Jord and I have made it a bit of a tradition to go snowboarding for my birthday every year (bar last year because we had just got back from Europe and were knackered. JK, had no money left.) We hadn't had a good shred in the South Island for a good few years so reckoned it was about time to frolick down for a play. I always froth on the flight down so I made sure I had my camera on me this time...
We arrived in Queenstown first thing on Saturday morning so it was straight to Cardrona for a shred. (That's a lie, we got an Arrowtown bakery pie first). This was probably one of the most fun days I've ever had on my board. I've finally found my holy grail snowboard and I was fizzing all day trying to beat my personal speed records and learning to butter around in the forgiving spring snow.
Ain't no trip to Queenstown complete without a prospect and a Ferg. This was the day NZ was hit with a slight heat wave so it was a perfect 20 degrees for our search for some paydirt with a cold beer in hand (kept chilly by the Shotover River!)
Now, this next part of the trip I was sooo fricken excited for. Shacking up at The Spire Hotel was the best decision to add to the birthday celebrations. Of course, you know I love the adventures where we sleep in the roof tent or under the stars, but every once and a while I think we all deserve some luxury (espesh on ya birthday). This place was SO nice. Just walking through the door you understand why it's earned an epic 5 stars.
Even though my heart lies in the outdoors, one of my favourite things to do on holiday at the end of the day is to watch a movie in bed. And what a bloody bed it was. I thought getting out of bed before was hard, then this comfy ass dream bed came waltzing into my life all like "you didn't know you needed me, but ya do". The kind of bed that it doesn't matter what you endured that day, you get in and it whispers "I gotchu boo." And you just melt into it and become one with the mattress then have one of those dead limp stone sleeps where you don't move AT ALL. That's because you actually temporarily died and went to heaven. Not to mention there was a fricken PILLOW MENU. For those that know me well, know I am all.about.the pillows. The staff were out of this world amazing and the room was perfection. Can I please come live there foreva gaiz?
After a quick relax and reset, I dragged Jord out for a hike up Queenstown Hill! Joookkeess, he dragged me.
Yes, those are little fudgies they put in our room for our return. Can someone just do this for me every day plz? #ahemjordan.
Is it even your birthday if you don’t have breakfast in bed? The weather wasn’t looking so great for sunrise so we had a nice lazy morning in bed and ordered room service from No5 Church Lane downstairs. I’m calling it, this was the best french toast I’ve ever had. It’s set the standard for all other french toast and now all other french toast is RUINED. Upsetting yes, but at least I know where to find the best french toast now. (Please if you can help me reset my french toast expectations here in Auckland, slide into my DM’s and direct me to the noms). There really is something about getting food delivered to you that brings me eternal joy. When it happens while you’re wearing a luxe az robe in your comfy ass bed with the sun streaming in, WAWAWEEWA. I love it.
For the afternoon we took another trip over the Crown Range to visit my mates at CrossFire Wanaka. I visited Criffel Station back in May when they were still in the process of revamping the whole set up so I was awesome to come back and see it all finished. Jord and I were pretty lucky to head up the hill to have a go at the newly launched clay bird shooting. With the best views in Wanaka, we had way too much fun blasting clay birds out of the sky with the incredible backdrop of Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea (seriously you can see everything! – One of the only spots in Wanaka you can see both lakes.)
The legend Adam then took us for a quick tour around the rest of the farm to feed some animals and check out their incredible and super unique Wool Shed wedding venue! (Hollah if you’re getting married there and need a photographer – so keen to see it all in action!)
You would have caught on by now that I’m massively obsessed with food, so to keep with the “it don’t count when it’s your birthday” vibe, it was time for some more deliciousness.
The Grille. Come at me.
For those of you that know about The Grille already, it’s pretty much the crème de la crème of dining in Queenstown. It’s right on the waterfront so you get amaaazing views of the lake and surrounding mountains (and of selfie sessions and seagulls attacking drones, A++ dinner entertainment, would dine again). I’ll let the photo’s do most of the talking, but for those that are interested: DEFINITELY order the Charcuterie Board to share & the garlic crumbed oysters. For main, I went for the Crispy Havoc Pork Belly served with scallops. Now, I’m a huge snob when it comes to crackling. Do it right or don’t do it at all, ya know. They absolutely nailed it. Like, outstanding shit people. Jord indulged in the Beef Short Rib (which he wouldn’t let me taste at first because he got all “man” protective over it). The service is second to none and everything came out piping hot. Beeeauuttiiffuul. I approve The Grille. I approve.
On our last day the weather was looking good for another shred up on The Remarkables, so like any responsible adult, we gave ourselves a nutritious breakfast from Eichardt’s Bar. This cozy little spot is also right on the waterfront right next to The Grille, and they do amazing coffee (so says Jordan as I’m a tea drinker myself). After a good few days of heavy eating, I reckoned it was about time for some muesli. How these guys managed to make the simplest of breakfasts incredible, I’ll never know. In saying that, I did have a taste of Jord’s mushroom hollandaise and got instant food envy #THEWOORSSSTTWHHYYY!
Bye bye The Spire Hotel :'(
For any of you headed to The Remarkables Skifield next year for a play, make sure you hit up the lookout above the top of the Shadow Basin chairlift. Providing some of the best views you can get without a heli ride, it is most definitely a #NZMustDo. Best snack stop in the entire world. I mean, just look for yourself…
I honestly think Spring is the best time to visit Queenstown. With the sunny warm weather, cherry blossoms everywhere and the fact that it’s soo much quieter (no lines for the lifts whoop!) makes it such a beautiful and relaxing time to go!