Kit Kat got it right with their slogan “Have a break. Have a Kit Kat”.
Having a break (and lots of chocolate) is important, especially when you’re constantly surrounded by deadlines and tons of readings. Lucky for me, I live in a place where escaping your responsibilities is still rather doable. After all, Dunedin is a four-hour drive from the prettiest place on earth (aka Queenstown).
For the past 8 years, I have been to a couple of places in New Zealand that I may or may not remember. For the purposes of this blog, I will only focus on last year and this year when I did the bulk of my travelling (thank you OUSA and the lack of undergraduate classes for some semblance of freedom).
However, as the title of this blog suggests, I am only a semi-adventurous human being. I have always been the girl whose idea of a break is to sprawl somewhere comfy with my laptop and a book.
So if you want to read about hiking or tramping, this is not the blog for you I am sorry to say. I am aware that New Zealand is wasted on me, but it ain’t all about the hiking life here ya know! I think I have done some pretty cool stuff anyway.
So here are the places I have been in 2016/17:
Please do not make my mistake and wait 6 years to finally make it to the Windy City! I love Wellington for its city vibes, its strong café culture, the people, THE AMAZING FOOD, and the waterfront. Wellington is also rather easy to get around because it is not as humongous as Auckland – this makes it excellent for my subpar driving skills.
I really enjoy having cocktails with my friends at The Library, roaming around the cultural and historical artefacts at Te Papa Museum, and walking on the waterfront and seeing the stunning Wellington harbour (if it’s a good day).
Most importantly, I love food (#priorities). There is actually decent Asian food in Welly and I always make my friends bring me to Little Penang or PappaRich for my Malaysian/Singaporean food fix (try the char kway teow, trust me).
If you are not a fan of Asian food, there are pretty amazing options like the best ever Fried Chicken and Waffles/Pancakes at Fidel’s, good ol’ Southern food at Sweet Mother’s Kitchen, luscious hot chocolate at Scopa, comforting Poutine at Bethel Woods… I could go on forever but I think I should stop here before I end up buying a one-way ticket to Wellington.
Simply put, Wellington is a great escape from Dunedin especially if you’re a city girl like me. Visit at least once, you will not regret it. However, one word of advice – no skater skirts in the windy weather!
Queenstown is the most beautiful place on Earth and you will fall in love with it at first sight. It is like a postcard – snow-capped mountains, a clear blue lake, and luscious greenery. I always make it a point to visit Queenstown at least once a year just to relax and to eat.
You can find the best ribs at Queenstown’s Flame restaurant, lovely Eggs Benedict at Vudu, aaand all things “ferg” – amazing salted caramel gelato at Mrs. Ferg, the famous, fresh and delicious Fergburger, and awesome Thai curry chicken pies at Ferg Bakery. Too full after that? Take a walk by the beautiful lake or see the Gardens.
Queenstown is also home to lots of adrenaline pumping activities such as skydiving, white water rafting, shot over jet, and bungy jumping. I like to tell people that I only enjoyed bungy jumping a few seconds after I realised I wasn’t going to die. It is still a must-do though! It was incredibly memorable falling 134m courtesy of the Nevis Bungy Jump.
Queenstown is where I checked “run a half-marathon” off my bucket list as well. I may have been struggling from the strain but the stunning views kept me going. It was very heart-warming getting cheered on by the locals too so I would recommend starting your virgin half-marathon run here!
Stay tuned to discover more of Rachel’s amazing adventures in part 2, coming live on September 21.
Photo credits to Maple Goh and Friedrich Heng.