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Adventures in Queenstown

Kia orana kōtou kātoatoa! (Hello everyone!)

So! My friends and I met at 4:00am to catch a 5:00am bus to the airport were we boarded our short flight to Queenstown, New Zealand.

Air New Zealand flights are so nice. The staff are very friendly, the planes are more spacious than the planes in the States, and they even offer you a complimentary bag of chips or a cookie on most flights. We were even offered the complimentary snack, regardless of the fact that our flight was only an hour and a half long and was earlier than most people even wake up, let alone eat. Luckily I was able to sleep on the plane.

The descent into Queenstown was spectacular. The Queenstown airport is situated in a small crook between immense mountains near the edge of Lake Wakatipu. All but the tops of the mountains were obstructed by a dense cloud layer during out descent, but once we de-planed and the cloud layer burned off around noon we got an appreciation for how massive the mountains really were, and how small it made the town feel.

After moving into our hostel that morning, our first and most important order of business was to visit the CookieTime Cookie Bar (obviously...). I got a banoffee (spiced banana toffee) cookie and one of the best mochas I’ve had in New Zealand thus far, which is saying something. It was slightly colder in Queenstown than I was expecting it to be, so maybe it was just that the coffee was better because it warmed me up.

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Enjoying a quick snack in Queenstown

At noon we boarded a small boat to take a cruise of Lake Wakatipu, the lake that Queenstown sits next to. The lake was beautiful, and we were provided with a delicious burger and complimentary glass of beer or wine for lunch.

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Our cruise boat

After our cruise we went back to the hostel to nap since we were all pretty tired from waking up so early. Later we met up for dinner, which for me was scallops in a ginger/soy sauce. Oh man, were they amazing. The scallops came with the roe, which the server warned me about once he realised we were from the US. He explained that the scallops might not be what I'm expecting since the US is one of the only countries that doesn't serve scallops with the roe, but I'm glad I tried them because they were really delicious. After dinner we went for ice cream and then headed back to the hotel to crash.

The following day the group split up to enjoy our own activities. A group of us started out our day with a gondola ride to the top of one of the smaller mountains near Queenstown for a zip-line tour!

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Zip-lining

Afterward we all headed our separate ways for lunch to wait for our friends to finish their adventures. Later the whole group met up again for dinner at the famous “Fergburger” where the burgers were as big as my face. I had my first non-alcoholic ginger beer that night as well, and it was so delicious and refreshing. The US equivalent “ginger ale” doesn’t even remotely compare to how good the ginger beer was.

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Fergburger

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By Sara LobdellUS Study Abroad Scholarship Student

Updated 1 month ago

Sara studied biology and music at the University of Auckland and had a Generation Study Abroad Award. "Out of the eight universities in New Zealand I chose the University of Auckland in particular for its world-ranked academics and location. What better place to study the natural sciences than one in which you're constantly surrounded by natural beauty."

*Views expressed are the blogger's own
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