Completely abundant with culture, life and scenery - New Zealand is nothing short of breathtaking. Venturing through the country it is quiet, but every which way you look there are signs of life and agriculture. It is the picturesque landscape, the type that your eyes will never forget as if you could capture it forever in your memories. It is the passion within the people, the passion that is feverish, so much so it leaves you wanting to be better and ignites your heart into a frenzy of gratitude and contentment. Both North & South Islands are very much unique in their own ways, offering different experiences across the whole spectrum. In this Journal post we will be sharing a few incredible, selected places from the South Isalnd, to stay (or just look at), eat and play.
// LAKE WANAKA
Located in the southern part of the South Island, a mere hour's drive away from Queenstown, Lake Wanaka is an unbelievable destination for all year round. Wanaka is for the adventurous, the wanderers and stargazers. It’s best to dress casually, or better yet in active wear, for most of the things you may be doing will be outdoors and active. There are amazing restaurants, cafes, wineries, bars and markets to indulge in and make your local if you’re there for an ample amount of time.
// Aurora Australis (Southern Lights)
Constellations, shooting stars and possibly the Aurora Australis can be seen among the skies of Lake Wanaka. Said to be some of the darkest skies in the world, with very little light pollution, and clear, dark skies, there are millions of stars to be gazed upon and if you go in Autumn, there’s a larger chance you’ll be witnessing the Southern Lights.
// Wanaka Farmers Market
If you catch yourself at the Wanaka Farmers Market on a thursday evening, we’re talking mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, handmade chocolates and award winning bread. That’s just in the winter time too. Between 3pm and 6pm every Thursday, the Markets are open and bustling with locals and visitors, eager to grab some of the freshest, local produce from around the area.
*Free sparkling water on tap alert* Alchemy Cafe is the place to go when you’re wanting to ‘refuel the mind, body and soul…’. Alchemy’s philosophy is built around the use of the healthiest local and fresh ingredients, fair trade coffee, and the presence of a friendly atmosphere. With a modern outlook on the title, the interiors are modern and the outside seating have mountainous views.
Kika is a quirky and detailed tapas bar, offering tapas style, piccolo sized dishes for you to enjoy when you’re not so hungry, or for when you are ravenous for flavour and fullness. This is when you leave it up to the chef to pick three grande sized dishes for you and your company to share and enjoy. Mostly the dishes are contorni style (mainly vegetables and salads), and the deserts sorbets and gelatos. The dishes can also be matched to selected wines and beers.
// Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel
Consciousness in design, committed to sustainability and with majestic mountainous landscape, the Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel is a 19 room, modern and lavishly designed hotel, centrally located in Queenstown. One of the newest hotels to make it’s mark, it has incredible service, decor and location. With gourmet breakfasts and personalized grocery packages to suit your desires, they really have all bases covered, and in a humble and considered way.
// Annandale Scrubby Bay | Mr & Mrs Smith Luxury Villas
Basically you have all you need here at Scrubby Bay. Part of the Annandale estate, on the Banks Peninsula, it is only accessible via helicopter or four-wheel drive. Facing a private pebbled beach, the villa has four bedrooms, three of which face the Pacific Ocean, the other impresses with it’s own walk-in shower and views of the luxury pool. Utterly breathtaking and simple, the villa breathes you in like it’s last breathe and transports you to every corner, making you feel at home and as though you’re living among the mountains and with them.