sexta-feira, 3 de julho de 2015

3 Days in Queenstown!

Yes, my friends! It finally came the day which I traveled back to the South Island to go to the most beautiful city in New Zealand and spend 3 full days! Yes, I was back in QUEENSTOWN!

I'm going to divide this post into 4 parts, one for each day and then one more for the end, come with me and I will show you the best that South Island has to offer!


On the first day, I've woke up early to go straight to the Airport. A few months ago one friend of mine told in our Whatsapp group that JetStar (air fly company) was given discounts to Queenstown and excited with the news I decided to buy tickets to go at the end of my semester in Auckland University, precisely from 1 to 4th of July. Choosing a place to stay was pretty simple since I have been there already once, so I rented three nights in Pinewood hostel that is close to the city center and most of the attractions and tours departures. After that, it was just a matter of finding things to do there, which I prefer to tell day by day! So read this post until the end and don't miss anything!

With no problems by traveling alone, it was easy to go to Auckland Airport, find my gate and enter in the airplane carrying only my backpack with less than 7 Kg (supposedly). The flight to Queenstown is one of the most beautiful in the world, unfortunately I was in the wrong side of the plane! (Obs.: If you are travelling from North Island to South Island by plane stay on the left side!) And to complicate more things, the two girls on my side decided to sleep the whole flight! Why??? There I was, crazy to see the mountains and they were sleeping on the best part! Fortunately, a Good Soul (another girl) on the line behind them saw my desperation and offered to record a video and take some photos for me (Thanks! I own you lots, wherever you are!) Check it out this scenic flight under:

After that, the plane goes through the valleys inside these mountains and make his way into Queenstown Airport, the whole landing is outstanding! There is a great video where you can check it out in more details here Arriving Queenstoown (THIS IS WHY WE FLY).

Once the plane landed you are received by this amazing view of a mountain covered in snow at the top. The air is freezing but the wind is not so strong, at this point, my energy was at the highest level of excitement and expectations. Check it out my first video and some photos:

I've made one reservation of Shuttle transportation to Queenstown city before I arrived and it moved me from the Airport to my hostel in less than 20min. Once I arrived, I made the check in, and went out to the city to find a place to eat, I was starving, but already knew exactly where to go: Fergburger's, local of one of the TOP 10 burgers in the World! So I picked up my lunch there (waiting 30 min, but still worth it) and went to Lake Wakatipu to enjoy my meal peacefully. Nothing summaries best Queenstown attributes than this photo right here:

After that, I went to the Lake 'entrance' and just chilled under a tree for a few moments before I came back to my hostel and prepare for the second part of the day.

Once I realized that I was not properly dressed for the cold (My hands and head were freezing while the rest of my body stayed heated) I went back to the hostel to change and also pick up my bonnet (The same that I used in Tongariro). Now properly protected I visited once more the Queenstown Gondola where is possible to have a panoramic view of the city. I stayed there from 15-17h and bought new gloves too. What I did not expect was a few ice covering the grass up there, I imagined that the mountains would have but not this particular hill. There is a track you can do there also but most all of it was covered with a thin layer of ice which my shoes did not responded well, almost falling twice, so I decided to just hang around there for a while, see people doing Kart and slowly observing the sun setting over the town. Check it out some photos and video here:

Then it was just enough time to go back, buy something to cook and eat at breakfast and dinner that I planned to make always in the hostel to save some money. The last record of the day was the full moon rising from behind the mountains, spectacular! I wish I knew by now how to configure the camera to really capture the moment, but I still will post a photo here so you can feel the moment:

This, my friends, was only day 1..


Remember when I said that all that left to complete my trip was to book some activities? So, it has been a while since I wanted to face my fears once it for all! I started by doing Bungee in Taupo (Check it here the video and Photos of this day! VIDEO - Taupo' bungee (50m) + Taupo - Day 2). However this time I was more daring and made a booking for Tandem Skydiving in Wanaka, yeah... you read correctly, it was time to jump from 12,000 ft!!! Here is my description of the experience that I wrote minutes after the jump:

"And then you go inside the plane, fly up to 12.000 ft and the window next to you opens. An intense cold wind fills the cabin where you stay. You move outside the plane and in less than 5 sec. disappear into the sky.

This is the briefly explanation of the experience of Wanaka's Tandem Skydiving. Leaving at side the poor night deprived of sleep; the shaking before the challenge and the UNBELIEVABLE landscape until the Airport and the flight itself. Mountains and more mountains covered in snow. From up in the air: Rivers turquoise-blue; valleys; lakes and an occasional group of sheep too, nevertheless, this is still NZ!

The jump itself is amazing. An instantaneously emotion and believe me or not, NO REGRETS. Your speed increases fast until reach terminal velocity within seconds, cutting the clouds that freezes your face. Screaming to the maximum and yet muted by the wind, THIS IS SKYDIVING!

When the parachute opens you are actually carried up and a considerable pressure relay on your hips and back, all that while the blood flows back to your extremities and sleeping arms and legs. Your instructor release the pressure in key points of the equipment more looking as he is going to unleash you, but as he says 'It is all under control'. There is a full-mind game since the picking up point/way into/getting ready and the flight itself! All to ensure that you don't faint or quit.

Important tips, (1) DO NOT take a huge morning coffee (2) Men, adjust your equipment properly, seriously! (3) GO to the bathroom/toilet before. And the most important one: BREATHE.

Now you are ready to go!"  

After that, all that I wanted to do was to go back enjoying the view from the Wanaka - Queenstown way. Had a Domino's famous NZD $ 5 pizza and went back to the hostel to rest. After a while in the afternoon it started to rain and the bed felt so comfortable together with the sofa in the living room and all the people in the same house that I did not wanted anything else, besides it was expected to snow, so I kept reading my book, chatting and watching television waiting for the passing rain and snowfall which had not happened, sadly.


On the third day in Queenstown I made a walk in the morning through the gardens of Queenstown which I prefer to share a video here that sums up the very best of the walk and to not make this post longer than it already is, take a look.

After that I came back to the hostel, lunched and took a nap. Around 2pm I was laid in bed but wanted to still do something, kind it to enjoy the rest of my time there. So I remembered of this hiking on Queenstown Hill that I saw in a folder before and decided to do it in the afternoon. The way to the entrance is extremely steep via the streets and with no car, however, the visual is amazing so it all worth it, take a look in that walk here:


The basket you see in the video, as I called "The Monument", name is Basket of Dreams by Caroline Robyson. And in the entire track there are boards where you can learn the history of the place.

Back in the hostel I rested and enjoyed the company of other people that were there with me, Australians, Americans and Kiwis. Chatting and watching television, very nice.


On the next day I woke up pretty early and took the Shuttle back to the Queenstown Airport where I would catch my flight back to North Island. This time I could arrange a nice spot to see the flight on the right side of the plane. The mountains still amazed me!

Unfortunately I've lost my Auckland University's shirt on the way (I left in the seat). I've already contacted the JetStar company and with luck I will have it back.

So that was my amazing 3 Days Experience in Queenstown! Love it, right?

Feel free to leave comments or ask questions about it!


Our trip Continues!

See ya!

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