Parties aside though, sometimes there is nothing better than sitting down after a long day (or a long morning for us mums!) and enjoying something totally decadent, filled with totally necessary calories and a cup of strong coffee. And, as you might be able to see, I couldn’t even wait for mine to set before I dived right in… I blame my dessert addiction...
Every year of mine and Tim’s anniversary, we have gone away on holiday. Its not always specifically to celebrate just ‘us’ but it just so happens that because we got married in December it always falls on school holiday periods – YAY!
Our Honeymoon was in Bali, our first anniversary we were in New Zealand (North Island), our second anniversary we spent together in Sydney, our third in Vancouver, our fourth in Queenstown, our firth in Queenstown (yep – two years running!) and this year, come December, we will be spending it in Los Angeles to start our USA/Canada trip! We have been very blessed to spend time together every year in such beautiful destinations, it's become almost a tradition and one I am MORE than happy to continue!
Our Queenstown anniversary, however, was one of our favourites – a week of just us, a week of pure bliss!
If you have never been to this part of the world, stop reading this and get on Webjet to book a flight. Seriously. Well, maybe finish this first because there’s some destinations you DO NOT want to miss!
We arrived over a weekend - a Saturday, I think - picked up our hire car and just started driving pondering a week away, child free – total new territory! The sights out of the car windows alone are enough to take your breath away… Now, there is SO MUCH to see, do, eat and explore in this little haven of tranquillity so I’m just going to do some quick ‘must see’ lists to make sure you can revel in everything we loved, including places to eat and places to visit!
Now for the food first (because you can’t explore on an empty tummy)!
Farelli's Trattoria. Having been to Queenstown on multiple occasions (outside of our anniversary period also) I was ready to head back to my favourite Italian restaurant, hidden down a little indoor lane, offering a full vegan menu – if you love Italian then this is the place to go! Try the Gnocchi and Mushroom Pizza, SO GOOD!
2. Fat Badgers Pizza. The BIGGEST pizza you will ever see in your life - That’s a promise. We got a half/half 20” to satisfy Tim’s meat cravings but also my love of vego pizzas – needless to say we both couldn’t finish our half; but, no one complains about leftovers…
3. Patagonia Chocolates. I don’t even know where to start! We literally tried 8 different items within Patagonia and I could have kept going, if only we had more days… We tried everything from cheesecake, pavlova, layered cakes and gelato. If I had to recommend one thing it would hands down be their Dolce de Leche Gelato, a Gold Award Winning Ice-cream - I pretty much had a scoop a day (to keep the doctor away) and I could have eaten more!
4. Mrs. Ferg’s Gelateria. This one speaks for itself really, it’s one of the best gelatos joints around town! I tried the Salted Caramel, Double Espresso & Dark Chocolate, Coconut, Roasted Hazelnut, Chocolate, Kiwi Sorbet and Tiramisu and out of all of those flavours I’d have to say it the Double Espresso. So get yourself a shot, I mean scoop, and eat your heart out!
5. The Winery. The is for sure one of our FAVOURITES! Sip and taste various wines from all around New Zealand and devour platters of specialty cheese boards all from the comfort of grandfather armchairs in front of an open fire! A beautiful and relaxing experience that can last for hours…wine lovers do not miss this one!
6. Flame Grill. Amazing food and service - we recommend the burgers! But make sure you book, it’s a very popular little place!
7. Cookie Time. (of course) I don’t think you can go to NZ without visiting Cookie Time! Grab a hot chocolate and a signature triple choc cookie and devour the best cookies money can buy!
A WEEK OF QUEENSTOWN
The place where heaven meets earth.
Onto the attractions and destinations! For getting around the outskirts of Queenstown and the attractions I would highly recommend hiring a car – you can get some for only $60 a day – so much easier and so worth it!
Glenorchy & Paradise. Glenorchy is the most beautiful little spot, located roughly an hours drive from the heart of Queenstown. It’s one of the most spectacular places and the drive in itself, hugging the winding lake, is enough to make me never want to leave. *Tip, grab a bite to eat at one of the little cafes and head down to eat by the lake!
2. Arrowtown. The quaintest small town located not far from Queenstown, its home to some of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ film locations (which we just had to find) and the best fudge store ever!
3. Wanaka & The ‘Blue Pools’. Just type it into google and your jaw will drop. No comment.
4. Waltz Queenstown Centre and the Gardens’. One of our favourite things to do after dinner was stroll through the streets of Queenstown, making our way slowly to the Queenstown Gardens. It’s a stunning garden of gorgeous blooms, lush green grass all surrounded by crystal lakes and near distant mountain views – the best way to burn off that dessert!
5. Queenstown Gondola luge, dinner and show! Overlook Queenstown by heading up the Gondola! Have a blast racing down the luge and relax in the buffet restaurant for lunch or dinner. For a taste of the New Zealand culture try and catch the traditional Maori show!
6. If it's Winter, ski! My favourite of ALL the slopes would have to be Cadrona – long runs, soft snow and so much variety! With plenty of untouched powder and views for days, it’s perfect for all skill levels and gives you the most scenic and beautiful drive to its location as well.
7. Whatever the time of year, go on the Shotover Jet! A thrilling and insanely unique experience, there is nothing quite like zooming through the waterways only inches from rock faces, trusting your life to the skilled drivers – it’s the most crazy, beautiful ride you will ever go on!
So there you have it, my top 7’s in Heaven! Listing the best of what I believe Queenstown has to offer. It is an absolute must see for everyone and I personally hope to retire there one day, God willing! It’s truly breathtaking and even though I can go on for hours…literally, there are no words to describe it.
Just promise me you will try everything you can get your hands on and experience it all!
Have you booked your ticket yet?