Over Night to Queenstown

Anytime I’ve been on a cruise I”ve only done day excursions. On this cruise with my parents they wanted to do the overnight. I was alittle skeptical of how good could it actually be for the amazing price. But my parents talked to another couple on the boat and they said that every overnight they had gone on with Celebrity Cruises had been amazing.

My other concern is how would the other people be with kids on the tour bus. So far people hadn’t been that smiley or kind to the girls so I was hesitant.  But in typical fashion my dad said “what do you care what they think” true but still as a mom you aware of everyone and thing around you.

But then i thought to myself, we’ve been traveling for 4 months and the girls have done great so let’s DO IT!

So, the next morning we packed one bag for the 4 of us and headed to catch the tender into Mossman Gorge. We were met by Mr. Paul a resistant  Bus driver that insisted this tour wasn’t for kids and that it would be really hard and super windy. I reassured him that we got this and gave him my “you gotta be kidding me MOM eyes” I know my girls and they will be fine! Of course, any mom that’s ever said this is totally freaked that just this once you don’t know your kids as well as you thought. The bus driver is giving us an out to get off the boat now, BUT of course we don’t take it. At this point I’m “T’d” This doesn’t happen often but I hate being judged because I have kids and i’m determined to show him how we are ROCKSTARS at traveling.

When we get on the bus I notice there are all couples and one other German Family with older kids.  The bus driver reiterates over and over that there will be no bathroom stop for 2 HOURS! Luckily Isla has mastered holding it!

The first two hours fly by and we make tons of stops to look at breathtaking scenery from the rain forest to mountains to sheep farms. The girls are killing it and we have pretty much converted the Paul, the bus driver and all passengers on the bus. We stop for lunch at this Texas roadhouse in the middle of nowhere. It was actually really delicious and then we make our way to Queenstown.

Can i just say not only have we converted Paul to think that our kids are awesome. But that in return he might just be the best driver and tour guide i’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. He sandwiches his facts about NEw Zealand with jokes and funny commentary and it keeps me entertained and interested for the 8 hour tour day.

Not having any idea what Queenstown is I’m pleasantly surprised when we arrive at this dreamy town that’s rather Aspen like. Rolling hills right on the water and the best people watching. We hurry and check in to our hotel and then stroll around town for 1hr before we catch the ferry to dinner at Walter Peak Farm.

They fail to mention that this might be one of the most picturesque  and magical farms you will ever visit. We had almost considered not going because it was a really long day on the bus and we wouldn’t get back from the farm until 10:30.

Well, I’m glad we didn’t miss out on this. You take a steam boat ride to this gorgeous sheep farm. They have the most amazing house that you go into for an all you can eat buffet or everything you can possibly imagine. From bbq chicken, pork, beef to cheese plates, 5 different salads, the most amazing desserts and of course WINE.

We head back to our hotel on the steam boat where we listen to the piano play songs and everyone singing along. Such a memorable day from all of us.

The next morning we wake up bright and early and head to an old gold rush town, Arrowtown. I wish we could of stay in this town a bit longer because it was so modern yet kept the architecture of the gold rush days. We stopped at a gorgeous winery in the mountains and then made our way to dudin to catch the cruise ship.

This was a day for the books!

 

Akaroa:

 

This small french influenced town was perfect for strolling and eating local french food. The houses were beautiful. We ate a brasserie and strolled by the waterfront where the girls swung on swings.

 

Wellington:

We took the cable car to the top of wellington and made our way back down through the botanical gardens. These botanical gardens were so pretty they took up over…

 

There was a playground half way that we stopped at and played on. Then headed to the tree house to pick up a Explorers  backpack for isla to wear while we walked around the park. It had a magnifying glass, bug catcher, duck food, binoculars, crayons and a bird guide book. I thought this was a genius idea and instantly she was more involved and excited on our walk. We had a blast watching her try to look through her magnifying glass.

We grabbed some lunch and headed back to the ship.

 

PIcton - Marlborough Wine Region

 

So we didn’t book a tour in time and heard that the town of Picton was on the smaller side and could easily be seen in less than an hour. Not giving us the best impression of the town but the local surprised us with flower boutiquers when we got off the boat and little pins that said Picton. It was the sweetest gesture that you couldn’t help fall in love with their spirit and sweet town.

Per usual Cullen had a plan, he suggested we rent a car and go to the winery...I’m pretty sure this is never a bad idea.

 

We got a chance to show my parents how we like to travel. So Cullen rented the last car in town (a beat up minivan)… apparently other people had this same idea. And we hit the open road with Cullen driving on the left hand side and my dad in shotgun. I don’t know why this is always a funny sight.

 

Cullen had done his research we drove through rolling hills through cute towns and ended up at Wairau Winery, which was absolutely breathtaking. We relaxed here had a wine tasting ordered an AMAZING lunch and drank more wine of course!

 

After we headed to a famous Chocolate factory and back to the boat. This was my favorite excursion besides Queenstown Overnight.

 

P.S. If Cullen is ever planning a trip or a excursion the answer is YES you always want to be apart of it!