Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Honeymoon Part 1 - Queenstown, NZ

Queenstown, in all its glorious scenery, is a place that I have travelled and will travel to over and over again. With the abundance of wineries on offer nearby, the carved out ski fields and the ever growing mélange of restaurants, there really is something for everyone and every budget.

Our mini honeymoon started with a smooth flight over to Queenstown, sailing through the mountains in to the tiny airport. We picked up our rental car for the week – a Toyata Rav4 we affectionately named Pipie and headed on over to our accommodation at Copthorne Hotel and Resort. The theme of the stay was skiing, so we picked up our rental gear from town and then went to get ready for our first meal of the trip at Rata.
There is no hiding the fact that I love food, and good food at that. I had researched and chosen restaurants based on excellent reviews and I didn’t put a budget on what we’d spend on food because when you only get a week long honeymoon, well – you make the most of it.

Rata didn’t disappoint. We were promptly seated when we arrived and although the restaurant was full, the service was prompt and friendly. We went here twice after loving it the first time and both times ordered different meals.

We ordered:
Smoked warehou croquettes with black sesame, soy mayonnaise | Goat cheese profiteroles with Rata blossom honey
Chicken liver parfait, pistachio, orange, crostini
Roast pork, Havot tete de cochon, cauliflower, vanilla poached apple, brussel sprout
The second evening we had a booking at Botswana Butchery. I again had heard many great things about this place and upon walking through the door, we were greeted by friendly staff and a buzzing restaurant. Botswana Butchery specialises in group bookings with their many private dining rooms, but from where we sat, we wouldn’t have picked that. In fact, it wasn’t until I went upstairs to the bathroom that I realised just how huge this restaurant was. You would expect a restaurant serving so many people to be slow, but this was not the case. The service was fantastic, friendly and the waiter was more than happy to give a rundown of the menu and recommendations on what meal to choose. We were also surprised at how large the meals were after expecting typical fine dining small portions. Along with the meals, we ordered three sides and by the end of the meal, we were stuffed. Not too stuffed for dessert though luckily. I’m not sure I could ever be too full for Bomb Alaska!
Apart from these two restaurants, we tried a couple more, but none as good as these.

Skiing in New Zealand was fantastic with the choices of either The Remarkables or Coronet Peak. We skied at The Remarkables for two days, then Coronet Peak for 2 days. Well, for me only half a day at Coronet Peak as I stacked it and injured my knee resulting in a bit of a mountain rescue and a sore knee that I can’t straighten! But apart from that, we really enjoyed it and my skiing was a lot better than it has ever been. I even dared to hike up a mountain with my ski’s in hand to check out the view of Lake Wakatipu…meaning a little off piste skiing to get back to the ski runs. All good fun though.
 The last day was spent exploring Queenstown and a quaint little town about 10 minutes away called Arrowtown. It has a real Country Western vibe to it with plenty of little pubs, shops etc. We only spent about an hour there and that was enough to do a walk of the whole town.
It was a great trip. A quick one, but a good one.

Have you been to Queenstown?


  1. That food looks amazing! Sucks that you hurt your knee, but sounds like you otherwise had a really great time!

  2. OMG check out that food.. I can't ski for nuts but I enjoy being up in the snow just chillaxing. :) I am looking forward to going to NZ actually.

  3. Who knew NZ could be so much fun! I actually went skiing for the first time ever last weekend. It ain't easy! Hope your knee gets better soon!