Existing Member?

Our Trip We've left our jobs as banker and teacher in order to see the Southern Hemisphere. Why not?

New Year in New Zealand

NEW ZEALAND | Friday, 9 January 2009 | Views [625] | Comments [3]

New Year's Week, Queenstown

Written by Peter (edited by Erin)

Pulling into Queenstown we drove by motel after motel with signs reading "No Vacancy."  Luckily, being the productive young folk we are, we had already made reservations at the "Lakeview Holiday Park".  After waiting in line at reception for 20 minutes we finally reached the desk.  The receptionist searched for our reservations in about ten different places before she finally asked, "You guys aren't in the party section are you?"

While I was making the reservation a week before I was asked the questions "party or family?"  Considering Erin and I are young and adventurous with no known children, I replied "party of course". 

The receptionist looked at us cock eyed and said "Trust me, you don't want to be in the party section."  The manager, overhearing, also stepped up to put in his two cents.  "I know people who should be in the party section, and you guys aren't them!"  We walked to our campsite with our heads hung low after being demoted to "the family section."  We took out our camp chairs purchased earlier that day and both had mini-quarter life crises.

A few hours later we recovered and after a quick dinner we headed down to a pub recommended by the Portlander we met in Wanaka.  They had Guiness on tap for NZ$4.00 so I was all over that. We had a beer and listened to music and decided to call it a night.  When we arrived back at our tent we realized maybe the family section was a better choice, considering we were hitting the hay at 11 o'clock.

On a whole we found Queenstown fairly overpriced.  It is supposed to be the adventure capital of NZ, however without spending our whole budget, there wasn't much to do.  We did find some cafes and relaxing parks to hang out in, plus the Irish bar from the first night turned into a daily event.

On our 2nd night in Queenstown Erin and I were sitting at the campsite having a drink when we saw our friend Paul (from Taupo a few months before) and his travel mate Shelley wander up.  He said he saw my email and thought he would come try and find us.  We chatted about our trips for a while and headed back to his campsite for some further drinks, then back to the Irish bar.

New Years Eve

A bit under the weather from the night before, we stumbled to an internet cafe and then walked around town for a bit.  We ran into Paul and Shelley and all decided to meet in the afternoon for a hike, hoping that would fight off our self-inflicted sickness.  A few hours later, while waiting for Paul and Shelley at the campsite, the sky opened up.  We ran to the car and watched a torential downpour happen outside.  After about an hour, we looked at the clock and realized we weren't walking up any mountian today, and turned in for a nap.  The rain continued so we started our new years celebration in the car with a six pack and local New Zealand radio.  After a few beers the rain slowed down and the sky cleared.  We stepped out of our car and could hear car doors and tents opening all around.  We quickly hit the shower and got ready for the night. 

Since the rain ruined our afternoon walk with Paul and Shelley, we never had a chance to make formal plans for the night.  I figured if they would be anywhere it would be the Irish pub at 9 o'clock (when happy hour started).  We walked down to the pub and sure enough, there they were.  We partied (that's right, the family section partied) until twelve and made our way to the balcony for some awesome fireworks.  After that we met a Maori guy who did the Haka for us.  We wandered around the streets, ran into some Israeli guys we met a few weeks before, ate at some roadside stands, and finally called it a night at around 3:00AM.  

We did manage to pull ourselves out of bed on new years day to hike to the gondola and do some luging.  All and all great time.     



Haha, I love that you got put in the family section! Actually though, I think I would prefer that than being around a bunch of crazies.

  Calley Ekberg Jan 12, 2009 6:12 PM


Kia ora, if you can try and go to Kaikoura. Have a great time!

  te_mana Jan 16, 2009 9:13 AM


So, I am admitting here that I haven't been keeping up to date on your journeys until now. I have just spent the last hour and a half making my way from day one through your new year's celebrations. So wonderful! Long story, but I rode a train from Portland to Pasco (big travels I know!) on Friday and while on the train, a guy lent me his backpackers mag. It made me want to go traveling SO badly...and now reading your stories REALLY make me want to go somewhere exciting!

I decided to post on this one, because although I chuckled to myself about a couple of your previous posts, it made me LAUGH OUT LOUD, literally. Especially the part about the mini-quarter life crisis! Sounds like it worked out for the best! I'm so jealous of you guys. What amazing experiences! Wish I was there too. Can't wait for you to come home!


  BK Feb 23, 2009 5:10 AM

Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.



Travel Answers about New Zealand

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.