of the easier trekking routes and is suitable for the amateur hikers or walkers. Don’t get excited yet, the trail, located in northern Spain, is 800km (497 miles) long. Fortunately, you can keep yourself amused with beautiful rustic villages and historical experiences along the way. The Camino de Santiago is typically a pilgrimage but, in recent years, has become quite tourist-friendly. Accommodation is competitive and privacy limited, but you will make plenty of friends along the way, with whom you can relax in the evening over a bottle of Spanish red.
Routeburn Track, New Zealand
Ever wondered what Frodo felt like on his trek from Hobbiton to Mordor? This 32km (20 mile) trek will take you through the heart of New Zealand‘s south island – the filming location of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. While no filming was done on the trail itself, the familiar green hills, snowy peaks and crystal lakes will still take your breath away. For families or people not keen on walking, you can do day trips to parts of the trail.
Bungle Bungles Piccaninny Gorge Trek, Australia
Australia has some of the most unique landscape in the world. This isolated, 5-day camping trek will take you on a journey through Australia’s Indigenous culture and the remote wilderness the first people call home. The gorge is surrounded by red and black “beehive” rock formations, with plenty of caves and waterholes to be discovered throughout the Bungle Bungles and Purnululu National Park.
Haute Route, France/Switzerland
This trail is more commonly a cycle route. But walkers can also enjoy this unique, up-close and personal experience of the Alps. As you can imagine, the incline is relentless. You will constantly be going up or down and you will need some serious leg muscle to get you through. But this is one of the most glorious walks or rides in the world. Unless you would prefer a ski trip, you should do this walk in Summer.
Just a short four hour flight from Australia you can step foot into one of the most beautiful countries in the world. I suppose I’m bias because I was born there but after travelling extensively in past years I truly believe that New Zealand has some of the best scenery in the world. If you haven’t been, I strongly suggest you make a point to travel there at least once in your life. Here’s why:
Abel Tasman National Park is breathtaking
Located at the top of the south island Abel Tasman National Park is home to golden beaches, native forest, marble formations and an ancient Maori fort site. You can travel to the Abel Tasman National Park for a day trip and explore on foot or by boat but the most popular activity is to embark on the Abel Tasman Coastal Track walk which takes between three and five days to complete. There are basic huts along the track as well as campsites which need to be pre-booked because of its popularity. Native wildlife including Tuis and Bellbirds fill the forests and blue penguins as well as fur seals also live on the rocks near Tonga Island. Enjoy swimming, kayaking and being at one with nature.
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Waiheke Island is paradise
Waiheke Island is located in the Hauraki Gulf just a short distance from Auckland and has some of the most outstanding scenery in New Zealand. Because of its beauty and relaxing atmosphere it is a popular spot for weddings and events. On Waiheke Island you’ll find white sandy beaches, pristine blue water and some of the most luxurious accommodations in all of New Zealand. Also on the island are a number of wineries as well as a brewery, an art gallery, a flying fox zipline and forest walk experience, a sailing charter and so much more.
Image Source: waiheke.co.nz
Queenstown is a winter wonderland
Tourists from all over the world travel to this resort town each year to experience unforgettable thrills and spills. Perched on the banks of Lake Wakatipu in Otago, Queenstown is a scenic town brimming with adventure activities for all ages all year round. If you love skiing then you’ll be in paradise in winter with four ski fields in close proximity to Queenstown including Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Treble Cone and Cardrona. If skiing isn’t your thing then consider bungy jumping, rafting, jet boating, para sailing, luging, golf, fishing…the list just goes on. For a more relaxed experience take a cruise on the TSS Earnslaw then disembark for a farm tour at picturesque Walter Peak, relax at a day spa or visit a winery.
Image Source: cardrona.com
Bay of Plenty is plentiful
In 1769 James Cook gave Bay of Plenty its name when he found a bay full of plantations and villages and to this day it holds true to its name. It is famous for fruit orchards including kiwifruit, citrus and avocado as well as wineries and fresh seafood. In Mt Maunganui you’ll find some of the best surfing beaches in New Zealand and close by is White Island – an active volcano that you can explore on foot. Because of the volcano, Bay of Plenty is well known for the thermal hot pools and spas that can be found in the area. Go fishing, spot dolphins or plan a romantic getaway to this relaxing part of New Zealand.
Image Source: civildefence.govt.nz
These spots along with countless others that I haven’t had time to mention (the glaciers, Mt Cook, the thermal city of Rotorua and the stunning Coromandel Peninsula) are the reasons why you should consider a trip to New Zealand soon. It may be small but it has a heck of a lot to offer.
Featured Image via hickerphoto.com