Three in three: Queenstown and surrounds, by Ray Jaramis
“You’re going to absolutely love it”.
This is the only thing I ever got back in response when I mentioned my trip to Queenstown earlier in March this year. I was down that way for a charity bike ride over three days.
The only response I ever received was validated. I too now echo the response whenever I talk to someone who hasn’t been lucky enough to get themselves down to the South Island of New Zealand.
So what to do? Where to go? I’ve put together my top three to do in three days if you’re thinking of heading down.
Good news as well if you are. I hear there is a proposed flight which leaves Sydney Friday after work and gets you back after dinner Sunday.
With the time differences doing their thing, it makes for a lovely weekend away if the chance presents itself.
Day One: Queenstown itself.
Queenstown is a town, truly. But a magnificent one. I describe it as the 360 degree post card. Things to do here include the various AJ Hackett extreme sports or enjoying their wonderful food and wine in the many restaurants hugging the lakeside overlooking
The Remarkables. If you’re seven or seventy, Queenstown has something for you. I promise.
Day Two: Arrowtown
Arrowtown is 20 kms northeast of Queenstown (and my first stop on the bike ride). It is a sleepy, wonderful little village. Yep I am going to call it. Probably has one of the nicest bakeries I have ever been to. Cold weather, beautiful coffee and an even nicer pulled beef pie. Arrowtown is a day trip worth taking.
If there is snow around, you’ll probably stop by Arrowtown on the way to Coronet Peak.
Day Three: Wanaka
Imagine explaining to tourists as a local of Sydney why you might like to go to Mona Vale beach rather than Manly. This is why you’d go to Wanaka. There is still a decent tourism presence in the town but it feels one step removed from the tourist mecca where we spent day one.
Whilst leaving the majestic lake side town is very difficult, make sure your route back to base includes a stopover at the local institution just off the highway which is the Cardrona Hotel. For breakie, lunch or even a weekend, again I promise you won’t regret it.
See the map below of how you might do this journey by car. It’s less than 100kms all up. Click on the pic to go to a live google map!