A few months ago, I moved to Queenstown – what a crazy little town. Skydiving, bungee jumping, canyon swinging, ziplining, paragliding, scenic flights, ballooning, mountain biking, heli-biking, kayaking, rafting, canyoning, rivercruises, water skiing, sailing, standup paddling, jet boating, horseriding, golfing, fishing, skiing, ski mountaineering, heliskiing, off-road trips … oh or just hiking. Short walks, half-day hikes, day trips and multi-day trips. In cabins, a tent, a car or just a bivouac. There are so many things to discover, so many peaks to climb and so many different hikes to hike that it is impossible to explore everything at once.
Shortly after I arrived in QT, more precisely my third working day, I had to go to the hospital – my appendix had to be removed. So I started my stay with a 5-day hospital journey in Invercargill, a small boring town about 2-3 hours drive south of Queenstown. Luckily everything went well and I recovered quickly. I packed the last free food from the hospital, which actually wasn´t that bad, and drove back to Queenstown to finally arrive and settle down for the winter.
Since then, I´ve always tried to be outdoors as often as possible. I did overnight stays on my days off, a kayak trip to Doubtful Sound (see pictures here), a mini cruise on the Milford Sound (see pictures here), discovered the local mountains, trips into the Mount Aspiring National Park, hiked parts of the „great walks“ of New Zealand and was lucky enough to see the southern lights out of my bed room!!
Autumn was incredible with a lot of sunny days and its beautiful colours. Winter has arrived and so I was able to snowboard a couple of times. Unfortunately, I was a bit too ambitious and broke my ribs on my fourth day up on the mountains. I fell and pushed my elbow into my ribs. Well, now there is nothing left to do then wait… It helps to process all the things that happened and take it slow.
I often hitchike into town, as I live 5 minutes (by car) outside of QT. So I meet some pretty interesting people all the time. Locals who explain the difficult living situation. Emigrants who came 8 years ago and settled. Backpackers who work and live here for a season. People from a Christian education school, who drove me to my front door, visited me in the shop and tried to convert me. Dealers who offer weed for sale. A retiree who had questions about his broken Ipad. A car full of drunk bachelor on the way to their party inviting me for a beer. A lady who takes a hitchhiker for the first time because she felt sorry that I just missed the bus. A man who broke his rips several times and gave me a good advice. Some other local who traveled for 5 years when he was in his mid-twenties, did crazy jobs all over world, built up a business in Queenstown and sold it a couple of years ago, and so on…. Sometimes, however, I am also standing in the rain – alone and wet – until I’m so soaked with water that nobody wants to pick me up any more…
Queenstown is a lovely, but also a very difficult place if you want to save money. Those little savings I worked so hard for (even with my broken rips and surgeries) is gone again and went straight into my car that needed to be repaired. So now I start again to safe every dollar for my travels. But even though it´s so hard to safe any money, what I love most about Queenstown is that I meet so many like-minded people. Everyone is in the same crappy / happy situation, desperately looking for massively overpriced accommodation, not being able to save money, but then enjoys the beauty where we live. Being so close to nature every day, enjoying incredible sunrises and sunsets over the mountains peaks. People who just love to be outdoors and go out there whenever they have time off, doesn´t matter if it´s for a short walk, a day hike or any other crazy sport. Doens´t matter if it´s sunny, rainy, windy, icy or snowy. In fact, bad weather is actually even more interesting.
Queenstown – one of the most beautiful places where I´ve lived.