Quintessential Queenstown

Lindsey Holdren

Queenstown: The adrenaline capital of the world. A place that resembles Lake Chelan with more cityscape and greenery, overlooked by mountains and a great gondola. Downtown is lovely, hip, and clean with a small-town feel (update: downtown is also the site of a concentrated drullet – dreaded mullet – population. I don’t know the actual term for this hairstyle or whether the beast even has a name, but I am coining drullet). We are housed at a hotel that has triangular cabins, a hotel that looks like part of a modern-day Grimm fairytale.

Hansel used to live here

Hansel used to live here

Remember this from the last city?


Guess what we found in our hotel….


Jumping on the adrenaline-junkie-train, my family signed up for a Shotover jet boat ride. Think: best roller coaster ride ever. Through a breathtaking ravine. Without a seatbelt. Doing 360 degree spins. Thrilled by looming risk of human error…. Our driver’s name was Rob. We called him Handsome Rob (if you’ve never seen The Italian Job, please fix that as soon as possible) and my mother called him Reckless Rob. Let your hairdo down for the ride and you too can achieve the windswept/post-quoital hair look.

Food is quite expensive in New Zealand, so the family grabbed lunch at a relatively cheap pizza place and made dinner in the hotel room of our friends, Colin and Patricia. The pizzeria is called “Fat Badgers Stoned and Baked Pizza.” Isn’t “stoned and baked” a little redundant? -(cue smug, I-know-some-slang-terms face). The pizza slices were delicious, by the way.

the face of a doubly high badger

the face of a doubly high badger

At our friends’ hotel, everyone chowed down on Tim Tams (delectable chocolate-covered biscuit sweets that I haven’t seen since my days in Australia) and HOKEY POKEY ICE CREAM. Hokey Pokey – a sort of sweet cream with honeycomb creation – is kind of a big deal here- if you ever come to New Zealand, you must try it!

do the hokey pokey

do the hokey pokey

Quote of the day: [occurred during a discussion of New Zealand airlines’ relatively lax security]

Colin- “This is a great place to be a criminal.”

Linett- “They really don’t let you in if you have a criminal record.”

Colin- “Well, then it’s a great place to become a criminal!”

Keeping my options open.

Random Notes:

  • Hotels have fresh and complimentary milk in the room fridges. It’s for coffee, but I just drink it. This is heaven for the milk lover.
  • I pride myself on my minimalist packing skills. I get all self-conscious when people see me with my huge suitcase and feel the need to justify its size – “My sister’s bag looks smaller but it weighs the same and she’s only here for two weeks and I’m here for eight months and I need clothes to wear because most of the time I rather think it’s socially acceptable to wear clothes and I want to have friends.”
  • My ponderous query: “Do people with accents think in accents?”