Posts Tagged With: lake wakatipu

Photo of the Day: Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo

This photo is of the very picturesque Lake Tekapo – which is located on the road from Christchurch to Queenstown. This was taken during our year living in New Zealand, in October 2012. As it is one of our favourite lakes we always stop by to take in the stunning views any time we are passing, so were lucky enough to also visit in May 2013 and August 2013 – both of which I blogged about so take a look if you are interested in seeing more photos. Back in 2006 on our very first trip to New Zealand Lake Tekapo was also the first lake we ever saw. And what a beautiful sight it is!

Blue Penguin TravelInterested in visiting Lake Tekapo and exploring more of New Zealand? Let Blue Penguin Travel help. We specialise in creating amazing off-the-beaten track travel adventures in New Zealand and offer awesome travel advice, care and expertise to create fully personalised travel itineraries. We can help you have the adventure of a lifetime in the most beautiful country in the world.

All photographs are copyright of Nicola Barnard Photography.

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Categories: New Zealand, Photo Of The Day, South Island | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top 10 things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown is one of our favourite places in the whole of New Zealand – and we had the privilege of living in this beautiful town for a month, as well as taking numerous trips there during our year living over in New Zealand. I have put together some suggestions for the Top 10 things to do in Queenstown. Despite leaving out many other amazing things to do in this area, this list is varied and contains something for everyone!

  1. Beautiful Queenstown

    Lake Wakatipu

    Take a dip in Lake Wakatipu – New Zealand’s third largest lake, Lake Wakatipu is icy cold (around 8 or 9 degrees celcius), even in summer! To cool down on a hot summers day you can brave the cold water and take a refreshing dip. It is an incredibly beautiful lake, with mountains all around – including the spectacular Remarkables mountain range.

  2. Sking and snowboarding – Hugely popular with snow-sports enthusiasts Queenstown offers some of the best ski fields in the whole of New Zealand. Among the best include The Remarkables and Coronet Peak. Views from both ski fields across Lake Wakatipu towards the centre of Queenstown are simply stunning.
  3. IMG_4691

    View from snow landing

    Helicopter trip with snow landing – Take a helicopter ride up above the town, with amazing views of the alpine scenery. Snow landings are highly recommended, with fantastic views stretching across the mountain ranges.

  4. Visit Kiwi Birdlife Park – One of the best places in New Zealand to see their native kiwi bird, the Kiwi Birdlife Park is strongly committed to protecting New Zealand’s native flora and fauna. See the kiwi being fed or their very popular Conservation Show.
  5. Cycle along the Frankton Arm – Popular with walkers and cyclists but away from the hustle of Queenstown’s centre, the Frankton arm track runs along the shores of Lake Wakatipu. The views around every corner are simply spectacular. The walk begins/finishes at Queenstown gardens, where you could find time to fit in their now legendary disc golf.
  6. View from Queenstown Hill

    View from Queenstown Hill

    Walk up Queenstown Hill – The Queenstown Hill Time walk is one of the best walks in Queenstown, with incredibly rewarding views for the climb! Taking you mostly through pine forest, the steep walk is a 500m climb, reaching the summit of Te Tapu-nui (meaning mountain of intense sacredness).

  7. Adventure activities – for the brave at heart or the thrillseekers, Queenstown offers an abundance of adventure activities. Some of the most popular include jet boat ridesbungy jumping and skydiving.
  8. T. S. S. Earnslaw

    T. S. S. Earnslaw

    Get out on to Lake Wakatipu – jump aboard the historic T.S.S. Earnslaw for a unique expereince on a steamship over 100 years old. Other smaller companies also offer cruises around the lake. Another option is to hire a kayak and take in the views from a different angle.

  9. Skyline gondola and luge – taking the gondola up to Bob’s Peak provides you with incredible views out across the whole of Queenstown. Whilst there hop aboard the luge for an exciting downhill ride! Some walking tracks depart from the summit. A good short easy option is the loop track or for a full-day walk try the Ben Lomond Summit walk.
  10. http://www.queenstownseakayaks.com/

    Early morning Moke Lake reflection

    Camp at Moke Lake – one of the less well-known things to do in Queenstown, the turn off to Moke Lake is located just a 10 minute drive away – from here you follow a track (often 4WD depending on season) to the remote and very beautiful Moke Lake. The DOC campsite here is very quiet and scenic and there is also a loop walk around the lake. Wake up to pure serenity overlooking this stunning lake.

Wherever we went in New Zealand Queenstown would always call us back. In many ways it felt like home and will always hold a special place in our heart.

Categories: Activities, New Zealand, Photographs, South Island, Top 10 | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Glenorchy – living in Lord of the Rings country for a month

Tuesday 5th February – Friday 1st March: Glenorchy

Lake Wakatipu

Welcome to GlenorchyGlenorchy is certainly unique! We first came here for a day trip back in October – read all about our Glenorchy lagoon walkway walk and amazing LOTR 4WD tour with Glenorchy Journeys on my previous blog post. We then returned in December for a lovely 3 day Christmas break, where we did the amazing Dart River Jet boat Wilderness Safari. We were lucky enough to stay in a gorgeous house with a hot tub! We then popped back on numerous occasions whilst we were staying in Queenstown for a month – as well as stopping off at the lovely places along the drive (Wilsons Bay, Closeburn etc.).

Our lovely cottageSo, it seemed like a great idea when we decided to rent a holiday house for a month and live here after our time in Queenstown. We hired a car from trusty locals Queenstown Car Hire and arrived here on Tuesday 5th February. Our house – Mountainview Cottage – was just perfect! It had lovely open space all around, with all the right amenities inside just right for our stay. It also had air con – which we never thought we would use so much (it has been really hot!!). There are mountain views from every window which are just amazing. The living room is nice and cosy and it has a huge fireplace (never going to use it!). It also has a good work area for us both to work from home. We know we are really lucky to have work from home jobs (John doing his software development, and me working on my own start up travel consultancy – Blue Penguin Travel). We have been really busy with work so far, but have really enjoyed the peace and tranquility of living in this area. We really are surrounded by paradise (and actually, the place called ‘Paradise’ is about 20kms up the road!).

GlenorchyWithin a 5 minute walk we are on the Glenorchy jetty right on Lake Wakatipu, with stunning views all around. The Glenorchy lagoon walkway starts from there, which is just a wonderful walk. Being close to Queenstown is great, as we can pop into there for food shopping and to eat out (as we did on Valentine’s Day at Winnies).

There are some quite quirky things about living in Glenorchy too. it does feel pretty remote. It is about a 45 minute drive along a very windy (but scenic) road as it winds itself around the side of the mountain. There is no police here, only a volunteer fire service. It has two shops – one is tiny and part of the hotel and pub and visitor centre (it is all one – Basil Fawlty anyone?!) and the other is also small and is based by the campsite and anything it does sell is pretty basic with a high premium. It has two cafes, a tiny petrol pump and post shop and not a lot else! But we like it 🙂 Next door neigh-bours!It does also have some lovely horses who were our next door neighbours for a while. And it has quite a few random dogs wandering around (some cute – the little three legged one who likes to run alongside us, and some others not so much – there are some big scary dogs that every now and again get off their chains!). There is also one house that likes to play crazily loud music every now and then. There are lots of houses around it, and we are a few hundred metres away yet can still hear it. It is crazy actually that we are in the middle of paradise in such a small town, and still have people making noise like that! It proves that nowhere is perfect really (and that this can happen anywhere)! I guess they can get away with it because it is not like you can call the police!

Still, it is a real experience living here and one we won’t forget. We leave for Waiheke one week on Friday so will make sure we enjoy every minute we have left!

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Categories: Accommodation, Activities, Blue Penguin | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Queenstown Sunsets

Sunset in Queenstown

We have sadly left Queenstown now after living there in an amazing apartment overlooking the lake for a month. Both myself and my husband worked from home – John doing his software development job and me continuing to work on setting up my own business (off-the-beaten-track travel consultancy Blue Penguin Travel). It was a wonderful location to work from and we were incredibly lucky to have beautiful unspoilt hot weather for the last two weeks of our stay there. We enjoyed exploring at weekends and evening walks along the Frankton arm – especially to enjoy the sunsets. Queenstown sunsets are amongst some of the most beautiful I have ever seen, so I have included a selection below (along with a couple of shots of the moon!).

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Categories: Activities, Blue Penguin | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Swimming in Lake Wakatipu

Sunday 27th January – Queenstown


Swimming in Lake Wakatipu

Enjoying the sunshineA little delayed in posting, but wanted to make sure I included a highlight of our time in Queenstown – swimming in the glacial lake – Lake Wakatipu. It was one hot Sunday and we decided to cool off in the lake! The lake is fed by water from the glaciers so it very cold (it was about 11 degrees when we swam in it!). We managed about 15 minutes and it was freezing but fun 🙂 This was in the midst of a couple of weeks of unbroken beautiful sunshine and hot weather in Queenstown, which we made the most of.

Categories: Activities | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Kiwi Family Christmas Adventure

New Zealand Christmas

I am very excited to announce that my parents will be flying over from the UK to New Zealand for Christmas – which is AMAZING news!! With my sister (Kat) currently based in Sydney and me and John over here in NZ they decided they would love to spend Christmas in this part of the world. Kat will fly over from Sydney and we will all be together for a lovely family (Kinnie/Barnard) Christmas in the beautiful Queenstown. We will be staying in a lovely holiday house overlooking Lake Wakatipu. With it being a really popular time of year to visit New Zealand (and deciding relatively late due to waiting for certainty of mine and Kat’s plans) they were really lucky to secure flights over here. I also helped them plan an itinerary for the week following their stay in Queenstown to help them make the best of their time on the South Island. I am sure they will have a wonderful trip and it will be so amazing to see them – as it will be just over 3 months when they arrive on the 24th of Dec since we last saw them.

Roll on a lovely Kiwi family Christmas! 🙂

Categories: Activities | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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