luke & allenOne of the benefits of living in Auckland is that we see visitors at the start and end of their time in Aotearoa. In the middle, a trip to the South Island is compulsory for guests. When Allen’s brother came we joined them for part of that journey.

The plane bounced around and my stomach clenched as we descended into Queenstown’s small airport. Once safety on the ground we collected our luggage and rental car and headed to town. After settling into our respective accommodations the five of us met at the bottom of the Skyline gondola. A brief ride brought us to the top revealing beautiful views of the Remarkable Mountains and Lake Wakatipu on this clear evening. We all headed straight for the luge, took another chairlift further up the mountain and raced down on gravity powered go karts.

Saturday was a relaxing day for the ladies. While the guys went skiing we walked around the lakefront gardens and sampled local wines at The Winery. With a generous cheese platter and 80+ wines to choose from we wiled away a couple of hours.

Sunday came too soon, but Queenstown is the gateway to so much of what New Zealand has to offer. It won’t be long before we’re back.

Dates: 31 July – 2 August 2015
Travel with: Allen, Derrick, Kristin & Luke
Weather: 30s – low 50s; Friday was clear enough to get a good view from the top of the Ben Leomond mountain. Clouds never fully burned off on Saturday.
Accommodation: private room at YHA Lakefront

  • gondola and luge at Ben Lomond mountain;
  • walking in Queenstown Garden;
  • wine tasting at The Winery, New Zealand Wine Experience.


  • fergberger;
  • fergbaker (pie);
  • Halo Forbidden Bite;
  • the Pub;
  • The Winery;
  • Bordeaux;
  • Ballarat Trading Co.