NZ Trip – Queenstown & Arrowtown

September 13, 2023
Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown

Queenstown, New Zealand

Day 8 (20 May)

Staying at The Ramada – Queenstown

Today was ‘the Tennis Player’s’ birthday so after brekky at our hotel’s cafe we layered up (5 degrees celcius today) & headed lakeside for his birthday adventure – the Shotover Jet Boat experience. He had a ball but says it wasn’t as adrenaline inducing as he thought it would be. From what I witnessed – it would be for me! He returned with absolutely freezing cold hands that had been gripping on tightly the entire time and his clothes were quite wet (mostly his pants because he had a waterproof jacket on)! Luckily we’d planned ahead and had a couple of towels packed in our backpack for this purpose. I suggest to anyone planning on doing this, that you wear some gloves (especially if doing this during the cooler months). After he dried off and got his hands warmed up we browsed the nearby waterfront markets & had a coffee.

Note that ‘the Tennis Player’ doesn’t want his photograph on the internet so I respect his wishes. There ‘were’ photographs taken of him and of the two of us but to respect his wishes they won’t be shared on my blog. However, don’t tell him but sometimes you’ll see a sneaky one of the back of him! Shhh!

Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, New Zealand

Note that in the video below, they go out beyond the jetty and stop for a group photograph and then they go out a bit further and hang about for a while while getting safety instructions and then BOOM off they go (but that’s another video that’s a bit too long to upload).

Next we were off to explore historic Arrowtown, a New Zealand treasure. It’s a scenic 25 minute drive from Queenstown, and a popular winter base for international ski teams. It’s charming and quirky – a delightful gold-rush village nestled below the beautiful peaks that surround the sparkling Arrow River. An interesting fact is that Arrowtown was originally known as Fox’s, named after William Fox an early gold discoverer. Then it was known as The Arrow and later Arrowtown.

We had a very enjoyable wander around the shops and I managed to find myself some lovely NZ Greenstone (Jade) earrings which was ‘my’ little adrenaline thrill for the day! I also picked up a wee little bottle of port from ‘The Winery’ (I’d been missing my port). We perused a fabulous art exhibition at the Lakes District Museum and Gallery and then for lunch we had the most divine Pumpkin & Coconut Soup with Cheese Puffs on the side at The Postmasters Kitchen & Bar. Absolute perfection!

After Arrowtown we briefly visited Gibbston Cheesery & Deli where we bought some cheese to take along with us on the trip. We dropped in at New World at Frankton to pick up a few grocery supplies on the way back to our hotel and had a quiet night in. 

I have a fascination with sparrows. We don’t really see them anymore in Brisbane. I’ve seen them in Melbourne when I’ve visited and I’ve seen them in New Zealand. Here’s an Arrowtown Sparrow. They’re so cute!

Day 9 (21 May)

Staying at The Ramada – Queenstown

It was really nice to take our time this morning and not have to rush off anywhere. We had brekky in our room using our own food supplies, followed by morning coffee at The Bathhouse where we saw a group of young men & women swimming! It was 4 degrees!

Ramada Queenstown

Ramada Queenstown

Next we went on a 90 minute cruise of Lake Wakatipu which was fabulous and of course, beautiful! We were privy to some interesting stories about some of the very expensive lakeside real estate along with some fascinating local history. We met a lovely couple from Perth who first came to NZ on their honeymoon in 1975 and they’ve been coming back often ever since. I can understand why. It’s picture postcard beautiful here!

Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown

After the cruise & some freshly cooked dumplings for lunch, we went for a walk around the Queenstown Gardens. Wow – what a beautiful walk. You simply must do it if ever in Queenstown. The Tennis Player was happy because it was here that he found the Queenstown Tennis Club and its tennis courts!


We went to the Artbay Gallery and saw some wonderful art but my favourite were some outstanding collage pieces by Virut Penchabuse, a Thai artist from Bangkok. The two photographed pieces you’ll see in the photo’s below apparently took him about 1 month each. To see the detail & work involved up close was mind blowing! His artworks were absolutely stunning! In fact, so much so that I have sketched/painted one of them in my travel sketchbook which you will see eventually in an upcoming Art Chat post.

We wandered around Queenstown a bit more. One thing I noticed there was that there are a lot of people vaping, and there are vaping stores (you’ll see one pictured below). I bought myself a cheap little New Zealand shot glass from a souvenir shop so that I had something to drink my port out of that I’d bought the previous day!

Queenstown New Zealand

Queenstown, New Zealand

We eventually returned to our hotel to charge up our phones and have a bit of a rest but went out again for a casual Thai dinner at ‘EatSpace’, a dining precinct at Queenstown that offers some budget friendly yet delicious meal options!

For the next NZ Trip post we’ll cover our day trip to beautiful Glenorchy and our final night staying at beautiful Queenstown.

Ciao for now,

Linking up with Denyse Whelan’s ‘Wednesday’s Words and Pics

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  • Reply Leanne | September 13, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    Such a beautiful spot Min and your water photos make it look really serene and gorgeous. You certainly got a lot of value out of your trip and I bet you’ll be back there before too many more years pass. It’s definitely high on my travel list.

    • Reply Min September 14, 2023 at 9:32 am

      Thanks Leanne. I loved Queenstown! I thought I wouldn’t because I’d heard it was a place for young people and thrill seekers. That may be so but it’s also a place for middle aged people who get their thrills by nature rather than extreme sports too! lol It’s definitely a place I’d revisit many times over. xo

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee September 13, 2023 at 4:52 pm

    It’s really funny, NZ is one of those places I know very little about. Your pictures are stunning (the low cloud in the second shot in particular.) But thecruise in Queenstown looks really gorgeous. Even the buildings surprise me at time. Glad there was some tennis for The Tennis Player. #WWandPics

    • Reply Min September 14, 2023 at 9:35 am

      I didn’t know much about NZ either Lydia. That’s the great thing about travel (well one of them) – you learn so much! I NEVER got sick of seeing snow capped mountains. Such a thrill and why I kept trying to take selfies of myself with those in the background. You can imagine how exciting snow capped mountains are to a Queenslander! 🙃

  • Reply Leslie Susan Clingan September 14, 2023 at 5:54 am

    What a trip. It just keeps reminding me that I need to visit New Zealand and Australia someday, sooner rather than later. Your artistic eye creates beautiful photographs as well as paintings. What medium is the art you shared by Penchabuse (new to me artist) done in? Looks like collage but not sure if it really is. Incredible talent. Loved realizing I could see the woman’s eyes behind her glasses. Was a surprise that she was looking back at me as I studied her!!

    Give me a hearty bowl of pumpkin coconut soup any day of the year. I had some delicious squash and pumpkin soup in Germany in 2017. My mouth still waters at the thought of it.

    • Reply Min September 14, 2023 at 9:42 am

      It was the most wonderful trip Leslie. I honestly can’t remember if I’ve ever had a holiday as long as 3 weeks but gee it was fabulous and I must do that again if not longer! The art by Penchabuse is Collage – amazing huh? To see it close up is to see the expertise and workmanship. It’s all tiny strips from magazines. Absolutely incredible. BTW – that Pumpkin and Coconut Soup with the cheese puffs on the side was THE most delicious soup I think I’ve ever tasted. It was just what I felt like. Hit the spot perfectly and we had the most gorgeous outlook as we ate it. I really hope you get to Australia and NZ one day!

  • Reply Sue from Women Living Well After 50 September 14, 2023 at 8:30 am

    Hi Min, aren’t we lucky to have the ability to record our travels and with photos that won’t fade with time. We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Queenstown although that was way back in the late 90s I believe. We have revisited NZ since then but it’s a place you could visit regularly and never tire of the views. Thanks for sharing your trip and bringing back some lovely memories for me. #WWandPics

    • Reply Min September 14, 2023 at 9:44 am

      Hi Sue, yes we are so lucky! I know my NZ posts will get a bit tiring for some as there will be a few of them! lol BUT … I’m persisting so that I will have them to look back on and as a lovely record of the trip that was just so wonderful. We have yet to see the north island of NZ so that’s in my futue but a revisit to the south island would be fabulous too. I totally loved the place (as if you couldn’t tell)! xo

  • Reply Joanne September 15, 2023 at 4:04 am

    Such beautiful photos from your trip; those ones from the lake cruise are truly breathtaking! It sounds like you had a wonderful time.

    • Reply Min September 15, 2023 at 9:51 am

      Thanks Joanne – it was a wonderful break away from reality and as gorgeous over there as I had anticipated!

  • Reply Christie Hawkes September 15, 2023 at 7:00 am

    Such beautiful photos, Min, especially those vibrant blues. Just breathtaking. It sounds like you had a wonderful trip. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    • Reply Min September 15, 2023 at 9:52 am

      Thanks Christie – it was a fabulous trip and I’m glad I can capture it here on the blog to look back on later. Hopefully the NZ posts might be helpful for someone else planning a trip over there too.

  • Reply Denyse Whelan September 15, 2023 at 1:34 pm

    What a wonderful time you had and each post reminds you of how good it is to record this kind of memory forever. Blogs are ideal aren’t they?

    It was great to see your blog post this week at Denyse’s Words and Pics for #WWandPics. Thank you for being part of the community. Warm wishes and appreciation from Denyse.

    • Reply Min September 16, 2023 at 10:11 am

      Blogs are great for recording these things Denyse. I love looking back at Archives to see what I was doing this time so many years ago etc.

  • Reply Debbie Harris September 15, 2023 at 2:44 pm

    Oh I’ve been to some of these places Min, and loved Arrowtown. Your photos are gorgeous, especially the lake colours! We really must go back one day soon. Thanks for sharing your lovely trip with us.

    • Reply Min September 16, 2023 at 10:12 am

      Hi Debbie, and thankyou! Lucky you to have been to some of these places. It was a feast for my eyes. Take me back!

  • Reply Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid September 15, 2023 at 3:47 pm

    I’m pleased you got an adrenaline rush too – I must say buying a port glass is much more my style! As I have never been to New Zealand, I am really enjoying these armchair adventures (actually they’re more desktop adventures but let’s not split hairs!) Thanks for letting me tag along. It all looks so serene and beautiful and your videos are fabulous. All the work you’ve put in with these posts is worth it because your memories are so well preserved – what with the blog and your art journal you’ve smashed it!

    • Reply Min September 16, 2023 at 10:16 am

      Lol – the best kind of adrenaline rush Sammie! The port glass was a lifesaver. I’d bought my port but only had wine glasses and normal sized drinking glasses at the hotel room. The port was very much enjoyed that night! I’m glad you’re enjoying the virtual trip around the south island of NZ cos there’s more to come! As a fellow blogger I know you recognise how much work goes into these posts. OMG – getting all the photos off my phone and on to the computer. Deciding which ones to use. Resizing and editing. All the metatags and backend work on each photograph. Uploading the videos to YouTube – more backend descriptions and metatags. Then of course writing the post and adding links and all the general backend blog stuff – SEO etc etc Worth it though but I am going to take a little break for a couple of weeks soon so that I can get more art done in the times that I am home! xo

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