Queenstown and surrounds = New Zealand

We have recently returned from a quick trip to NZ.   You cannot be anything less than impressed with stunning scenery as you fly into the tourist destination of Queenstown.  The rugged mountains, plunging into deep crevasses where clear rivers flow, smoothing the rough rocks to pebbles, lends itself well to the many film backdrops these breath taking landscapes have been used in.Everywhere you look something is happening. Jet boats  thrill their patrons with high powered fun on these crystal waters, skimming sideways over shallow gravel before speeding up the deeper water.  Ride the gondala, to the skyline for a birds eye view over Queenstown.  Up there you will more activities including the luge.  Take the time to drink in this amazing view, with viewing decks and so much to see you will wonder how one can ever describe this portrait. Photos never do it justice.

We had brief drive to Alexandra, stopping along the way to see the sights.  In Arrowtown, mere minutes from Queenstown we stopped in at local bakery for breakfast, eating our delicious purchases with this scenic backdrop, traces of snow still topping the mountains.

Arrowtown is quaint, retaining the look from yesteryear.   This was a quick look for us as time was of the essence, however take the time to look around.  There is much to see in this history soaked township.  

Next stop was the AJ Hackett bungy jump.  Wind your way down the spiralling ramp to the busy activities below.   Should you feel the need to jump off a bridge or whiz down the swing, all the while suspended high over the river, now is your chance.  Personally, I was happy to watch.

The iconic Clyde Dam, a most amazing feat of human engineering.   Here we stopped to marvel in this mass of concrete hydro dam, suspended above Clyde.  This huge dam supplies the north island of New Zealand with power.  Locals are supplied by the Roaring Meg.

Heading back to Queenstown our next stop was the most intriguing Motorsport Park at Cromwell. Here there are go carts, V8s and some very impressive vehicles on show, or take a ride, that option exists too.  You may prefer to take the Jurassic Park bus and look for dinosaurs!  Very cleverly designed, there is much to entertain here.

Stop at the Roaring Meg hydro power scheme.  Fabulous photo opportunity abounds as Meg obligingly roars in the background.

Enjoy your visit here, so much to see, so much do and scenery beyond belief.  Oh and don’t forget the food!  Here you will not go hungry with many eating establishments to cater for all.

You may even be lucky enough to enjoy some wonderful views with your meal. Enjoy!

I’m leaving with this this shot from underwater viewing, directly off the wharf at Queenstown. Yes this is real!  Keep an eye out for the next NZ road trip blog, a lot more to come yet.

Frankton Arms Tavern New Zealand

Stunning scenery is par for the course in Queenstown.  However you cannot deny the breathtaking scenery whilst visiting Frankton Arms Tavern.

A big complex located in Frankton, which is next to Queenstown on Lake Wakitipu.  Staff here were very friendly helpful and looked to enjoy their working environment.

Outside there are some very impressive wooden tables, and again, that view!

We loved the meals here, with all of us agreeing the presentation of the bangers and mash was outstanding.  Take a look at this:

This simple meal was turned into a work of art.  Very impressive.

Meal sizes are extra large.  Take a look at this pizza!   

Highly recommend a visit to this great value venue.  It’s worth a trip to Queenstown to enjoy the meals whilst you soak in this beautiful area.   EnjoyπŸ˜‹

Shaky Bridge Vineyard Cafe’

Overlooked by the famous Alexandra clock, with the Shaky bridge, directly across the road, sits the Shaky Bridge Vineyard Cafe. Built of mud brick, with inside or outdoor seating, the cafe had an appealing menu. After ordering at the counter, we chose an indoor table as the breeze had a slight bone chilling cut through it on this particular morning.

Quirky furniture marries well with the simple art pieces adorning the walls. All tasteful, with nothing overdone. There are a couple of rooms inside to choose from, the one we picked had a large fireplace on the end wall.

The service here was friendly, however quite a lot slower than anywhere else we had visited. Talking to the locals, it appeared this was well known, with the service tending to usually be slower. On the other hand however, if you are looking for somewhere to kick back and take your time over a meal, coffees or drinks, then this is the place for you. I could certainly see this being a bonus whilst enjoying a very tempting wine one sunny afternoon!πŸ‘

There was certainly nothing wrong with the food, with hubby enjoying his Eggs Benedict, pictured below. Apparently it was delicious and teamed well with his iced coffee.

On this occasion I wasn’t hungry, being more than happy to enjoy a delicious green tea. Another coffee at the table, mocha chino, was apparently ok but nothing spectacular. Overall though, this was an enjoyable place to enjoy a quiet breakfast.

You may feel inclined to walk off your meal with a climb up to the clock, as a few people seemed to be enjoying. Or, perhaps if you take a stroll first, over the shaky bridge or up the hill, you will work up an appetite for the delicious meal to follow.

There is a lookout up the hill too, you can take a drive or wander up here for some spectacular views across Alexandra. Enjoy the views, a walk, then kick back here to wile away an afternoon. Sounds wonderful!

The vineyard attached, includes one of the oldest Pinot Noir vineyards in the area. Red wine, teamed with something tempting from the cafe…seems to be setting the scene for a relaxing afternoon!


The Courthouse Cafe, Alexandra, NZ

Nestled in between buildings, lies the Courthouse Cafe, originally built as a Courthouse in 1876. This building and setting, has been brought back to life, before reopening as the Courthouse Cafe & Bar, in. Alexandra.

The inside is adorned with fresh flowers, which I was told, they keep refreshing. The beauty of being surrounded by tasteful flower arrangements, would help take the edge off the Courthouse setting, if you perhaps had previous experience with a venue like this prior to being a cafe….πŸ˜„

Here you are judge & jury, with a fabulous selection of fresh foods to choose from. Indoor or outdoor seating is available, with umbrellas shading the outside tables. Plenty of room between table settings here.

Each meal has been tastefully designed, with the fresh flower theme continuing in the meal design. Eggs with bacon above were fresh and tasty. Certainly no complaints, the meals were great and the service was pleasant, with very little wait time.

Tea was presented with the cup and teapot sitting proudly, side by side, on their own tray..


I trialled the field mushrooms above. Delicious. All of these meals were stacked high, packed with plenty of fresh produce, very filling.

Hubby enjoyed his Judges Breakfast, which he teamed with a very tempting, iced coffee. Arriving at the table in a mini glass milk urn, this was packed to the brim, almost to the point of overflowing


A lot of thought has been put into the presentation of the food, drink and surroundings here. You may want to judge this one for yourself πŸ‘.

The Manhatten, Roxburgh, New Zealand

A short 30 minute drive from Alexandra in Central Otago lies the town of Roxburgh. Near the heart of the township, is where you will find The Manhatten Cafe. A casual, relaxed yet trendy and very roomy cafe. Plenty of seating areas throughout the length of restaurant, give you a choice of watching the world pass by out the front, sheltering from the weather inside, or enjoying the expansive rear deck area, scattered with tables and seating.

Bagels, pizzas, sides, amongst other meals, entice you from the two page menu. Barista coffees or a wide variety of wines, beers and spirits are available to dampen the thirst. Friendly, efficient service is most definitely a part of the overall dining experience. Drop in for a coffee, or take the time to wile away an hour or two over a meal or drink.

Our drinks were served upon ordering at the bar, with the meals arriving in a very reasonable time. The bagel below was a large meal on its own, plus this was partnered with a tantalisingly, fresh coleslaw.

Hubby chose a pizza, which arrived on a large board, packed with his choice of toppings, chicken & Brie with a plum sauce. He did declare this to be one of the best pizzas he had eaten.

My choice was the garlic prawn skewers, resting upon a bed of coleslaw.

The prawns themselves were delicious, with just the right amount of garlic for my taste. Finely chopped vegetables and sauce made for an extremely tasty coleslaw mix, pairing very well with the prawns. Another menu option here was chilli prawns, however on this occasion, I chose the garlic version….which I would probably do again!πŸ˜„

We highly recommend taking the time go stop at this hidden gem, on your way through Roxburgh. Whether for a quick coffee or lingering lunch, you will not be disappointed πŸ‘πŸ˜„.