January 17, 2010

What she did: Queenstown for the unextreme

We got back yesterday from a week's holiday in New Zealand. The main reason we went was for Mr Fantapants' cousin's wedding - which was a gala family affair and loads of fun - but we also squeezed in a few days' R&R.

Everyone who knows us looked qute surprised when we said Queenstown was our destination for the 'holiday' part of our holiday. After all, this is NZ's extreme sports capital and the home of the first commercial bungy jumping site, and they don't come less extreme than me and Mr F. But bungy jumping, jet boating, skydiving and whitewater rafting aside, Queenstown is also incredibly pretty. It's located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by snowcapped mountains, wineries and orchards, which suited us very well indeed.

The town itself was chockers with holidaymakers (although we heard some locals commenting that it's twice as busy during the winter ski season) so we were pleased to be staying on the outskirts. Our apartment looked over the lake, which made for some beautiful sunrises over the mountains (the only downside of our apartment was the too-soft bed, so I did have a couple of very early morning starts), and many 'how's the serenity?' moments on the balcony.

Highlights of the trip included:
  • a quick punt on the Avon River, courtesy of the bride and groom
  • a picnic on a riverbank near Darfield with Mr F's uncle, complete with a thermos of tea and sandwiches cut into triangles
  • meeting many friendly dogs (most notably Stella, a staffy-jack russell cross from Wanaka, and Stacey the staffy pup who thought she might join us for fish and chips by the lake)
  • the lovely old ginger cat at the Glenorchy Cafe who put up with a lot of cuddles
  • delicious tuna for lunch at Missy's Kitchen, overlooking Lake Wanaka
  • the Ginger Tom beer at Dux de Lux (which is really gingery - yum!)
  • feeding the ducks in the Christchurch botanic gardens.
Lowlights were the innumerable flattened possums and bunnies that litter the highways of the South Island - too sad.

Anyway, the holiday is literally over and it's time to start thinking about the to-do list, which includes Finding Freia being published on 1 February(!), finishing up at work and getting ready for uni. 2010's off to a grand and exciting start!

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