Sunday, June 28, 2009

Day 3 - Queenstown and Arrowtown

Lake side - Queenstown

A quick read of the paper and a delicious hot choc from Pategonias

One the floats, Queenstown Winter Festival Parade.

Historical Arrowtown - 2 mins drive from our accommodation and only 20 minutes drive from Queenstown.

My 3 beautiful children, Arrowtown.

Day 2 - Tekapo to Queenstown

Goodbye Tekapo and Peppers, Queenstown here we come! Opening of the Winter Festival today!
View from Mt John Observatory, just outside Tekapo
My children, Mt John

View over Lake Tekapo

A quick detour via Mt Cook for some lunch - Hermitage Hotel, Mt Cook.

Dinner at the Gondola Restaurant with magnificent views over Queenstown - perfect venue to view the opening Fireworks of the Queenstown Festival.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Day One - Christchurch to Lake Tekapo

Our 7th trip to New Zealand in 6 years! A photo blog of our journey!
Copthorne Hotel - view over a Christchurch City Park

Off to Lake Tekapo to visit Winter Park for a bit of outdoor skating and wonderful, peaceful views

On the road through Fairlie.

Seriously beautiful country, New Zealand would have to be the most beautiful country on earth.

My three beautiful children very patiently posing while I try out my new camera!

Stunning Lake Tekapo!

View from our loungeroom, Peppers Lake Tekapo! What a stunning place to stay. Next time we will be sure to allow a few extra nights here.
Winter Park offers warm inviting spa pools and outdoor iceskating. A new tubing park will be opening soon - can't wait to try it out next year!Peppers Lake Tekapo More of Lake Tekapo

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

One More Sleep!

One more sleep and we are off to New Zealand! So excited to see lots of pretty snow flakes on the weather predictions for next week - in fact most of next week looks very favourable for snow in Queenstown and Arrowtown.

The Queenstown Winter Festival starts Friday (the day we arrive in Queenstown). On Friday night the streets are filled with food stalls, beer stalls, and mulled wine to unthaw the fingers. To top it off, spectacular fireworks. I also hear the New Zealand's Prime Minster, will be in town too. Now all I need is a visit from Neil Finn and perhaps Sam Neil and I will be set!
Want to know more about the Winter Festival?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

5 sleeps to go!

Yes only 5 sleeps til we are back in New Zealand! I cannot believe a year has passed since I have been in beautiful Queenstown.

We will only be over for 12 night this trip. It was the only way I could convince my 17 year old to come along! Still 12 nights is better than nothing.

We will be flying into Christchurch (love the midnight arrival flight!) and heading of to Lake Tekapo for the second night. The girls just love ice skating in the open at the Winter Park there. It is just magical. I might even give it a go this time.

Then off to the beautiful Queenstown. We are staying 5 nights near Arrowtown this time. Normally I insist on Lake Views, but to be honest, after trying almost every 5 star place in town (with 3 bedrooms), I just couldn't find anywhere that really took my fancy, so a house in the country it is.

Just to ensure I don't fret too much, on missing my Lake and Remarkables view, we are also spending 3 nights at the newly completed Rees right on the Lake.

To top it all off, we are spending our last 2 nights at Terrace Downs in the shadow on Mt Hutt. We spent a few nights there last year and it was just so serene and peaceful. A perfect way to end a holiday.

Hopefully next year I will get to spend all of winter in Queenstown - that is our plan. We have trained staff and if all runs well this time, we should be able to spend more time in New Zealand next year. You never know, you may soon see another Funky Fabrix popping up in Queenstown some time soon!

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Best Job in the World!

I have found my dream job - move over Qld Tourism - New Zealand is offering its own "best job in the world"
Job title says it all - World Famous New Zealand Expert on everything New Zealand.
Now I don't profess to be an expert of EVERYTHING New Zealand but I am a quick learner.
The job description can be found on (New Zealand's answer to EBay) posted by Entirely Kiwi.
Job role: Your role will be to travel the length of New Zealand, meeting with our suppliers, clients and the occasional possum and promoting Entirely Kiwi to the world through any means possible, and telling everyone exactly why New Zealand is the best country in the world - beyond the obvious fact that it is.

I am thinking they want some young, enthusiastic, bungee jumping, ski diving, snowboarding all round adventurer here, but I will be quick to point out that angle has been done over and over!

Every program on New Zealand aired in Australia depicts New Zealand as some adrenalin junkie's dream - and sure it is, but New Zealand is so much more. I think it is about time New Zealand was also thought of as the perfect family destination. Families on average spend way more than any young single/couple travelers.

OK I can't give away too much of my application angle, I don't want anyone else to win! Although, not sure what I will do with 4 children and a very busy business in Brisbane, if I do win! But I am certainly up for the challenge.

Come on, Entirely Kiwi, if you want more Australian families to visit New Zealand, pick me, pick me! With cheaper than every air travel, a fantastic exchange rate, and Aussie Shona rooting for you, you just can't go wrong!

Want to read the whole job description?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Something So Strong

Long before I met my present Kiwi love, and long long before I actually wanted to be a Kiwi - I was smitten with Neil Finn!

Referred to as New Zealand's "King of Pop", Neil Finn is one of New Zealand's most famous exports. A brilliant solo career, Crowded House, Split Enz and teaming up with his brother Tim, he has been on our radio ever since I can remember.

I first saw Neil in 1980! (am I really THAT old!) I was a high school student and I went to the Sporting True Colours concert - The Sports and Split Enz. Anyway to cut a long story short I have "loved" him ever since.

I do seldom play his music these days and always manage to see him whenever he comes to Brissy (only in concert unfortunately!).

I bring this up because I am presently compiling a new cd for my next New Zealand trip. Each year, before we head off to NZ, we all choose a few favourite tracks and add them to our "Travel CD". I love doing this. Music is much like smell, it evokes strong memories. Each time I play one of our old cds, it brings back some special memory from one of our trips.

Of course, this year again, I will choose a few of my favourite Neil Finn tracks, and hopefully no one will groan too loudly at their inclusion. After all, what would a trip to New Zealand be without Neil coming along for the ride?