On our recent visit to Queenstown my partner and I decided to do the Queenstown Hill Walk. The 2-3 hour walk is famed for the view of Queenstown and its surrounding areas. The top point of one of the walks is home to a sculpture the “Basket of Dreams”. This is the point where a majority of people choose to stop and head back down, however if you choose to put your sanity aside for a while you can actually continue walking for another 15-20 minutes until you reach the summit of the hill.
As we arrive at the parking to start the walk we are accosted by the sight of an incredibly steep walk way. One thought is going through my head: Surely it can’t be THAT steep the WHOLE way right? WRONG, oh so very wrong. To make it even worse, and more steep we opted to go left at the fork taking the shorter, yet steeper route. Right would’ve lead us through the forest on a gentler, but less aesthetically pleasing route. The decision to go left I regretted thoroughly at the time as I thought I might drop dead of exhaustion at one point, but ended up being glad for as the view on the way up was to die for. Definitely photo worthy.
Now imagine this: Here’s me sweating and panting my butt off (red face and all!) when two guys run past… not struggling at all, having a nice little chat. Yes puffing a little but making this rather challenging ascent seem far too easy. Way to make me feel unfit!
After what felt like an eternity we did however make it to the Basket of Dreams. Much to my surprise it had only taken an hour – no way near an eternity. The view up here was stunning with almost 360 degree views. Apparently this was not good enough though as we made the questionable decision to continue to the summit of Queenstown Hill. Why you ask? WE ARE CRAZY! Stupid and crazy, yet determined. Well that and we had heard the views at the summit were even better than those at the Basket of Dreams. What was another 15-20 minutes on top of the 60 we had already endured?
Upon reaching the summit we were greeted by a complete 360 degree view of the surrounding areas and even a little snow on the ground. All rather exciting for someone who hasn’t been near snow in a couple of years, or in my partners case, someone who has never touched snow. Of course much photo taking ensued. Once we had stopped dying enough to hold the camera straight. We also had the pleasure of watching an adorable marriage proposal, clearly well planned with the couples friends using a drone to capture the special moment (Couple goals much?). Encouraged by this adorable proposal we decided to make the most of the moment and take some almost as cute, but not quite, photos as seen below.
After spending a few moments appreciating the beauty of this wonderful country we are lucky enough to call home we started the descent back to reality. Heading back down we opted for the route we didn’t follow-up. Turns out we made the correct decision heading up the steeper route as this one was no way near as steep, but the majority of it is in a dark forest. Think Game of Thrones in the North or Twilight like forest.
Following a rather uneventful, quick walk back to the car I tell myself never again, all the while knowing full well next time I will most likely be stupid enough to attempt the walk again. At least the next time I won’t be carrying an extra 10kg of baby with me!
Lessons learnt from this experience? Firstly Queenstown really is as beautiful as everyone claims it to be. You can’t help but admire the views. Secondly shutting up and dealing with a bit of suffering in the short-term can definitely pay off. In this case the million dollar views and sense of accomplishment at conquering the walk were worth the 60-80 minutes of suffering. I do also tend to be a bit dramatic about things if I’m completely honest with you.
Hope you have had a fantastic week! TGIF!