We flew down from Auckland to Queenstown with Air New Zealand and booked the window seat. I would highly recommend to everyone who travels to Queenstown to choose the window seat if you can. If you flying with Air New Zealand, by paying extra fee ($5) you can secure your preferred seat in advance.
On this trip, David and I decided to camp in our tent which is a great advantage for us because it gave us more flexibility to go anywhere we want and stay as long as we like. However, because we arrived late in the afternoon and had no car until the next day, I decided to book a campsite in Lakeview Holiday Park in advance. I am pleased with the location of the campsite as it is right in the centre of Queenstown, with only a few minutes walk to the sky-line gondola. However, if you come in Summer or peak season, there is a two-dollar-fee applied to limited shower time. And because of the location, this holiday park can be very crowded, so the big dinning area might not be accommodating and you need to queue to use toilet and shower facilities. there
One of the journeys that I really looked forward to, was the trip to Milford Sound, and it exceeded my expectations. Snow capped mountains, waterfalls, glaciers, and crystal clear rivers. We could not resist to make several stops along the way. My suggestion is not to rush this trip if you want to truly enjoy it. Stay the night in one of the campgrounds along the way and drive slowly to Milford Sound, make sure you have enough time for your cruise and make a few stops along the way. We booked the last cruise of the day at 5.15pm with Go Orange as this ship provides free dinner, and desert, on board.
On the way back to Queenstown we made a night stop at Kingstown, which is located at the southern end of Lake Whakatipu where we were treated to an amazing view.
Driving to Queenstown from Kingston was very enjoyable as we were driving in between the mountains and the lake. We stayed for a few days in Queenstown.
There are some tracks around Queenstown, for those who like exploring on foot. We were walking up the hill from the gondola base station and made it half way to the top of Ben Lomond. I had to admit that my fitness level was at its worst state, as I had not been doing any exercise in the last six months and as the result I gained 10 Kg. All the extra weight made it so difficult to climb the hill. However, we will do the second attempt to climb Ben Lomond in June 2017.
Queenstown is very popular, in fact it is the number one tourist destination in New Zealand. So, if there is any particular accommodation or attraction that you really like, I suggest to book and plan in advance to avoid disappointment. If you are into camping, you will have more flexibility as there are many campsites all around the South Island. However, book your rental car as early as possible, because they are booked out quickly, especially in summer.
I hope you enjoy reading my post, it took me a long time to finish as I have been very busy lately. My blog posts have been quite long as I wanted to share as much as possible. I enjoyed our trip so much that I am planning to do another trip in winter.