Our time in Queenstown and in the beautiful AirBNB house we've rented for a week is sadly drawing to an end.
The remainder of our time here has been perfect. Dave has ticked off a couple more things he needed to do in New Zealand (and thankfully is still in one piece 🙏) and we have made the most of all this beautiful town has to offer.
We were pleasantly surprised to discover that beneath the surface of what appears to be a backpackers and adrenaline junkies paradise, lies a lively town with soul, indescribable beauty and a real community feel.
Dave was desperate to see some rugby during our time in New Zealand but it looked like we'd timed it for the end of the season. However, on arriving in Queenstown we'd heard that there was a touch footy tournament, with a side led by none other than Richie McCaw (All Blacks captain when they won the World Cup 2 years ago) while we were in town and the boys got to meet him!
What a setting for a rugby club!
Rugby in NZ ✅. Onto Dave's next item on the wish list. A skydive. Yes, not content with a bungee jump off a ledge 400m high to a 47 metre drop, Dave also felt the need to throw himself out of a plane at 16,500 feet. One whole minute of free fall followed by around 15 minutes to parachute back to earth. ✅
I for one was happy not to watch this time! So the children and I took the rather magnificent TSS Earnslaw steamship over to Walter Peak Station, to feed sheep, Highland and belted Galloway cows, deer, alpaca and goats.
We were also treated to afternoon tea on this beautiful farm, set in lush (very English looking) country gardens, with its own beachfront overlooking snow-capped mountains.
A very impressive lady sheep farmer then showed us how the sheepdogs help herd the sheep, before grabbing a sheep and shearing it beautifully.
As we set off back on the ship we were looking forward to seeing Daddy back on the ground, and celebrated with a local brew back on the lakefront.
Our last day was spent walking through Queenstown Park and finished with a BBQ at Martin and Anna's house over the lake. Martin went to school with Dave and Sarah back in Broadstone, and is now marketing manager at Real Journeys. He had kindly helped us plan our trips while we were here. Our children have loved spending time at real homes with friends and other children and the 5 of them got on brilliantly, playing with Lego and exploring the secret path at the end of their garden that led to the beach.
It's always lovely spending time with local people and Martin, Anna and their family welcomed us with open arms.
We left feeling very full and headed back to Queenstown on a water taxi which Martin had called for us. It met us one one of their neighbours decks - if you are fortunate enough to be able to build a deck in the lake, it has to be able to be used by anyone else. So we got our taxi home from Mrs Bullers deck!
We arrived back to Queenstown at night which was so pretty, and to our last night here.
We will miss Queenstown and must come back one day to ski!