Travel Diaries: Queenstown

BY SOPHIE CHUNG

Getting away on holiday is apparently the best form of self-care, more so than daily exercise or mindful meditation.

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2 MAR - 2022

A spot of travel really does help to get you out of that cyclical mental rut.

Although Omicron has infiltrated New Zealand and we’re preparing for the country to turn into a post-apocalyptic ghost town, most of us know that the peak will hit soon and we’ll be well on our way to living a semi-normal lifestyle.

But for now, hermit life is looming and in order to retain our sanity, most of us will need something to look forward to. In fact, the majority of people (82%) say that having a holiday planned has a positive impact on our emotional wellbeing*. On top of this, getting away on holiday is considered to be the best form of self-care this year, more so than daily exercise or mindful meditation with 79% affirming it helps with mental and emotional wellbeing than your typical R&R.*

After living through two years of restrictions and closed borders, I can definitely confirm that a spot of travel really does help to get you out of that cyclical mental rut that stems from cabin fever and severe lack of socialising.

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A Destination Wedding

Earlier this month during the long weekend, I went down to Queenstown for a bestie’s wedding. I had forgotten how fun group dinners were and how magical it was to bond with other humans. So much so, that I’ve found myself planning a potential joint Vegas wedding with a new friend that I met at the hen’s do. When you know, you know.

But anyway, in classic Stacy Heyman fashion, the wedding was so high-end and uber glam, I’m sure that even Anna Sorokin would have approved. With the sweeping views of Queenstown as the backdrop for Stacy and Adam’s vows, a beam of sunlight broke through the clouds just as they were saying ‘I do.’

Backlit by the rays of golden hour, Stacy looked like an absolute God sent angel. It was the perfect moment and to no surprise, Adam’s eyes were pouring happy tears like torrential rain. I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it.

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Accommodation

Sam and I booked the Remarkable King Room at QT Queenstown, two doors down from Stacy and Adam. Eye masks, howling yarns, room service, snuggles and drinks were had in the rooms which made the whole wedding experience that much more memorable.

I’d say it’s an absolute must to book this side of the hotel as the lake views are stunning. Glistening raindrops adorned the scenery as the iconic century-old Earnslaw tooted its ship horn. Plus, they have a ‘Travel Sustainable’ badge on Booking.com for those who are wanting to minimise the impact of their travels.

We all know how much damage travel does to our environment so even though you’re in a bougie hotel, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be wasteful.

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Eat & Drink

The QT Queenstown hotel is a popular 5-star pick due to its views, bright lighting, bedding, slick interior decor, tasteful design and of course, the bar. The Rooftop at QT Melbourne pops off every weekend with its insane city views and in a similar manner, Reds Bar at QT Queenstown delivers an incredible picture perfect scene of Lake Wakatipu. Queue the photoshoot for Instagram.

We really wanted to head down to the award-winning Amisfield winery as we were strongly recommended to try it out but we decided to stay in the city centre.

Botswana Butchery - although there’s one in Auckland, I had never been to this classic institution before. The venison was to die for and every single cocktail we had was absolute perfection. What a treat!

Tatsumi - There was a big group dinner a couple of nights before the big day and this place was amazing. We had a set menu and every single dish from the sushi to sashimi boat and lamb cutlet katsu was out the gate. I would 100% return to this place.

BlueKanu - A ‘Polynasian’ restaurant that fuses Pacifica with Asian cuisine, Stacy and Adam absolutely raved about this place. Unfortunately, they weren’t open for lunch so we missed the boat on the last day of our Queenstown trip but when we return, I shall endeavour to taste this splendid amalgamation of cultures.

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Since the benefits of travel on our health and wellbeing have now been acknowledged, it’s only right we treat ourselves to a holiday. Especially, with MIQ being lifted from this Friday for those who are vaccinated!

Don’t forget to book through booking.com so you can cancel free of charge. Plus, I also discovered that through the Shopback app, you can get further cashback from using booking.com! At the moment, they’re doing 15% cashback which is huge! So, start making your reservations in the name of self-care!

*Travel Predictions 2022 research commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of adults who plan to travel for business or leisure in the next 12-24 months. In total 24,055 respondents across 31 countries and territories were polled including 501 from New Zealand.

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