Days 28-37: Queenstown for my 30th birthday – a Queenstown birthday week!
What an amazing amazing birthday week I have had! We made the decision to return to Queenstown after our trip up the west coast because it was our favourite place in NZ and where we wanted to spend my birthday. We spent the week here doing all our favourite things – including the peninsula walkway, walking along Frankton arm and playing mini golf. It was also a chance to relax after spending so long travelling around in the spaceship. We gave the spaceship a bit of a rest this week and just used him to drive around – which was quite nice!
The real highlight of the week had to be on Tuesday (a few days before my birthday) when we decided to take a helicopter trip with Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters. We have been lucky enough to have been up in a helicopter a couple of times before and have always loved the trips so decided it would be perfect to go up in one for my birthday. We chose Tuesday rather than my actual birthday as the weather was unbelievably perfect and the forecast wasn’t great for my actual birthday. We also used http://www.bookme.co.nz so got an awesome deal. We chose the 40 minute flight that including a snow landing on a mountain – and it was perfect! We headed over to check in before our flight time of 3.30pm and were soon on board the helicopter and taking off. Immediately we were rewarded with awesome views over Queenstown.
We headed for the mountains passing over Arrowtown and the Shotover river towards our snow landing atop Mount Hyde. Here we got out amidst a few feet of snow and the views were just stunning! We had amazing panoramic views all around and were pretty speechless! We took some photos here and the pilot kindly took a few of us too – so we could capture such wonderful memories. Soon it was time to return and this time I sat in the front for the return journey and was just so lucky! We headed towards Lake Wakatipu and the views of the lake and Queenstown were out of this world! I snapped away on my camera and enjoyed the trip as we came in to land. Overall – we think the best thing we have ever done in New Zealand! And the perfect way to celebrate my 30th birthday.
On my actual birthday (May 9th) I had a simply perfect day! I awoke in our apartment at Oaks Shores – which we had treated ourselves to for my birthday and had cards and pressies – with an awesome lake view. I spoke to my parents on skype which was lovely as I miss them a lot – and they sang Happy Birthday to me as they always do! I also spoke to my sister who called and sang to me as well – and it was great speaking to her. We then headed out to my main treat of the day – to Onsen Hot Pools, where we had hired a private hot pool for an hour overlooking the mountains and Shotover River. It was so relaxing and wonderful and I loved every second.
We had also bought the accompanying pamper pack, so had juice, chocolate and a nice aromatherapy burner, along with fluffy towels. The views from the hot pool were great and we enjoyed watching the Shotover jet fly up and down outside. We didn’t hear anyone else in their hot pool and felt all alone – with the peace and quiet of the mountains for company. After reluctantly leaving we headed for my favourite place to eat in Queenstown – Winnies, where we enjoyed a delicious pizza.
An afternoon of mini golf followed with a relaxing evening at the apartment watching the sun set and enjoying a film together – as well as yummy birthday cake! It was lovely to speak to my parents again to tell them all about my day. I won’t ever forget my 30th birthday in Queenstown and I felt truly lucky to have had such wonderful experiences.
As we spent the whole week in Queenstown we also took some images of the area which I have included in a slideshow below. One of my favourite is of me climbing some steps in Queenstown with the beautiful autumnal colours in the background as seen here: