I recently visited Queenstown and Wanaka, to test out or revisit some properties and products, along with running the Queenstown marathon. We packed in a lot over our 5 day trip thats too much for just the one blog entry! We landed on day one in Queenstown airport at 9:00am, where we were met by Matthew from Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters, a quick 2 minute drive and we were in the Glacier South Lakes hanger for a safety briefing, and on our way to Milford Sound by 10:00am. As the heli makes its way to Milford spectacular views abound of Lake Wakatipu, snow capped mountains, glacier lakes, ancient valleys, and pristine rivers. The first glimpse of Milford Sound is absolutely breathtaking and never gets old with towering rock faces jutting out of the turquoise blue waters. The heli flies close to Bowen Falls, a huge cascading waterfall, then lands a 2 minute drive from the Milford Sound Visitors center. Keith our pilot walked us across to a waiting bus, for a short shuttle trip to the visitors center where he then handed us our tickets for a 1.5 hour cruise on board Southern Discovery. As we cruised along Milford Sound there is commentary explaining the history and geography of the area, pointing out the waterfalls, rock formations and wildlife, we were lucky on our trip as we saw both seals and a pod of dolphins!
Once the boat docked back at the visitors center our pilot Keith was waiting for us and we made our way back to the waiting helicopter. As we took off Keith headed over the snow capped peaks in the Fiordland National Park, and turquoise glacier lakes, we made a landing on Mt Tutoko glacier, where we were able to get out of the heli for a while. The views were absolutely breathtaking, it was fun to see touch and feel snow at what was almost summer! After time for photos (LOTS) we headed back into Queenstown, with more of those never ending glorious views and vistas! This trip is absolutely a must do! Thank you to Glacier Southern Lakes it was the most perfect day!
Landing back at the airport we collected our hire car and headed to Queenstown Park Hotel, the hotel is perfectly located within walking distance of the lake front, cafes, and restaurants. Views from the Remarkable Rooms of the Remarkable mountain and of the Gondola from the other rooms. Both room types are spacious and welcoming, the staff at Queenstown Park are all lovely they made us feel very welcome.
After checking in and dropping our bags we made a short walk into town, we were in the heart of the township within minutes, time for a chilled wine at the lake front and some window shopping, before heading back to the hotel for complimentary pre-dinner drinks of local wines and canapes. Queenstown Park do not offer evening meals, but they are so close to the many fantastic restaurant options available in Queenstown, its great to be able to explore the area.
I would like to thank Glacier Southern Lakes, and Karen and her team at Queenstown Park Hotel for a perfect start to our time in Queenstown.
Kay Campbell is a luxury travel consultant for Luxury Adventures. Talk to us about planning your next visit to New Zealand, Australia or the South Pacific Islands.