I’ve made a habit of skiing in New Zealand every year since I left high school. I’m a full time nurse now, but when I was deep into the books studying, saving up every last cent to blow on New Zealand’s ski slopes was what kept me sane leading up to exams.
My mother is Polish, my father is Italian. I’m a Brisbane born Aussie; but I swear if I could throw another ethnicity into the mix it would be Kiwi! I love the scenery, the food, the snow, the wine. The firemen.
For skiing and fun short breaks with your friends, your kids or even your olds, Queenstown is a great place to begin. Here’s five things I learned about Queenstown on my first trip there.
The Fire Brigade is made up entirely of volunteers. I nearly dropped my beer the first time I heard the doomsday horn sounding through town. Chances are, you’ll see people running from all directions towards the fire station. It’s a primal frenzy, and there’s some pretty fit looking blokes racing in packs.
The Skyline restaurant sways in the breeze! This is a must for a first time visitors to Queenstown. Skyline’s Stratosfare Restaurant & Bar, located at the top of the Gondola is best in the afternoon so you get the amazing sunset and scenery. It’s breathtaking.
Queenstown is home to the world’s first bungy site. It’s a must-do adrenalin rush for every dare devil seeking a bit of adventure travel in New Zealand. A bungy jump off the Kawarau Bridge will cost NZ $150. I got up there and a sound came out of me I’d never heard before. I won’t reveal to you (just yet) whether I jumped or not.
Queenstown holds a gay ski week. It’s full of activities running from 29 August through the first week of September each year. Lots of rainbow colours on the mountains, cocktails, free street food and a colossal dance party. Done some wings with your skis to fit in with the fun.
You can find an Aussie drinking at bars built into the mountainside. At the top of the chairlifts on the ski fields, you can tell a huge proportion of the destination’s revenue comes from travelling Aussies. We gather in droves and high five each other, red faces grinning after almost stacking it while trying to hoist our skies up onto the moving chairlifts.
Finding the best places to party, eat and ski were my missions when I first visited Queenstown. Now I’m older, I’ve acquired a taste for New Zealand’s wine regions and hidden bar culture. I’ll share some of my favourites with you in upcoming blog posts.
Have you visited Queenstown? What quirky lifestyle behaviours or hidden gems did you discover there?