Leaving the campsite in Omarama from our two-day trip to Mount Cook, we headed out towards Queenstown. This was going to be my third and final time in Queenstown and this time I decided to avoid all the expensive tourist adventure stuff and just relax. My friend Remi and Nathan live in Queenstown. I met them when traveling in Dunedin. The huge advantage of visiting them is that we could park the campervan outside their home and not have to worry about paying for a campsite. Trying to find freedom camping in Queenstown is very difficult, so it’s best to book ahead at a campsite.
Day 1 – Arrive & Meet up with Friends 02.05.2020
First and foremost, Brad, Aditya, and I had the same goal, to find a place to shower since it has been 2 days without one. You can use the Campermate NZ app to find places that have public showers. We found a public pool in Cromwell the cost was < NZD 5 to shower. The next stop was to head into Queenstown to meet Remi. The location of his house had an amazing overlook over the lake.
The rest of the day in Queenstown was day drinking and catching up with friends so not much else to talk about. Nathan offered us to stay outside his home in Lower Shotover.
Day 2 – Queenstown Reggae Festival 02.06.2020
Today was a bit boring, I got up early and took the bus from Lower Shotover to the Queenstown McDonald’s to work for four hours. Once I got back we took the van and headed into Queenstown to meet up at Remi’s. We went down to the center to load up on alcohol and headed straight to the Queenstown Gardens for the Festival.
This was my first time at Reggae Festival/Concert and the place was filled with young adults drinking and smoking cannabis, a great place to be. Remi had invited a few more of his French friends that were living the van life in New Zealand for a year. We went to Queenstown Bay Beach to take in the sunset and then headed off for dinner. Spending one more night outside Nathan’s and then heading out to Wanaka in the morning.
Day 3 – That Wanaka Tree 02.07.2020
The plan for today was to hang out with Nathan until he had to leave for work and then make our way to Wanaka. We were planning to spend the night in Wanaka. In no hurry, it takes about an hour and a half from Queenstown to get there. The drive from Queenstown to Wanaka has a lot of lookouts to stop at. I can’t remember specifically where this one was but it was before Cardrona.
To my surprise Wanaka was a lot more developed than I thought, I figured it was just a nice place with a lake and a tree that everyone has to take a photo of. We did do just that and when we were there the place was empty so my mate Brad and I swam out to the Wanaka tree. The water is freezing by the way and swimming out to the tree made it even more epic than IG makes it. The water has to be at least 4 meters deep, I had no idea how tall that tree was.
Once we got back to shore we went to the van to look up other things to do in Wanaka. We decided there wasn’t much in our budget that we wanted to do so we started to make our drive to the West Coast.
Not my greatest post, but thanks for reading if you made it this far, cheers!