Novotel Surfers Paradise

Treated to a viewing of the refurbished rooms at Novotel Surfers Paradise this week was quite an unexpected bonus. Attending this Travel Massive meet was most definitely worth the return trip from Brisbane to the very heart of Surfers Paradise.

Now sporting a wonderful peaceful ambiance the rooms are quite inviting. Couple this with the balcony off each room giving you simply stunning views across the Gold Coast, and you have a winning combination.

A new rooftop area is now available for function hire. Very spacious, kitted out with comfortable, inviting furniture, this certainly is a rooftop space worth considering if you’re requiring a venue.

Views upwards are quite impressive too!

Staff were all friendly and more than happy to assist in any way possible. The lobby area can be quite busy at times with tour groups coming in and out but it doesn’t matter as there is such a huge amount of space, along with a bar/cafe, information & tour booking desk as well as reception. An onsite restaurant is up on level one plus laundry, games room, gym etc near the pool and rooftop areas.

Centrally located, from this hotel it is a mere short stroll to the beach as well as a multitude of attractions, leave the car and enjoy a walk.

Consider this hotel if you’re looking for accommodation, those newly refurbished rooms really do look very inviting!

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.   Enjoy😋

Atlas Beer Cafe’, Queenstown, NZ

The home of Boutique Craft Beer, is the Atlas Beer Cafe, hidden at the back of the Steamer Wharf in Queenstown. Boutique beers are their specialty, along with enticing menu choices throughout the day. The inside is small with some seating, including bar stools facing out over the wharf towards Lake Wakitipu.

We chose this venue for a light lunch, late December. The day being a rather dreary day with a biting wind, we were drawn towards sitting inside the covered mall, near the entrance to the cafe. I was fascinated to see the restaurant opposite, have blanket wraps on each chair for their, customers. Not only were these outside, but also inside the covered mall area. Remember this was in summer!

Choosing and paying for meals plus drinks at the bar, we enjoyed a quiet drink while waiting for the meal to arrive . I must admit we did have a bit of a giggle, as we watched the chef come out of his kitchen to read the chalk menu board. Not that this bothered us, it simply tickled our fancy to see this unfold.

We both chose the same fish dish today. Presented with a crunchy side salad and chunky chips, this was a delicious choice. The whole baked sole which was beautifully soft, topped with a tasty garlic and caper butter mix, fell away easily from the bones. My choice of a glass of local Chardonnay at only $8, completed the meal.

If you enjoy watching the world go by, this is a great place to sit and observe. Drop by next time you’re in the Steamer Wharf area. I did notice while at the bar, a customer was offered a taste of a boutique beer before he purchased, after enquiring what it tasted like. At least that way you won’t end up with a glass of something you don’t like!

Invincible Bar, Glenorchy Hotel

Drive down the arm on the West Coast Side of Lake Wakitipu, to arrive at Glenorchy. The road is narrow and winding in places, however the 40 minute or so drive from Queenstown, is intercepted with some of the most stunning landscapes you have ever seen.

We enjoyed a fabulously clear late December day for our drive through from Queenstown, resulting in some wonderful photo opportunities. There really is no rush when you have opportunity to view this stunning landscape from many different angles throughout the drive.

By the time we arrived, it was lunchtime. There were a few lunch choices in this small township, from which we chose the Invincible Bar at the Glenorchy Hotel, with rough hewen outdoor seating, adding to the country feel, whilst looking towards the snow capped mountains.

Lunch was ordered and paid for at the counter, with staff delivering food to the table, after a short wait. All the staff were friendly, and we were lucky to have our lunch delivered just prior to a bus load arriving.

I chose the prawn twists with a side of aoli, instead of the usual sweet chilli sauce. The prawns were large, melt in the mouth varieties, making for a delicious light lunch. Hubby’s choice of the big seafood chowder was a hit. Packed with seafood, accompanied by a crusty bread, he really enjoyed this tasty treat.

Once you’ve made the drive into Glenorchy, you most likely will be looking for somewhere to sit and relax for a while. Under the umbrella adorning one of the tables, partaking of a quiet lunch, you may find it difficult to leave.

Be sure to check out the lakefront area, before you leave, you won’t be disappointed!