A magical winter wonderland

24th July 2020

The day Daniel and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary.

It hasn’t been an easy 10 years, but we have stuck at it, continually learning about each other and growing as a couple. I have to say, I am pretty proud of us and it was really important to me that we celebrated this milestone.

To say that I love travel planning is an understatement. The research, the planning, the dreaming, it’s my happy place. I can spend HOURS absorbed in travel books, blogs and vlogs without even realising how much time has actually passed.

So it’s fair to say, that even long before Covid-19 raised it’s ugly head, I was well into the planning stages for our 10 year celebration trip. I had briefly looked into some overseas options but was quick to rule them out. Daniel is not a tropical island person, I really dislike long haul flights (aka fear of flying) and the East Coast of Australia just didn’t really appeal for this trip.

So I decided, since we were not going to be going anywhere warm, we may as well embrace the winter.

Its time for another adventure.

We leave the Wellington rain and grey behind. Above the clouds there is only sunshine. Our journey begins with the most scenic flight I have ever been on. Truly, it is spectacular. I have never taken so many photos from an aeroplane window before. I realise on the flight that this is the first time I have flown further south than Christchurch.

Our destination? You guessed it, Queenstown.

A pretty alpine town in the heart of Otago, built on the shores of lake Wakatipu and surrounded by The Remarkables mountain range. I have been here once before; in 2010 when we did a day trip on our Fireblade. I am looking forward to having time to explore Queenstown properly.

It’s a cool 3 degrees when we arrive, but honestly, it doesn’t feel that cold. It’s a very different cold to what we get in Wellington. You just layer up and you’re good to go.

No chilled, annoying wind.

We are staying at Nugget Point Hotel. It’s a little bit out of town but views make it worth it. Our room looks out over the Shotover river, a sight I could never get bored with.

The hotel has an unexpected and pretty cool spa room. Think modern Roman baths – mosaics and statues surround the plunge pool and hot tub. There is even a sauna and marble bath.

I quite often would make a trip here in the evenings to warm up after a day out exploring.

We wake up on the first morning to snow.

Oh my soul.

What an incredible experience. In a flash I am dressed and outside; delighting in the small, delicate flakes silently floating down. There is a beautiful silence that occurs when snow falls. Time stands still while a peacefulness settles on the land. The only sound is the noise of the pebbles beneath my shoes as I dance around in childlike excitement.

I had been dreaming of a magical winter wonderland and Queenstown, you have exceeded my expectations.

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