Welcome to a new travel segment for Design is Yay: Wanderlist!
I love travelling. My happiest moments in life happened mostly when I travel. I can’t stand being in one city for a long time and always have the urge to go somewhere, even if it’s a place just 1 hour away from home. Before I started writing this post, I actually listed down the year and countries I have been to (other than Australia and Indonesia, of course, as those two are basically my homes), and I’m surprised to realise that I have been to at least one overseas destination each year. I went to Malaysia in 2009, Turkey in 2010, China in 2011, New Zealand in 2012 AND 2013 and U.S.A in 2014. Not to mention my short trips to Singapore. This makes me feel pretty lucky being and Indonesian, because even though we don’t have the freedom of going to place without visa like most first-world nationalities do, but we have budget airlines and awesome neighbouring countries. In fact going to Singapore, for us, is like……. a Canberran going to Sydney (in terms of cost and hours to travel). I kid you not.
However, sometimes I feel that once a year is not enough. So how do I tame this urge to travel when it’s just not possible to travel? I create imaginary trips. I read travel blogs and magazines. I go to Agoda and AirBnB and search for good accommodations, just in case I get to go there one day. There’s nothing wrong with making a Wanderlist :)
So if you are a Wanderlust like me, you will definitely love this segment. I will be interviewing someone who has actually been there, whether as a local, a temporary resident, or a tourist. For the first Wanderlist post, I will be sharing about my wonderful Honeymoon in Queenstown, New Zealand in 2011. Off we go!
1. Are you a Local or a Traveller?
2. When were you in Queenstown, and on what purpose?
I was there in September 2012, and again in August 2013. The first time I was on honeymoon with my husband. Before the wedding, I was flipping through a honeymoon destination magazine, when I saw this beautiful photograph of a lake with mountainous backdrop. Turns out it was Lake Wanaka, a place not far from Queenstown. We decided to go there for our honeymoon. I loved it so much that I went there again with my parents the following year.
Above: Crystal Clear Water of Lake Wanaka
Below: A herd of sheep crossing in front of our bus on our way to Mount Cook Village
3. What do you like about Queenstown?
Other than the fact that it is So-Freaking-Beautiful, Queenstown has a lot to offer for such a small town. There are so many things to do and many places to visit. And also, no matter how many times I look at The Remarkables, I never get tired of how beautiful it is.
Above: The Remarkables viewed from somewhere around Beach Street
4. One best experience/moment you had.
It’s hard to pick just one, but I love the road trips that we took from Queenstown. While we were there, we went to Wanaka, Arrowtown, Milford Sound and even Mount Cook. But there was one moment on the road when I thought to myself “this is probably what heaven looks like”. I know that sounds corny, but everything in New Zealand seems really pure and perfect. The famous saying: “the grass is greener on the other side” is very true for New Zealand.
Above: TSS Earnslaw, an iconic steamship leaving Steamer Wharf
5. Five places/activities/eats recommended by you
1. Yakitori Daruma – it’s a little Japanese bar with cosy and authentic Japanese atmosphere. I love their ramen noodles and sake-based cocktails. People who came in groups seem to always order Sake-bomb.
2. Wanaka – Wanaka is one or two hours drive away from Queenstown. Lake Wanaka has the most clear water I have ever seen, and the town is great for those who wish for some peace and quiet for a change. Definitely a great place to visit for those who live in chaotic cities like Jakarta ;)
3. Gibbston Valley Pinot Gris – Best Pinot Gris ever. Go to Gibbston Valley for a winery trip while you’re there.
4. White Water Rafting – I have always loved rafting, so I couldn’t miss the chance to go rafting while in Queenstown. There are two rivers – Shotover and Kawarau. Kawarau is for first-time rafters and Shotover is a grade 3-5 river. As I have rafted in Bali before, I went for the Shotover one, and I have to say that the current is nothing compared to Bali rivers. However, the scenery is definitely much better!
5. Chalet Queenstown B&B – I took an airport shuttle to this B&B, and when we arrived at the Chalet, the shuttle driver said to me, “you’ve made a great choice!”. She was absolutely right. The host, Alex was nice and friendly, the room was warm, cosy and so very clean, and the breakfast is five star quality. Depending on which room you get, you can see The Remarkables from your balcony. I stayed at Chalet Queenstown during both visits.
Love travelling? I’d love to hear from you! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a little story about the best trip you’ve had in your life.