Queenstown, New Zealand

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Queenstown is definitely for lovers. Maybe not so much in the summer, but during the late fall/early winter, all you want to do is cozy up to someone you love here and take a nice walk down Marine Parade, hand-in-hand.

They tell you to fly into Queenstown in New Zealand's South Island, and I’d forgotten until we were making our descent. I was extremely sleep-deprived and struggled to stay awake in spite of the amazing views -- lakes and snow-frosted mountain ranges abounded. Really beautiful and clear, though I wouldn’t go out of my way to fly over Queenstown. 

However, the second I set foot in Queenstown, I knew I would love it. It’s highly reminiscent of ski resort towns in the United States: pedestrian-friendly, lamplight-lit, the faint smell of burning firewood throughout the town …

For me, Queenstown was more of a base to "work" out of. I didn’t get too many photos of Queenstown or even get to spend that much time there, but this is a place I want to return to someday, with a loved one. Queenstown is pretty much known as the "adventure capital of the world" -- it's where bungee jumping officially became a commercial sport. In Queenstown, you can bungee jump, take a gliding swing ride, luge down a mountainside, or stick to a safer option -- the gondola or skycap. Not far away, you can also soak in a hot pool overlooking the mountains. Am I starting to sound like the Tourist Information Office yet? These are all things I may have given more consideration if I hadn't been traveling alone. 

It really shouldn’t be savored alone, especially not during the wintertime. My tastebuds salivated at all the “mulled wine” signs, wishing I could get them to go … 

How big is this burger!? P.S. I don't have a small face.

I did visit Fergburger, which is a famous burger joint in town. The burgers, I forgot while ordering, are massive -- the size of my head, but they are worth it. There is just something distinctive, BETTER, about New Zealand beef. I ordered the Southern Swine, which is a basic burger with barbecue sauce, red onion, tomato, avocado, lettuce, aioli ($13 NZD ... just over $10 USD when I was there) on a chewy and crispy bun. And the fries, as a side order ($4 NZD ... approximately $3) with a free dipping sauce (I chose aioli) … so large a portion, and so, so good. I was only able to eat half the fries that night, and half the burger. I saved the other half of the burger for dinner the next night and it was still good.

I also got to try out Patagonia, a chocolate shop. I ordered a small lavender hot chocolate ($5 NZD or about $4), and it was rich and not too sweet. It wasn’t sickeningly rich like some hot chocolates can be, and a touch bitter. I wanted to go back and try the Mexican hot chili chocolate or the churros dipped in chocolate sauce, but there wasn’t enough stomach or time for that. Next time! I highly recommend this place, and there was free wi-fi, which is difficult to come by in all of New Zealand!

I definitely hope to be back someday.

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