On my second trip to New Zealand, my co-worker, Andrea and I planned a weekend road trip to Queenstown, New Zealand. It was going to be my first international road trip. Queenstown has been on my radar since my first visit to New Zealand. I was told that it was the town to see while in the South Island.
Can you imagine the excitement I felt on Friday afternoon? I was going to have my first international road trip. The drive to Queenstown is approximately 3.5 hours from Dunedin. I was prepared.
Okay, let me give you some background, I don’t do road trips at all. Driving in a car for hours just doesn’t appeal to me. Also, I am the worst companion in a plane, train, or automobile. I will fall asleep on you quickly. However, this trip would be different. It is an international road trip. I had my Smartphone charged and ready to take pictures and explore.
En-route to Queenstown
While en-route and before stopping at our first town, we saw majestic mountains and rolling hills showing signs of spring; sheep and cows grazing on fresh green grass. I felt like I was watching a documentary on nature, but this was my reality. I guess by being a city girl, I never experienced the beauty of the countryside.
Our first stop was Roxburgh. It is a small New Zealand town of about 600 people. It is well known for having the establishment “Jimmy’s Pies”. We were told that we must stop and get one of their mince pies. I was like “mince pie…what is that?” Basically, it is beef minced up inside of a pie. When we entered Jimmy’s, they had a wide range of selection from fruity to meaty pies. Since I was an unofficial “kiwi” (native New Zealander), I might as well try one.
All I am going to say is that is one food item off my bucket list and I don’t see me having another one.
If you recall, I told you that I am not a good companion on road trips because of one big flaw — falling asleep. Well, guess what I fell asleep on Andrea during the drive between Roxburgh and Clyde which was about 25 miles. Yep, knocked and snoring based on what Andrea told me. Oh well, I finally woke up for the town of Clyde.
Our second stop was Clyde which is another small town with a population of less than 1500. Clyde is known for having the third largest hydroelectric dam in New Zealand which is built on the Clutha River.
When I saw the Clutha River, I was left breathless. It is a natural wonder. I have never seen a turquoise river. I was in awe of the color and tranquility. I even inquired during the winter season, would it turn into a block of ice. The answer was no. I spent so much time taking pictures of the river and enjoying the view.
Our next stop was the town of Cromwell which lays between the Clutha River and Kawarau River. You will see the distinct difference between the colours of the waters of the two rivers.
We finally made it to Queenstown after I did a bungy jump of the Kawarau Bridge. Yes, Andrea hoodwinked me into bungy jumping. Psst…do not tell her, after the initial fear, I loved it. Read all about it https://www.internationalcaty.com/bungy-jumping-new-zealand/
I fell in love with this town. Queenstown is a resort town with a population of less than 20,000. It is quaint, quiet, inviting, and friendly. With it being the spring season, you were surrounded by cherry blossoms.
Andrea and I spent time exploring the city and even doing a river cruise on Lake Wakatipu.
As always, the weekend came too quickly and we headed back to Dunedin to start our work week. The last two days were filled with excitement, activities, and relaxation. My recommendation is a stop in Queenstown if you have the opportunity to be in the South Island of New Zealand.
This had to best international road trip (since it was my first). I don’t know if any city in a foreign country can compete. However, I have to say without my co-worker, this wouldn’t have been possible. Add international road trip to your bucket list. It will be one of the best adventures you will ever take.