Queenstown dreaming….


Ok, I was going to do another Nigella Diaries update today – tell you all about basil oil and pesto rice salad, but my daughter, Sarah, is in Queenstown at the moment having a fabulous time and I’m just a wee bit jelly…but only a wee bit because I’m thrilled she’s having a fabulous time. Mostly I’m missing her.

Because she’s in Queenstown and I’m missing her and wishing more than a little bit that I was there too (and yes, I realise that it’s not all about me) I’m cheating a tad with today’s post and sharing some Queenstown favourites. For those of you who have seen these in previous posts I offer no apology.

Sarah and I have visited Queenstown a few times together, in fact, it was in Queenstown that we took our very first helicopter ride. That’s us in the pic below – back in ummmm 2011 I think. Or maybe 2012? It’s hard to believe that she’s nearly 21! I’ve also been a number of times without her – in every season other than the middle of winter (note to self – I really must book a trip in winter some time). Queenstown is, with all apologies to Wellington, my favourite place in New Zealand. I love it so much I’ve already set 2 novels here and have more in the planning stage.

Anyways, Queenstown in photos. Regular readers might have seen these before, but you know what? I say “so what” to that…

Lake Wakatipu

Of course. Framed by The Remarkables – the mountain range that runs due north, Lake Wakatipu is so amazingly beautiful. In fact, it’s so beautiful that it takes me by surprise. Every time I see the lake and mountains it’s as if I’ve never seen them before.

Not only does the colour seem to change every second, but the lake rises and falls by up to 20cm every half hour or so, yet it isn’t tidal. It’s as if the lake is breathing.

And that’s all part of the Maori legend of the lake.

Apparently, a local ogre named Matau (they had local ogres in those days) was burned to death for taking advantage of the daughter of an important chief.  The resultant fire melted the snow and ice of the surrounding mountains and it all ran into the deep hole where Matau fell- creating Lake Wakatipu. Yet the ogre was so strong that his pulse survives in the daily rise and fall of the water.

I love stories like this. There’s also one that I could tell you about the eels in the lake and Tonga…but we don’t really have time for that.

The Road to Glenorchy

Check that view. Is that inspiring, or is that inspiring? #nofilter


There’s a pub here, a general store and trading post, a photogenic wharf and it’s also the jumping off place for the Dart River adventures (absolutely recommended) and a few tramping tracks. They also hold a horse race each on teh first Saturday in January each year that anyone can enter – and wear a cowboy hat.

Just down the road is Paradise – the scene of many ads, movies and TV shows…plus a rather spicy love scene in Wish You Were Here


A charming gold-rush town at its absolute picturesque best in the autumn…also featuring in Happy Ever After.

What else?

So much. I could talk about wineries – Otago pinot needs to be tasted to be believed; food – of course, I could tell you about the food; activities – Queenstown really is the capital of jumping off things that work perfectly well. Aside from the helicopter, over the years I’ve jet-boated in Queenstown, zip-lined in Queenstown and hiked in Queenstown. You’ll never get me bungy jumping there though! Sarah did, however, do the canyon swing today – involving a 3-second freefall into a canyon before being swung across it. Yeah…and nah.

What about you? Are you a Queenstown fan? What about bungy – yeah or nah?

It’s Lovin’ Life Linky time…

It’s Thursday, so it’s time to look for our happy and share it about a bit. The Lovin’ Life Linky is brought to you by Team Lovin’ Life: Deep Fried Fruit, DebbishWrite of the Middle50 Shades of Age,  and, of course, me.

Inlinkz Link Party

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

20 thoughts

  1. I love that area too and really want to go back for more exploring. Great to read of your memories and see you photos and learn how much you enjoyed the place setting two of your books there!

    1. So much to see and do. I’ve done a couple of long walks based out of there, but have more I still want to do. I suppose that means that I’ll need to go back…heavy sighs…

  2. Gorgeous scenery and photos, Jo. I love reading the legend of Lake Wakatipu. The views from the helicopter ride must be breathtaking. Thanks for sharing your favourite place in New Zealand with us. #Lovin’LifeLinky

  3. Ok you managed to get me drooling over the photographs and wanting to jump on a plane to NZ immediately! Queenstown looks gorgeous! No wonder you’re a bit jelly of your daughter being there without you right now! I loved the story about the Ogre – such a lovely explanation for the rising and falling levels of the lake. #TeamLovinLife

  4. I love New Zealand and have seen a lot of it, but not Queenstown which sounds gorgeous. Sigh, another one to add to the list.

    Bungy jumping, no definitely not for me.

    1. We’re back on the North Island in a couple of weeks, but one area I’m yet to explore is way down south ie Invercargill and Stewart Island…maybe next year.

  5. Memories of wonderful experiences with our children, gorgeous scenery, Maori legends….what could be sweeter? The basil oil and pesto rice salad post will have to wait until next time…..I promise that I will (try to) be patient! 🙂

  6. New Zealand is right at the top of my Places To Go to list… Especially now I’ve read this blog post and just finished your book! As for the bungee jumping, it’s a hard no from me!

  7. Wow, such a beautiful area – I so so so want to get to New Zealand. As I love Marlborough wines, I really want to visit that area – I don’t think I’ll ever leave though. Loved your photos and inspiration today. Shared on SM x

    1. Marlborough is a lovely area too, but Otago wines from near Queenstown…their pinots are just fabulous! Thanks for dropping by Jo and have a great weekend.

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