Ben and my first trip together was to his surf nationals in 2013 and it was a lot of fun but he was very focused on his sport so I was pretty keen to go somewhere where we could relax, just us. Last year Ben was studying, and as any of you who have studied would know, it can be quite time intensive. We wanted to go somewhere that was beautiful, but not too far away from home (student budgets can be restrictive) so we chose Queenstown.


Driving to Queenstown from Christchurch is do-able within one day and as the weather was a bit average on the way we didn’t really stop off anywhere too much. We were lucky enough to stay at Azur Lodge in Queenstown which is the perfect location if you’re looking to soak in each other’s company. We had planned to go into Queenstown for the evening for dinner, but after driving so long we were keen just to relax so ordered some room service!

The next day we went into the city and looked around. There were quite a few good shops so we did a little shopping and found a lovely little cafe to indulge in our daily coffees. Ben had never been luging before and I’d never done it in Queenstown, so we were both really keen.

We set up the gondola for some incredible views across Queenstown, I was really glad I’d brought my camera.


Luging was a lot of fun, despite being a bit overpriced. Unfortunately I had no talent in the racing department and he kicked my ass every time we went down. Luging is one of those things that winds up being more fun than you thought, so if your budget allows make sure you get the maximum number of rides because they’re expensive to purchase once you’re on the hill.

After getting unpacked we moved to Arrowtown which is a cute little town not far from Queenstown. We checked into an apartment which had ample space for us to relax, including a gorgeous fireplace. We spent the day wandering around outside, enjoying the golden autumn trees and crisp air.

In the evening we had booked in an ice bar drink, which was quite fun. There were a lot of nice ice sculptures and I really enjoyed being able to break my ice-glass on the way out (you’re allowed to just smash them into a bucket). We would up having dinner at Winnies, which is a pizza place that has a branch in Christchurch. I’d say it’s certainly some of the best pizza in the world.


Arrowtown has a lot of great walking tracks, beautiful scenery and cycling tracks too. It is cheaper to stay in Arrowtown, generally, and it’s lined with numerous cute cafes and tempting restaurants. I hope to go back down south next year during winter at some stage, and if I was planning to ski I’d probably prefer to stay in Arrowtown over Queenstown as it’s actually closer to the mountains.

If you’re planning a trip to New Zealand, make sure you add Queenstown and Arrowtown to your list of places to visit. It’s one of those places that locals love as much as tourists do.

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