À quaint little cafe, tucked in a side street of the city, Bespoke Kitchen serves a health conscious, without compromise on flavour kind of fare. A hearty menu, with several options, in a bucolic setting and friendly service, the note worthy draw card of this establishment is definitely the quality of food.
Tummies satiated, it was mutually agreed that we’d all benefit from a leisurely day, and the sleepy atmosphere of Arrrowtown offered exactly that. An easy 25 minute drive from Queenstown, via State Highway 6A, and State Highway 6 will land you in the historic gold mining town.
Characterised by leafy green, tree-lined streets, in the Otago region, home to inimitable boutiques and cafes, all featuring facades from gold mining days, Arrowtown is a quaint village. If searching for that special and authentic souvenir, Arrowtown is where you’re likely to find it. In particular, the old world lolly (candy/sweets) store is a must for any sweet-tooth. The selection is bountiful, and is guaranteed to transport even adults back to childhood nostalgia, selling timeless lollies.
Having spent a full afternoon at snails pace exploring Arrowtown, with a quick fuel stop at roadside fish and chip food truck Erik’s (pause for moment of silence in remembrance of that aioli sauce and insanely delish fish!), we returned to Queenstown to board the TSS Earnslaw steamship, destined for a gourmet BBQ dinner hosted at the Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant at Walter Peak High Country Farm.
The night was unseasonably cold for December, the forecast rumoured a snowfall for the night, and all I could think was, “if this is Summer in NZ, what on earth is Winter like?!” Steaming across Lake Wakatipu in the chill of early evening, we took comfort in the warmth of the ship’s beautifully restored cabin. A 1912 Edwardian vintage, coal powered steamship, with a gorgeous old world interior, the cruise is very relaxing and professionally run. Several snack-food items, available for purchase, including food and alcohol, ambient background music, toilets, and even an open-free-explore- ships engine room is all part of the Earnslaw experience.
Nearing the shore, the glimmer of dancing lights, spectacular garden frontage, and an alpine backdrop of Walter Peak Farm awaits. Involuntary gasps of delight could be heard across the deck from those aboard, along with the syncopated rhythm of frenzied camera shutters eager to capture what can only be described as, a halcyon sight.
Dinner is delightful, and surprisingly a superior quality smorgasbord. I’ll be honest, Hubby and I were dubious about the quality of a smorgasbord meal, and even more dubious about this experience, we expected it to be ‘kitch’, but booked it nonetheless, thinking it would be a novel experience for our girls. How wrong we were! It turned out to be a novel experience for all of us. If there’s anything I’ve learned by now about NZ, then it’s, they know how to do tourism well, making this experience suitable for all.
Dinner was followed by a brief sheep shearing show and a cattle/sheep dog demonstration, with the opportunity for quick purchases at the on sight gift store.
The return voyage was unbearably cold, snow now visible on the mountains surrounding Queenstown. Definitely dress in layers, and bring an extra outer layer for this experience as South Island weather is both variable and can turn quickly. In spite of the cold, this remains a highlight in our family NZ adventures, and one worth doing when in Queenstown.
Please note: My opinion is my own, and this post is not sponsored or endorsed by any of the companies mentioned.