New ZeaLand Down Under – Queenstown

New ZeaLand Down Under – Queenstown

Last week, we went on a short trip to New Zealand.  We bought the tickets back in November since they were selling them really cheap.  We chose to go in May since we wanted cooler weather. It’s been so hot here in Manila that it feels like it’s 40 degrees Celsius.   It was a welcome change from the hot and humid.

New Zealand is a really pretty with a lot of scenic places to go to.  We weren’t able to to go to all the places since we were only in Auckland and Queenstown.  We did go to Milford Sound and Hobbiton which were the highlights of the trip.  As cities go, Auckland is so so. It’s pretty compact but its not really comparable to other more cosmopolitan cities. I say just go straight to the more scenic spots in New Zealand.

Queenstown is a resort town in the South Island and is surrounded by the Remarkables mountain range and Lake Wakatipu.  It’s one of the top tourist destinations in the country.  My friend told me that I could miss everything else but I shouldn’t miss going to Queenstown.  He was right. It’s a very picturesque and beautiful town all year round.  It’s for adrenaline junkies but we didn’t do anything remotely adventurous during our short stay.

We stayed at the Novotel Queenstown Lakeside which had an amazing view of Lake Wakatipu.  You are literally a few steps from the lakeside.  I ended up taking pictures of the every morning.  The view was simply majestic.  You can walk around the whole town and finish in less than half a day.  I got acquainted with the town streets really fast.  The cool weather helped and it was easy to walk around town and enjoy the scenery.

This is the view of the Remarkables from the airport.

view of remarkables from airport

Here are some views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables. When we arrived, it was dark and cloudy.

 

It snowed the next day so it became snow-capped mountains.

 

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Sunny Side Up

Sunny Side Up

It’s summertime and that means it’s time to go to the beach! Last time I was at the beach was a  year ago.  We decided to go to Balesin Island which is a 25-minute plane ride from the city.  It took us the same amount of time to fly to the island as well as going from the house to the airport. Our flight was at 5AM so the traffic situation was non-existent.  But enough about the traffic because we are here to chill and relax.

Balesin is a private members-only island paradise. The island is 500 hectares and you literally have the whole island to yourselves, aside from the other guests.  When we were there over the weekend, there was a total of 400 guests.  I was suprised because I honestly didn’t see much people.  It was that big and private.  We stayed at the Balesin Village which is the Filipino-themed village.  There are other themed villages such as Bali, Phuket, Toscana, Mykonos, St. Tropez and Costa del Sol.  Our villa was the closest to the main clubhouse and had the best beach in the island (in my humble opinion).   My villa looked like this.  We even had our own private jacuzzi.

We were not able to get beachfront villas as those have been booked ahead but our view was still fantastic.

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This was the beach by our village.

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I’ve included below more pictures of the other villages in this amazing island.

Lastly, some more pictures with magnificent views.

I’m having  #sepanx moment right now wishing I was still at the beach.  Anyway, it was a good weekend trip and this will make me look forward to my next island/beach trip.  When? I don’t know.  Hopefully soon.  Really soon.