:: adventure :: New Zealand part 2 :: Queenstown

As I’m inching towards the edge of the 154ft precipice, my ankles tightly bound, my mind is blank with fear & excitement. I no longer remember my mantra “It’s better to look back on life and say: “I can’t believe I did that”, than to look back and say: “I wish I did that.”  I focus on the quick hammering of the heart in my chest, the wind whipping around my face and the stranger’s hand gripping my arm.

I am bungy jumping.

I stick to the pact my husband & I make; “three, two, one” then jump! I see him standing far below, already having taken the soaring plunge himself and waiting for me to join him. I don’t realise it but I scream during the three second free-fall before my scream turns to joyous whoops. The multiple bounce-backs are an amazing, indescribable feeling. I am chained to a life-saving rope, yet I’m free. Then it’s over and I am pulled into the landing boat and taken ashore to climb the 150+ stairs, my legs like jelly from the adrenaline.


 I’m bungy jumping!!! @ AJ Hackett, Queenstown

  Me from the viewing monitors   The view from the Observation Deck; Jay jumping

                                                          Jay jumping!

*****

Queenstown is a place of staggering beauty. Officially the adventure capital of the South Island it has so much to offer.

For 5 days and 4 nights we explore the delights of Queenstown. Apart from bungy jumping we celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary with a ride up the Skyline mountain gondola, a wander & wine tasting at Gibbston Valley Winery and soak in the most luxurious bathing experience at Onsen Hot Pools.

We eat at some amazing restaurants. We revisit Fergburger twice to ensure our fill of NZ’s best burger (it’s pretty damn good!). We eat tender and gamey venison, fresh crayfish, oversized oysters and creamy local cheese.



Fergburger (#drool)

We laugh and scream our lungs raw on the Shotover Jet and walk around the immense Queenstown foreshore.

 Freezing our butts off on the Shotover Jet

********

Our hotel is bliss; part of the Accor Group of hotels, Hotel St Moritiz M Gallery is 5 star luxury.

    

Our room is gorgeous with an incredible view out over Lake Wakatipu. I wrote a review on TripAdvisor which you can find here.

*******


 Onsen Hot Pools   Lunch & tastings at Gibbston Valley Winery

 Steak & seafood at Captain’s Restaurant
 Dinner in The Library at our Hotel St Moritiz 

  More pics from Hotel St Moritiz
 Birdseye view over Queenstown from The Skyline.

*****

A rainy day leads us 2 hours south of the township to the very end of Lake Wakatipu, through Arrowtown, to the remote picturesque shores of Glenorchy and Kinloch.

  Roads like this are meant to be travelled.

 Cabin lakeside

The wildness of this region is consuming; we barely see another soul the further we travel out of Queenstown. The beauty of the mountains and the vastness of the lake merge into one beautiful foggy landscape as the rain settles in and the clouds loom low so even the tops of the mountains can’t be seen.

The townships of Glenorchy and Kinloch are merely a suggestion to gather people close by. Farms are sprawling and teaming with flocks of woolly sheep, lambs fresh from the newness of Spring, herds of blackJersey  cows and studs of horses wander the lush countryside and rocky shoreline.

   
 I manoeuvred myself around a large cow to take this picture! I also managed not to step in any cow paddies!

*****

The sheer beauty and heart pounding adrenaline inspired by Queenstown stays with you long after you leave her stunning shores.

[Read Part 1]

(Note I’ve tagged most of my photos with my Instagram handle @thisismelly…all photos my own)

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moo gourmet burgers | restaurant review

Jay’s pick for October Dinner Club with the Jacksons was a last minute call, chosen for it’s location close to the city and sticking with our years theme of ‘cheap & cheerful‘!

Moo Gourmet Burgers on King St Newtown is a fun, casual, quirky cafe that servers burgers, sides & a couple of desserts. It’s also licensed so you can order beers, the odd cocktail & wine.

They have 19 burgers! That’s right – nineteen! Plus they cater for vegetarians and even have a mini-moo menu for kids.

Moo couch
Moo interior
Moo courtyard

[all pics above via]

We all meet after work and sit ourselves in a big communal table. You order at the bar and drink our beers while we wait for our orders to arrive.

Jay & I both order the Big Moo burger although I have mine with no egg.

Big Moo
Big Moo (no egg)

The burgers are GIGANTIC! And believe it or not it’s only half the size of the Deluxe Moo! The perfect burger tower is filled with 100% Aussie Angus beef pattie that is as round as the bun, cheddar cheese, free range bacon, free range egg (for Jay), pineapple, beetroot, tomato, mixed lettuce leaf, home-made mayo & tomato relish. The bun is rustic style with no sweetness. The burger tastes and looks like a really good home-made burger. It’s awesome!

Ian orders the Classic Cheese Burger which has the Angus beef pattie, cheddar cheese, tomato, mixed lettuce leaf, home-made mayo & tomato relish.

Classic Cheese Burger

Janine goes for the chicken option and orders the Chicken, Avocado & Bacon Burger which comes filled with grilled free-range chicken breast, avocado puree, free-range bacon, mixed lettuce leaf & home-made mayo.

Chicken, Avocado & Bacon Burger

We share a couple orders of Cheesy Bacon Chips & Sweet Potato Fries which could stop your heart simply by looking at them!

Cheesy Bacon Chips
Sweet Potato Fries

We sit, digest & catch-up for a while before ordering dessert to share; a Moo Split which is a tempting boat of banana, icecream, chocolate syrup, crushed nuts, whipped cream, smashed Crunchie & Snickers with a cherry on top. We are in diabetic heaven!

So as a true burger lover I can, with 100% conviction, say that this Moo burger is better than Grill’d!

If you want to try it out here’s the details:

Moo Gourmet Burgers
232 King St, Newtown NSW 2042 | 
http://www.moogourmetburgers.com.au

Indian veggie burger | recipe

My friend Tam is a vegetarian and her Dad is Indian, so this recipe is for her!

Full article details found here on the Australian Gourmet Traveller Website

2 (about 350gm) desiree potatoes
400 gm piece of butternut pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1cm pieces
200 gm canned chickpeas, drained
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
60 ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil
1 tbsp brown mustard seeds
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
300 gm (2 cups) plain flour
6 eggs
6 wholemeal burger buns, halved
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
2 beetroot, peeled and coarsely grated
Mint yoghurt sauce
1 telegraph cucumber, seeds removed and finely chopped
300 ml plain yoghurt
1/3 cup (loosely packed) mint leaves, finely chopped

1 Place potatoes in a saucepan of cold salted water, bring to the boil over high heat and boil for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain, stand to cool slightly, then peel and cut into 1cm pieces.
2 Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil over high heat, add pumpkin and cook for 8 minutes or until just tender. Drain and add to potato, then add chickpeas, cumin and coriander and mix to just combine.
3 Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a large frying pan over high heat, add mustard seeds and cook until beginning to pop. Add seeds to vegetable mixture with coriander leaves, season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and gently mix until combined. Using wet hands, form mixture into ½ cup patties and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4 Heat remaining oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Dust patties in flour, add to frying pan and cook, in batches, for 2 minutes each side or until golden, then transfer to an absorbent paper-lined plate. Add eggs to pan and fry to your liking.
5 For mint yoghurt sauce, combine all ingredients and season to taste.
6 Toast cut side of burger buns, top bun halves with carrot, beetroot, patties, fried egg and mint yoghurt sauce, sandwich and serve immediately

Australian Gourmet Traveller Magazine

RECIPE RODNEY DUNN PHOTOGRAPHY WILLIAM MEPPEM STYLING RODNEY DUNN AND LYNSEY FRYERS