Dessert for Breakfast
Our morning activity was “brunch” at Patagonia, which consisted of waffles and crepes, with ice cream. For whatever reason, there are two Patagonia shops both on the waterfront and only a couple hundred meters away from one another. We went to the other one because it had outdoor seating next to the water.
There was no syrup for my waffles. Only chocolate sauce.
Tiki Trail to Bob’s Peak
We briefly digested at the hotel and then walked 15 minutes uphill to the start of the Tiki Trail. Though “Tiki Trail” sounded like some kitschy tourist hike, there were pretty few people and it was a cheap way to get up to the top of the hill. The expensive way was to pay for the gondola. It made sense that more people opted for the gondola, as the Tiki Trai wound pretty much straight up the pretty steep hill.
It was a steep, unrelenting climb, but we made it up just fine and you could see all of Queenstown from the top.
The fun was not over after the hike, as we had our third discount activity booked in the late afternoon. We had a quick snack and changed into our bathing suits at the hotel and went to the beachfront for… stand-up paddle boarding!
Stand-up Paddle Boarding
Hayden had been stand-up paddle boarding before, but I hadn’t, and I really didn’t understand how everyone doesn’t just fall off immediately. I have no desire to go in the water (what if there are fish there??? there’s nothing separating you from them, like on land you can go upstairs and be separate from the people downstairs but in the water the fishes can just swim up and then boom they’re upstairs) so I was a little worried, but I did want to get out on Lake Wakatipu somehow.
Stand-up paddle boarding only cost $15 (NZD) for 45 minutes on the water. Hayden promised that it was really easy to stay on the paddle board, and right as we stood up on the boards and started paddling around he remarked, “These are harder to balance on than the ones I’ve been on before.”
All in all, it wasn’t that hard. Only when jet boats created waves did I feel a little unbalanced, but no one fell off! We sat down for a bit and just hung out. There’s a random point in the lake where it gets really shallow. I paddled straight into it while sitting down and felt fear grip me as I remembered our canoe booping a rock and tipping in the shallows. I paddled away from the shallows.
We were restricted to stay in a certain area, along with all the other hired kayaks etc. Hayden said that he wished we could have explored more. It was my first time stand-up paddle boarding, though, so I felt like it had been super fun. After our long hike, it didn’t require that much energy and we could just sit there floating.
It reminded me of something, just sitting there.
On our way back to the hotel, we did a Wartortle raid that was right next to the paddle board hire shack. It was a good break from all the Ivysaurs.
At the hotel, we showered and laid around until my desire for nachos became too great.
“I want water and nachos,” I demanded as we slowly walked to Coyote Grill, a Mexican bar/restaurant in town. We hadn’t always had the best of luck with Mexican in these parts, but the Google reviews were good and I wanted more chimichangas. We sat in the bar facing the waterfront and ordered nachos immediately. Then the margaritas and a chimi and enchilada combo meal to share.
It was no Sabroso, but it was good food and we had a good time. Also, there was a duck outside.
Bye Bye Queenstown
The next morning, we packed our bags, emptied the room, and loaded the car. For once, we had a lot of time before check out, so we had a relaxed time eating the breakfast buffet at Peppers. It was expensive but convenient.
After check out, we did another Wartortle raid and wandered around the waterfront some more. I found a lot of Magikarps and am well on my way to a Gyarados. Back to the plot. We also got Thai massages. That was pretty good, but there was this whole thing where the lady didn’t know how to successfully charge our credit cards on her machine. It got figured out but it was awkward and I felt bad for her.
After that, we hurried to the airport to reach our very last stop in New Zealand — Christchurch!
And with that, I give you…
The Hall Report
Queenstown: Peppers Beacon
We had a really fun time grilling vegetables and chicken outside our room. I would have enjoyed doing more meals like that. The terrace on the 5th level was gorgeous. So was the view and pretty much the whole building. The biggest complaint was probably the lack of air conditioning, but it cooled down in the evenings after airing out the room. I would have been REALLY happy with my stay if breakfast and parking were included. The best part about the hotel was probably how close it was to the city center. We spent a lot more time exploring the city because of that and didn’t have to deal with parking in the city. It’s not really a city, is it? Parking in the town. 🙂 It also happened to be very close to the trail head for the Tiki Trail. Next time I stay in Queenstown, I’ll try to find a place that has a better value and has a similarly great location.
— Hayden, talent at the Hall Report