So it was back to Queenstown for another week of work and it wasn’t all work and no play. I’ll skip the work bits and focus on the rest for interests sake.
So it was an early bus ride to the airport on Monday catching the 7.14am bus. As you can see, traffic wasn’t an issue and its only a 10 minute ride so I got there in plenty of time for my 8.55am flight as I planned to have breakfast at the airport.
And it wasn’t especially busy at Christchurch airport either, it did pick up a bit around 8am but at 7.30 it was virtually a ghost town.
At lunchtime, I went and checked into my hotel which I booked as a cheap “mystery hotel” on Wotif. I’d ended up at Rydges with a waterfront view and free wifi. A bargain for Queenstown at only $111 a night. I can’t believe it’s not rated higher on Tripadvisor – its well down the ratings at 47/57.
They advertise having a pool, but more than two people in it and it would be crowded. No swimming of laps in this one, you’d be better off in the bath.
The view from the balcony back towards Queenstown was pretty amazing though.
I especially liked the options given for servicing of the room “No Service required”. I don’t need my room serviced daily.
and also a “Towels and Amenities Only” option.
Once I was all checked in, it was time for lunch. So I returned to an old tried and true favourite with Habebes Cafe and Takeaway. This place focuses on healthy and tasty salads and wraps. I got the salad plate with a sample of all the salads on offer. I especially loved the beetroot one and the potato salad (buried under the pile somewhere). This feast was only $12 and I nearly couldn’t finish it.
The afternoon was filled with some work then it was off to dinner. I thought it seemed a shame to waste the view by not using the balcony so I went to Bombay Palace and got takeaways to take back to my room.
I snapped this pretty view of the lake on the walk back to the hotel. It looks pretty grey and overcast but it was still fairly warm.
So here was my takeaway meal, which I separated into halves for lunch the next day. It was Dhal Makhani. It wasn’t amazing, it was just average. But it actually was better the next day once reheated.
As I had fruit with yogurt for breakfast in my room and the previous nights leftovers for lunch, for dinner I went back to the recently renovated and reopened Tandoori Palace. I noticed a few items had changed on their menu too.
Again on my wander back to my hotel with my meal, I snapped this photo.
I ordered the Paneer Labadar, homemade cottage cheese tempered with onion and tomato in a tangy masala sauce. I’d not seen this on a menu before. It was good but again didn’t have the wow factor, but was better than the previous nights from Bombay Palace. The new refit of the restaurant is lovely though.
After dining on my balcony, as it was a beautiful evening, I decided to go for a walk taking a handful of photos along the way. This one of Rydges Hotel from the beach.
On the beach along from the hotel
A rock with a sign… don’t ask, I don’t remember 🙂
I jokingly said on Instagram that even the weeds are pretty in Queenstown. Then it was back to the hotel for the rest of the evening.
The following morning, breakfast was again the room and lunch was my reheated leftovers. But I did pop out for a walk at lunch and took this video of the Queenstown waterfront. Lots of people on the beach as it was a balmy 27C.
By mid-afternoon, I weakened, and went to Fergbaker, next to the infamous Fergburger and got a chocolate praline slice. Lets just say it was too good to share.
Heading back to drop my stuff in my room before heading back out to dinner, I took this video of the steamship TSS Earnslaw coming back into the Queenstown dock.
For dinner, my friend Tom and I went to @Thai. This was closed last time I was in Queenstown. I ordered the Chili Basil with Tofu and vegetables. OMG spicy! Way spicier than I expected. But yummy if you like to cry through your meal.
Loved the Teddy Bear rice that came with the meal – so cute!
For lunch I went to Caribe Kitchen. While I was waiting for my lunch, I couldn’t resist a photo of this super cute dog. He looked like a dachshund cross (or similar) with his short legs.
I ordered the Arepa which is a Venezuelan flat bread. This was ok. I wouldn’t order it again, I would get the burrito which I’d ordered last time, as that was amazing.
For dinner, after the previous night’s diversion to Thai, it was back to Indian. This time to the Spice Room. I don’t remember what this dish was called but it was dumplings in a spinach curry. This was outstanding! Best meal of the week without a doubt.
Lunch on Friday was leftovers again, but I did go for a walk past the Queenstown Memorial Centre and take a photo of the War Memorial sign.
My workmate and I were on the same flight back to Christchurch so we decided to have some pre-flight snacks in the Air New Zealand Koru lounge. The cheese was fabulous. However as travel often does, it didn’t go to plan and our flight was cancelled due to low cloud.
Rather than stay the night at considerable expense, I jumped onto Avis’s website and found they had a compact car for $20. Holy cheap car rental Batman! Yes please… it was definitely larger than a compact, but for a 6 hour ride home, it would do the trick. We were on the road to Christchurch before our flight was even scheduled to leave.
And I was sure to remind the driver at regular intervals about the New Zealand driving laws.
We stopped at the small rural town of Omarama for dinner. This proved tricky. The pub restaurant didn’t have anything vegetarian on the menu. The takeaways were closed so we headed to the Heartland Hotel. They had two choices of vegetarian meals, this amazing & huge pasta salad or Vegetarian Lasagne. Obviously I got the salad – it was big enough to share and I bought a decent portion home.
But finally at midnight, we made it back to Christchurch for some well earned zzzzzzzzzz…..