My Top Things To See & Do In Queenstown, New Zealand

Chances are you’ve already heard of Queenstown. The adrenaline capital of New Zealand, here you’ll be able to throw yourself out of planes, off bridges and be thrown about in the Shotover river in the speedboat tours.

Having spent my days with adventure and as much relaxation as possible I wanted to share my favourite things to see and do…

Milford Sound

Being one of the closest, most populated towns to the lakes you’ll be sure to see all the advertisements for the trips to the most famous fjords in the Southern Hemisphere.

Milford is located approx. 3/4 hours away in the Fjordlands so is a big trip out!

I headed out with Jucy on their ‘Sunriser’ trip and with a 5:25am pick up I was seriously regretting not going for their late option but boy was I glad I did. To be honest I slept the whole way out so time passed without much worry but when we arrived there was very few other boats on the water allowing us to feel alone with the world in one of the greatest natural wonders.

Be sure not to miss this, it’s an incredible chance to see a world heritage sight and is often referred to as the 8th wonder of the world. With the added possibility to spot seals, penguins, dolphins or even whales along the way.

Prices start from $125 with return transfers.

Book direct with Jucy here online.

Onsen Hot Pool

So this was a little splurge and having seen pictures online I knew if I never went back and hadn’t been I’d live to regret it…. Money’s only money right & I was there to earn for these things.

I booked a morning session and work up to sunshine which was fantastic. When booking if choosing an hour slot (starting on the hour) then you are able to use the free shuttle bus they have to get you back and forth from Queenstown as it is located about 10 mins outside the city.

The onsen is your own for the hour and comes with a retractable roof so get the most of the spectacular views over the Shotover River, occasionally you’ll see the boating passing by.

Now I’ve been I am desperate to go back, although maybe this time I’ll book the evening special with the lanterns! (Swoon)

Prices start from $80 a pool.

Book direct online here.

Luge And Gondola

I’d been seeing this all over my Facebook before I arrived and knew I had to go. There’s 2 options here, walk up and save yourself $30 odd dollars by not travelling up on the gondola and purchase the luge tickets separately (chair lift is included to the very top) or if you’d prefer the quickest option then you can purchase a bundle with the gondola included. Prices can vary so be sure to check out all the options, I purchased 2 luge rides and the return gondola for $49 however there are deals for 5+ rides with the return trip up from $50. Be sure to check out my post here on how to save money while your travelling in New Zealand.

Saturday Markets

If your travelling during the summer months be sure to check out the local markets, get yourself prepared for winter with some m wool hats/gloves/socks or some art work. Even if your budget won’t stretch to souvenir purchases a morning stroll won’t do any harm?

Jetboats

Okay, so if you’ve not seen them plastered all over any NZ arrival adverts then let me fill you in. New Zealand has a thing for adrenaline and these speed boats are basically stunt boats with passengers, you’ll be racing, spinning and simply thinking your going to crash into something the driver neatly avoids.

They are great fun, but not for the weak stomached. To be honest there are so many companies in queenstown offering a very similar experience and I chose mine based on location and price. (Check out my post here about saving while travelling)

Sunset On The Lake

Probably very cliché but honestly one of the best ways to end your days is to grab a dinner to take to the lake and eat from your lap watching the sunset between the glorious mountain ranges.

You’ll find everyone down here from about an hour before sunset with entertainment even. Grab a $5 dominos, a cider and enjoy the calls of the waters and be sure to have your camera close by!

I did all these activities alone as I am a solo traveller, Don’t think any are not worth doing alone as you’ll only regret it. Sure things are always fun to share with others but sometimes you just don’t have the chance, be sure to check out your hostels notice board as they may arrange day trips locally and you can join with others and make a friend or two!

Advertisements

Best Places To Eat In Queenstown, New Zealand

Having eaten my way through the town I wanted to share my favourite places to eat while your in Queenstown!

Check out my favourites below and let me know what you think!

Fergburger

Okay okay I know this isn’t a new one but trust me you can’t come and not have one. The first thing I was asked when I mentioned I’d been to Queenstown was to check I’d been to Fergs.

Yes you may have to queue but yes they are delish.

I went about 3pm and was lucky to find a very little queue which only took about 10 minutes to pass and then had a 10 minute wait for my order. They are however open from 8am until 5am everyday so avoid the usual lunch/dinner peaks and you’ll be good!

Prices range from $10-$20 and they are big burgers!

Check out the menu online here beforehand and save yourself panic ordering at the till!

World Bar

Treating yourself (by this I mean spending more than $20 on a meal each) the World Bar should be your go too. Located on the mall this quirky eatery has outdoor seating to rival anywhere, with shade from the sun and heat lamps for the winter it’s the place to be come all seasons and enjoy people watching and the casual set up of the restaurant.

Prices are higher than you may be budgeting for but I can assure you it is money well spent. Mains average $20+ dollars however they do have lunch time deals which are all under $20.

Erik’s Fish & Chips

Located just off the lake front this popular fish and chips bar serves from 12pm until 9pm meaning you’re able to enjoy a sunset dinner on the lake if you head down late enough.

With meal deals starting from $10 the Hoki is a cheap meal to be had and still damn tasty.

You can even order online to beat the queue, order here and collect in time for the best sunset views.

Winnie’s

Hidden down the laneways of the mall Winnie’s is a pizzeria with a difference, an opening roof. That’s right, an opening roof. With summer temps reaching up to 30oc in Queenstown the roof is opened to let in those gorgeous warm sun rays. With decent pizza and with the option of a small for one you’ve no excuse not to head down and see for yourself.

Prices for a full pizza start from $18, check them out online here for full menus.

Balls And Bangles

I’ve a sweet tooth and can have a pudding with every meal (have done and will continue to do so) so when I passed by and saw the donuts I couldn’t help myself.

With the chocolate syringe to fill the middle these went down a treat, mostly down my chin but that’s how a donuts meant to be eaten right?

With prices from $8 and deals on large purchases it’s a great filler between lunch and dinner. They’ve also a bagel bar if you fancied staying for lunch!

Check out the drool worthy menu online here and get yourself there pronto!

Cup And Cake

Following on and keeping the sweet vibes going, just across the way is the lovely Cup & Cake store.

Selling home made cup cakes I spent an age trying to decide on which to take back to the hostel with me for a movie snack later.

In the end I played it safe with Vanilla but the was cake fluffy and light with lashings of buttercream, Perfect for an evening snack.

Be sure to pop in, if my post isn’t enough check them out online here for some mouth watering pictures!

Devils Burger

So being the burger fiend I am, I needed to check out the local competition to Fergs and came across Devils while hunting for Cup & Cake (which is conveniently located next door)

So I’m gunna put it out there and say I think Devils may be my favourite out of the two. The devils relish was great and the burger was just as big (and came with cheese and bacon for the same price) personally I thought the fries were a little sad and much better at Fergs but this isn’t the main event.

Honestly though the best part was no queueing and there was lots of seating.

Check out there menu online here.

Have you been to both? Do you agree with my comparison?!

Fergbaker

The sister to Fergburger the bakery next door has less a queue and all food is prepared in advance giving you the option of warm or cold snacks/lunches.

I personally prefer the bacon and egg roll with aioli and relish to the burger next door and for only $8 I think this is a great breakfast treat/hangover cure without the wait.

Cookie Time

Located on Camp Street you’ll see the lines before you hear the music, be in lust the second you smell the freshly baked cookies on sale here.

With freak shakes, raw cookie dough and ice cream you’ve got a choice to make. (For my UK readers if you like Millie’s cookies you’ll love these)

Be sure to head down for happy hour; 241 between 6-7pm

Have I missed anywhere off? Is there anywhere else you’d recommend, let me know in the comments below!

Favourite Canberra Eats

I’m forever in Canberra it’s like a second home now, I wanted to round up a couple of my favourite places to visit to accompany my brunching guide and to get you outside of the civic centre

Patissez

I can’t pass up a sweet treat so when I heard about the ‘freak shakes’ of Canberra I couldn’t not go! With fair prices, $9 for a ‘baby size’ or the regular size is $12, personally I can eat either with no problem but you are staying for lunch then a baby shake will do!

With changing choices I went straight for the ‘Micheal Jackson’ with brownie, roast Marshmallow with vanilla & chocolate ice cream!

Be sure to check them out online here.

Broad Burger

I love a good burger and am always on the hunt for a new place to try, now Broadburger have opened in a permanent home at the old bus depot markets (Kingston) it’s so easy to plan a day trip to both!

My poison is the double cheese which is coated in American mustard and tomato relish and easily eaten with a side of fries. With prices starting from $14 for a single burger chips are purchased in addition.

Be sure to check them out online here.

Grease Monkey

Located in Braddon this burger joint has people flocking from all over to try their delicious creations!Housed in an old mechanics garage just outside of the city centre centre these guys serve up burgers and fried chicken with a range of shakes or beers with prices staring from $15 Including a massive portion of fries! I went for the double deluxe which was amazing, cooked through and juicy with the greasy sauce oozing out!

Be sure to check them out online here.

Bombolini Doughnuts

Hands up who likes a doughnut? Well these guys are not to be missed while your in Canberra. Being a little exclusive makes things even more so exciting. These beautiful crispy on the outside squishy in the middle stuffed doughnuts are delish and enough to sway me to an unhealthy breakfast and an early Sunday start to catch them before they sell out at the Sunday regional farmers markets (Best be there before 10am to get your hands on one) They also are now stocking in Ainslies IGA and Deakin IGA store along with vegan choices at the cruelty free shop, delivered 3 times a week!

As they don’t have a website follow them on Facebook or Instagram.

Cafe Injoy

Located in one of my favourite suburbs ‘Gold Creek’ I just love coming out for a walk and some lunch over a sunny afternoon. Cafe enjoy is located next to the Dinosaur museum with ample parking and park and fish pond for the children.

They serve their full menu all day meaning if you fancied a burger for breakie then order away!

I’ve eaten breakfast and lunch here on different occasions and am always pleased with the portion size and haven’t been disappointed yet! Chicken parmigiana is my perfect lunch but a bacon and egg roll with coffee for under $10 is a bloody bargain breakfast!

As they do not have a website sure to check them out on Facebook for opening hours.

Thumper & Miss Bunny

Another located in Gold Creek this gorgeous hideaway is located inside the old red brick schoolhouse. With fresh coffee, Toasties and cakes this is the perfect place for a catch up or a drink in the sunshine.

Another restaurant without a website, check them out on Facebook for opening hours.

So there you have it, comment below and let me know if you’ve been to any already or where else you might suggest?!

My Favourite Sydney Markets

Having lived in Sydney for over a year I wanted to share my best loved weekend pastimes and give you all the needed info on the best markets Sydney has to offer for a wide variety of needs.

So in no particular order….

The Rocks Markets

If your looking for something a little different and want to be in the most luxurious setting then The Rocks is just the ticket. Home to the oldest settlement of Sydney, just by the harbours edge these markets go all out bringing you some of the best local produce.

Often purchasing direct from the designer/Artist where else better to look for your souvenirs for back home?  With ranges of dresses, one off jewellery and original art works and prints you’ll be sure to find something.

These are definitely the prettiest of all the markets, splayed out across the cobblestone streets and with glimpses of the opera house be sure to spend some time in the Rocks to explore the beautiful area!

The rocks markets are held Saturday & Sunday with a food market held on Friday evenings. Be sure to check out there website here for timings and seasonal variations. You’ll find the markets at the most Northern end of George Street, The Rocks.

Glebe Markets

If your looking for a more traditional trash and treasure (or a car boot for the British) then this is just the ticket. With second hand goods for sale amongst stall holders you’ll be able to spend hours looking through racks of clothing, books and CDs/records and new designs at this hip open air markets.

With food for sale and even an area to try on clothing you’ll easily be able to will away a couple of hours.

Be sure to check out the local area while these, Glebe is a hot pot for independent restaurants, bars and stores and is one lovely long road taking you to Glebe park and the foreshore for some lovely views out over the water.

You’ll find the Markets every Saturday morning at the public school located at 183 Glebe point road. Be sure to check out there website here for timings and seasonal variations. 

Manly Arts And Crafts Market

A market with a view, Manly’s markets are held just off the beach front, perfect for those who are wishing to enjoy a sunny day on the coast.

With stalls selling prints and art, jewellery and hand made leather goods is is often my first stop when bringing visitors and for when I need to treat myself to a new piece of jewellery. I’ve just brought my third ring in as many years and they are all still in beautiful condition even with wear everyday.

Getting to Manly may be a little more difficult than some of my other recommendations but I do thing Manly is a must do while in Sydney! – Be sure to take the walk to Shelly beach and see if you can spot any Eastern water dragons!

If you are lucky enough to be visiting for on the third Saturday of the month then head round the corner to Manly Public School for their markets. A trash and treasure you’ll be able to kix with the ‘real’ locals and help the school in their fundraising.(Located only a few moments walk away on the corner of Darley Road and Wentworth Street.)

Manly markets are held on Saturdays & Sunday’s on the corner of Market Lane & Sydney street. once off the ferry follow the signage to the beach and you’ll find them half way down. Be sure to check out there website here for timings and seasonal variations.

Sydney’s Paddy’s Markets

Likely the largest you’ll find in Sydney Paddy’s indoor markets are chockablock of stalls selling everything from art prints, key rings and novelty t-shirts. Held Wednesday to Sunday there’s no need to rush trying to time your days right, you can pop in for some release from the heat/rain.

They may be a little tacky but you’ll be sure to find something for anybody here! I’ve brought a ton of art and prints from here which all hangs proudly on my walls at home.

Paddy’s markets are held Wed-Sun and located on the corner of Thomas & Hay streets, Haymarket. Be sure to check out there website here for timings and seasonal variations.

Arriving Into Hong Kong

Having just visited Hong Kong I wanted to share my advice about getting around the islands of Hong Kong.

Although there is over 200 islands to explore most tourists will stick to the main areas of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, Lantu Island and the New Territories all of which can be explored by the MTR.

As a tourist arriving into the city you are able to purchase an airport express travel pass. This gives guests a return airport transfer and three continuous days travel on the MTR network.

For only $350 Hong Kong Dollars per person you can collect your pass at the airport and start using it straight away! Considering an airport transfer starts from $19 US Dollars per person one way you’ve already saved.

Read up more online here.

Then get yourself out there and explore Hong Kong, posts to be loaded shortly about things to do in Hong Kong.

My Favourite Canberra Brunching

After visiting as many restaurants in my 2 months in Canberra I wanted to share my absolute favourites with you! Please note some of the places mentioned may only be open on weekends, be sure to check the opening hours before travelling!

Ricardo’s

A popular choice with the locals Ricardo’s has been a firm favourite for the last 8 years since opening and walking through the cafe doors is like walking into a dream, fridges filled with the most beautifully crafted and colourful cakes you ever will see.With a full breakfast menu I often make the choice from the menu and as I can’t resist I’ll choose my cake for takeaway with a tea and lunch at home. The usual suspects are on the list with breakfast rolls and eggs on toast, but for something more usual be sure to check out the fritters with poached eggs. I find the prices are more expensive than some of the others within my list but the cakes are worth every cent.Already have plans for my last day to head in for a takeaway cronut for the bus to Sydney… that’s acceptable travel food right?Ricardo’s is located in Jamison Plaza, Bowman Street, ACT.Check them out online here!

Trevs @ Dickson

Who doesn’t love a brunch? Tried out this spot after passing on the way to the op shops and wanted to grab something to eat and was so pleased we did.

With a full breakfast menu, With a special ‘Trevs taste collective’ a three course taster with a savoury, sweet and healthy dish all rounded off with a fresh mini juice of the day this. Mine on our visit was egg and salmon slider with French toast, covered in the special of the day with a granola fruit yogurt bowl all for only $18.50 which by brunch standards in the city is a bargain!

Be sure to head out to Dickson to try it out.

Located at 20 Challis st, Dickson. ACT

Check them out online here

Stand By Me

A hidden secret in the area of Lyons this delicious cafe is a gem of a place. As they only have a presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and no live website I had to drool over their posts online of the famous French toast, Meant I already knew what I’d be choosing but as the menu can change daily for the specials I was in for a surprise!

The special of the day I visited was Salted Carmel, it came with Carmel sauce, Salted Carmel sauce, chocolate crumb and a rock of salted caramel fudge. Wowers. With your usual line up of eggs on toast and bacon and egg rolls, they have some surprises with Egyptian beans with egg and toast which was a real unusual option and I throughly enjoyed it. With most choices being $17.50 I thought the prices for something cooked so well was fair and the staff were fantastic helping with all my tables requests!

Located at 7 Lyons Place, ACT.

As I mentioned there is no website but check them out online before you visit!

Local Press Cafe

If you are looking for something wholesome then you’ve found your winner. Sourcing food locally and ethically these guys cater for all dietary requirements, dairy free, gluten free, vegan or vegetarian (although for those carnivores there is local ham on the menu)

I was massively impressed with the location, on the Kingston Foreshore with piazza under cover but with massive bifolding doors even sitting inside feels like your on the water.

With fabulous unusual choices like Breakfast tortillas or Nut waffles the foodies among you will be thoroughly impressed. I ended up sharing a dish of sweet and savoury with a second (or third depending on how you look at it) o a sweet potato brownie! All the dishes were served beautifully and taste as good as they looked!

We rounded off the feast with freshly pressed juices and smoothies. Perfection.

Located at 81 Eastlake Parade & Giles Street

Check them out online here

British Airways, Travel Review

I’ve seen a lot of bad press out there recently from passengers travelling on British Airways and wanted to throw my own opinion out there having recently travelled with them on my way to Hong Kong from London.

If I’m honest I’ve never been loyal to any particular airline, I do favour Malaysian airways as you may know from my review here. But I hands up will use whoever is the cheapest and has the times best suited to my needs of the trip.

My favourite thing about long haul travel is sticking my headphones in as soon as able and continually watching movies until my plane lands the other side….

Unfortunately for me I found the choices lacking anything new on the aircraft which wasn’t a huge problem as they had a favourites list of choices with Dirty Dancing and Disney so I could, I suppose I should also thank them as it meant I did actually try for a little shut eye!

Think the food choice was good, and on my 21:00 arrival 15:00 we were feed twice with one snack between. The most unusual part was one meal was a breakfast dish just before we landed, but local time was 15:00 meaning it should have been a ‘lunch’ dish personally.

Found the crew to be attentive and were happy to help, being stuck in the window seat they’d continually bring over water and juice for me to stop having to try and get out each time. They also were very patient when I got my foot hammock stuck (which I’ll review later!) and helped me get it out intact, even advising the worst case of getting the engineer out to take the seat apart… luckily for everyone it didn’t come to this!

Take off was a little late, but the pilots made up the time in the air meaning we still arrived as expected.

All in all although I did enjoy my flight unless they were the best priced or connection I wouldn’t choose BA over any other airline but I wouldn’t hesitate if they were!

A Budgeting Guide For Dubai

Having heard the rumours and panicking about last minute currency exchanges my trip to Dubai was finally here!

Having tried to research the trip and a spending guide I noticed how lacking the internet was of one, So below I've helped list a compilation of things you may need to budget for on your trip!

Dinning Out

Breakfast at a hotel if not included – 16-25aed

Lunch or dinner at a hotel – ranging from special offers of 39 – to 150aed

McDonalds meal – 23-30aed

Meal with soft drinks in a mid range restaurant- 100aed

Coffee at coffee house – 20aed

 

Out and about

Metro from the airport to the city centre – 10.50aed

Unlimited day ticket for metro (all zones) -20aed

5 Mile journey in a taxi – 26aed

Day entry to a water-park – 310aed

Soft drink from a supermarket – 9-13aed

Bottle of water from a supermarket – 1aed

Can of beer from a supermarket – 9aed

Crisps – 10aed

Cigarettes –  10aed

 

Hope this helps some towards your budgeting plans for a trip to Dubai, I averaged £100 spending a day while I was there and that covered eating out for lunch and dinner mid-range, visiting a water-park and travelling using a mixture of taxis and metro.

Has anyone else been to Dubai, Did you manage to spend less than me a day? Was there anything I may need to add onto the list?

 

At the time of travel the exchange rate was 4.41 Dirham to the Great British Pound, please check the current exchange rates before travel.

My Top Dinning Spots In Pantai Cenang, Langkawi 

If you're anything like me food is a massive part of the day, I've been known to be planning my lunch and dinner while eating breakfast!

Finding places to eat and recommend is my favourite part of a trip and often is the first thing I start to research once I've booked flights, So here you have it, My recommendations for your trip to Langkawi.

 

The Kasbah - Lorong HJ Salleh Lot 1301, Kampung Bohor Tempoyak 

Located off the beach front and hidden within the houses of Pantai Cenang this awesome reggae shack is a great hideaway from the midday's sun. With a selected menu full of summer cravings, unusual salads and burgers with fresh juices, smoothies & milkshakes it is the kinda place you should take a pack of cards and spend the afternoon.

Prices are really decent with my meal coming to 30RM (Burger with chips and milkshake)

IMG_1776

 

 

Indian Palace -  2, Jalan Pantai Chenang, Kampung Lubok Buaya

Down on the main stretch this upstairs no frills Indian is a great showcase of the multitude of cuisines on offer in Malaysia. The menu has a wide range of choice with lots of curries I'd not heard of before, best kind of menu!

With reasonable prices we were able to order a medley of dishes to try out with an average meal price of 40RM (1 Curry, rice and nan)

 

Red Skys - No. 6, Casa Fina Avenue, Persiaran Panthai Cenang

Wanting different dining tonight we needed somewhere that had a mixture of choices, Western & Malay and redskys fitted the bill.

Hidden from the street by metal cladding, plants and twinkly lights it certainly met the Instagram requirements… With the western menu it did mean prices were slightly higher than we'd been used to but our dinner choices did not disappoint.

With freshly cooked pizzas and Nasi Gorang (My favourite Malay dish if I must chose) value for money was fair with my meal coming to approx 30RM

 

Kalut Cafe & Bar - Mali Mali Beach Resort, Cenang Beach

Located on the beach this place is hard to miss. With rent-able loungers during the day you can get a bed and a parasol for less than 20RM for 2. Although they have no food/drink service during the day once they switch up for the evening set up you'll be first in line for the bean bags and silk umbrellas they bring out.

With a prime spot for the sunset you can settle in with a few beers and a early dinner with the summer vibes year round!

 

Other places we dinned and enjoyed are Red Tomato, The Telaga Walk & Indian Palace be sure to check these out too! Has anyone been to Langkawi before? Any other places I've missed out?

 

SkyCab Langkawi 

Heading to Langkawi and looking for things to do? Look no further!

Float over the jungles and head for the clouds with Skycab’s famous cable car, The longest free span Mono Cable car takes you to the tip of Machincang mountain over 700 meters above sea level.

Located in the west of the island you’ll only ever be a maximum of 45 mins drive from the ground base and with Uber and fixed rate taxis you’ll find access is super easy!

IMG_1685

Reaching these heights is dizzying with a steep climb to overcome the ride is pretty exhilarating but gives you some beautiful views like the one above!

We purchased tickets on a combo B package which within the 120 RM price included the cable car return with express lane queue jump, the 3D art museum and the Skydome and  we also added on the sky bridge once we got to the top station for only an extra 5RM each.

The skybridge is the longest free span curved bridge in the world, It makes for a pretty interesting photo. With glass panels it’s pretty scary seeing down against how high you are!

IMG_1660

For a great half day trip out it’s well worth the money no matter the weather, With release from the sun in the breeze or if the weathers bad you can easily wait for the clouds/rain to pass by using all the indoor inclusions within the ticket, Be sure to check out the 3D museum for a laugh and some fantastically funny shots to send those back home!