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This post is part of our Australia/New Zealand Series. You can find the rest of the series here.
Our last two days in Queenstown, New Zealand, were very relaxing. After biking to wineries all over the region and spending a full day touring Fiordland National Park, we were ready for some down time! We slept late both days, enjoyed leisurely breakfasts, and spent the days doing things like golfing or taking scenic drives. I had the opportunity to play golf at Jack’s Point, a golf course set in one of the most beautiful locations on the planet.
Jack’s Point Golf
After breakfast on Day 10, we drove about 10 minutes down the road to the Jack’s Point Golf Course. I found this golf course via its website, during our pre-trip research. I immediately knew that I HAD to play there. The course is built into the rugged landscape between the Remarkables Mountains and Lake Wakatipu. I was absolutely blown away by the beautiful scenery… and literally blown away by the wind!
The day I played at Jack’s Point, the wind was really whipping off the water, which made the course quite challenging! If you decide to play golf here (highly recommended), be sure to bring extra golf balls! I had a few solid holes, and a few where the wind was just too much. Overall the round was a lot of fun. Check out the pictures/video for a glimpse of the incredible views on the course.
After the round, we warmed up in the newly-built clubhouse and restaurant. We sat by the fire and sipped hot chocolate, while we watched other golfers through the large windows. The clubhouse has a warm, but modern feel to it. In warmer weather, the patio would be a great place to enjoy a drink after a round on the course.
Drive to Wanaka
We had planned to go canyoning in Roteburn Canyon on Day 11 – our final day in Queenstown. However, the weather had gotten much colder than we anticipated. My wife was also feeling a bit under the weather. Spending a day splashing through pools and zip lining didn’t sound so great when it was 40-degrees and windy!
As an alternative, we decided to drive to the nearby town of Wanaka. The drive takes just over an hour, along the scenic Cardrona Valley Road. We stopped along the way to take panoramic photos high above Queenstown, and to let her frolic among the roadside lupin flowers.
Cardrona Ridge Distillery
On the drive, we noticed a sign that said “Distillery Ahead,” so we had to stop in and check it out! When we arrived, we were the only ones around (it was the middle of a weekday, after all). We got to meet the very kind woman who started the distillery just over a year earlier. Her mother was there too and actually offered to give us a tour of the facility… how neat is that!? We were very impressed with the distillery itself and the rose gardens. The original plan was to make perfume from the roses, but liquor happens to be a natural by-product of the process. At least that’s how we understood it!
After the tour, we hung out with the owner and her parents for a bit. They allowed us to sample the spirits, including a single malt Vodka (Batch #0001!), a very balanced Gin (Batch #0002), and a delicious small batch Orange Liqueur called Rose Rabbit. The owner even mixed us up a Gin and honey drink called The Bees Knees… mmm!
We arrived at Roy’s Bay on Lake Wanaka around lunch time. Wanaka itself is a small town situated along the lake. We stopped in for lunch at Speights Ale House and enjoyed a few pints of beer, along with fish & chips. Downtown Wanaka has a few restaurants, coffee shops, ice cream shops, and a few outdoor outfitter stores. We wandered around the city for a bit before hitting the road back toward Queenstown.
Dinner – Taco Medic
Back in Queenstown, we had to grab some Taco Medic for our final meal in New Zealand! Taco Medic used to be a food truck that parked around downtown Queenstown. You would have to check Twitter or drive around to find their delicious tacos. However, now you can find them at a small permanent location at 3 Searle Lane. We went with a sampler of four tacos: the Fisherman, the Bushman, the Stockman, and a daily special. I highly recommend that you do the same!
We were very grateful to have a couple days to chill before leaving New Zealand. Hopefully we can return in the near future and explore more of this beautiful country. Queenstown and the surrounding areas are some of the most naturally beautiful places we have ever visited. The “Kiwis,” (as New Zealanders call themselves,) are also some of the nicest people we have ever met!