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We can’t deny that we’re a couple of travel buffs. That’s exactly why we couldn’t wait to head to scenic Queenstown in New Zealand. You could easily spend a month here but we had limited time and had to choose which things to do in Queenstown in 3 days. Our travel to the town went pretty smoothly. We had one flight that started in New Plymouth and ended in Wellington. We had to wait at the airport for around two hours. It was well worth it, though. Finally, we were off to Queenstown! We got in at the beginning of the afternoon and took a cab straight to Rydges Lakeland Resort. This is one gorgeous hotel. We did a bit of unpacking and then decided to take a stroll around the town.

Rydges
Rydges

We had a blast during our walk. This Southern Alps destination is nothing if not a sight for sore eyes. It’s also a great place to do a bit of walking. If you’re outdoorsy like we are, then you honestly cannot go wrong here. We’re big on shopping so we decided to head to a place called Queenstown Central. It’s a shopping mall that’s equipped with shops that cover so many bases. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for apparel, technological devices, books, accessories, household goods, toys or anything else. 

You can find anything here. Some examples of the stores we came across during our brief visit are The House of Beauty Therapy, The Meat Preachers, Social Clothing & Co. and Kim’s Asian Foods. We decided to check out Social Clothing & Co. for a bit. We were both totally unfamiliar with the shop. Social Clothing & Co., in a nutshell, is a haven for apparel items that come from New Zealand, Indonesia, America, Europe and Australia. We had a brilliant time checking out all of the stylish yet sturdy attire items that were on hand there.

We also adored browsing Kim’s Asian Foods for a bit. We found some terrific snacks from Japan, South Korea and Taiwan there.

We were famished after all of the travel so we decided to look around the mall for an eatery that was appealing. We picked Sal’s Pizza, although it was tough. We were in the mood for slices that were reminiscent of New York City. We sat in a relaxing booth and it was the ideal meal to kick off our Queenstown experience.

queenstown

Ice Bar

We left the mall and headed straight to a place that’s called Below Zero Ice Bar. We heard a lot of people waxing poetic about it as well. It’s a one-of-a-kind bar that consists of 20 tons in total of transparent ice. It’s all sculpted by hand. If you want to see something truly distinct in the middle of Queenstown, this is the place to go. It was amazing to be in a bar that had ice furnishings, walls and glasses galore. Despite that, we still managed to feel nice and snug the entire time.

ice bar
ice bar
ice bar

Even though we had that late lunch, we were hungry again by the time we got back to the hotel. We had an amazingly filling dinner there. No regrets!

Queenstown gardens

We woke up on the second day feeling ready to conquer the planet. We decided that we wanted to check out the famed Queenstown Gardens. This is on the outskirts of the town. It’s a soothing botanical garden that’s brimming with plants and trees of all kinds. It even has a calming pond that’s optimal for reflection and simply taking it easy. I adored the rose garden. It was one of the most majestic things I’ve ever witnessed in my life.

queenstown garden
garden

Helicopter ride

After that, we enjoyed a ride in a helicopter.We traveled to Milford Sound, a fjord that’s brimming with marvelous sights and sounds. We got the opportunity to gaze at waterfalls and rainforests alike. It was honestly one of the most breathtaking things I’ve ever had the privilege of coming across. Note, too, that it’s a sanctuary for all kinds of creatures including dolphins, penguins and even seals. We returned on the same helicopter. Heli Glenorchy was our company of choice.

helicopter
in the air

Rata restaurant

Once we got back, we were extremely hungry. We couldn’t wait to have dinner at a restaurant by the name of Rātā. If you want to test out bona fide New Zealand fare, this is the place to do so. It was tasty. We noshed on roasted eggplant, blue cod and a bitter leaf salad there.

Rata

Queenstown luge

The third day was just as incredible. We relished a picturesque ride on a gondola. We got the chance to take in Queenstown vistas that were quite simply extraordinary. The ride lasted for roughly five minutes or so. We couldn’t stop staring at the wonders of the lake. We felt brave enough to tackle the Queenstown Luge afterward. These carts are a force to be reckoned with for anyone. We couldn’t get enough of all of the tunnels, nooks and crannies. If you’re a fan of speedy rides, then you have to make the Luge one of your Queenstown visit priorities.

luge
luge

Onsen Hot Pools

Since we were a bit tired after the Luge, we opted to head to the Onsen Hot Pools for a little bit of unadulterated leisure. Hanging out in the warm water was truly luxurious. It was particularly luxurious to do so while staring at the gorgeous mountains that were right next to us. Shotover River is unparalleled in its visual charms.

onsen pools

It’s no surprise that we wanted to eat something after this jam-packed day of exhilaration. What did we decide to eat? We chose to head to an Italian eatery. Needless to say, we both have penchants for dishes from the boot-shaped nation in Southern Europe. We picked a wonderful place called Bella Cucina on Brecon Street. It’s been a staple in the area since its launching back in 2008. I chose to order the irresistible baked sole fillets. My other half went with a mouthwatering vegetarian pizza pie. We shared a few fantastic dough balls with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and garlic as well. We genuinely fell in love with this place.

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