I always jump at the opportunity to head back to the Motherland and so when my bestie let me know she was flying halfway across the world for wedding bells in Wanaka; I thought it’s about time we stepped foot in the snow together.
I have never flown into Queenstown before, and only visited once before, about 10 years ago. I was so excited to land in the Winter wonderland and see the snowy Southern Alps surrounding my descent. After a teary reconciliation with my best friend, we grabbed two bottles of vino and some snacks and made our way to The Sherwood for what ended up being a five hour catch-up. The Sherwood is a community based accommodation option that specialises in sustainability, overlooks Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables Range and is an incredibly unique and authentic place to unwind.
Our first full day started off the right way with an all you can eat breakfast buffet at our hotel. Farm laid organic eggs, local honey, freshly baked bread, lots of fruit and veges from the on-site gardens and copious cups of tea were on the morning menu and soon in our bellies. After a wander around the township and the lake we decided to hit the gym for some weights and yoga, since we like to keep up our exercise even when on holiday! We then made our way to Ice Bar for a cocktail….it was minus 12 degrees and everything was made of ice, including the bar and glasses themselves! After a few more sneaky vinos along Searle Lane it was time for some world famous pizza at Winnies…The perfect comfort food for the cold! Get the ‘Motinara’ and don’t pretend you will share. It’s that good!
I have an ultimate sweet tooth so I was longing to go to the Cookie Time Bar for dessert. For those that don’t know what a Cookie Time is, you are seriously missing out on life. It’s a cookie reminiscent of my childhood and I’d often buy one at the school tuckshops for $1. I opted for the Ice-cream sandwich and it was the perfect combination of freshly baked warm cookies oozing with chocolate, and good ol’ NZ dreamy ice-cream. I had to undo my jeans on the drive home….but boy was it worth it!
We also stopped into a tiny place called Arrowtown; a charming gold rush village that is one of New Zealand’s well kept treasures. The buildings and cobbled streets are so delightful and your imagination runs wild as you wander, conjuring up all sorts of scenes that would of gone on back in the day. If there is one thing you have to do, it would be to visit the sweet shop. I claim it’s the best fudge in the world – especially the Jelly Tip flavour.
The next morning, we said farewell to The Sherwood and hit the road to one of my favourite places on Earth; Wanaka. We stopped at Lake Hayes on the way and marvelled at the spectacular reflection of the mountains in the lake! After dropping our stuff at the cutest Air BnB I ever did see, we boosted into town to hire some gear and headed up Treble Cone for the afternoon. After setting up my board natural, and continuing to fall over I soon figured out that goofy felt a lot better. I surf natural and skate goofy so am a little all over the place… By the end of the afternoon I had the Beginners Slope down and was ready for the next day up Cardrona.
Cardrona would have to be my favourite mountain. We hitched a ride up as we didn’t have chains nor a 4WD. Thankfully kiwis are a friendly bunch and we got picked up straight away. We spent all day sliding down the slopes….Sarah even tricked me into going down a red run (for the advanced) and I made it all the way down and smashed my coccyx at the very bottom. After that fall it was time for a Moet at the top…..When in rome, or when in snow right? Some apres ski was had at Cardies Hotel, a rustic and charming hotel that is one of NZ’s oldest and most iconic hotels.
Friday I woke up pretty sore, but keen to get back up the mountain to perfect my new found passion. Unfortunately, over night some gnarly weather set in and all of the mountains were closed for the day. So we enjoyed a day of Netflix, tea and headed back to Queenstown for another friend’s birthday dinner!
The next morning we packed up the car and headed up the West Coast to my humble home town. We had a stunning sun-filled day for our 8 hour drive and stopped at so many spectacular sights on the way. I felt pretty proud that this beautiful coastline is where I get to call home. A few days with the family, lots of home-cooked hearty meals, kiwi treats from mum and we headed back to Christchurch and went our separate ways. Until the next #sweetandsaltytravels.