NZ South Island Final Day – Queenstown to Sydney

Kia Ora!

Today is our final half-day in NZ. It is going to be very hard to say goodbye to this beautiful country. We do feel that we are ready to be back to the creature comforts of home though. We didn’t notice it yesterday but our hotel has a really beautiful view of Lake Wakatipu from a different perspective. A lovely way to wake up.

We spent about an hour packing all of our stuff and getting ready. We had to clean the car out too and fit it all into our bags. We somehow managed to get this done. We didn’t really buy much here but everything was all messed up and we weren’t spending the time to pack neatly. We drove down and parked in our favourite Queenstown car park – the Boundary street car park. We would recommend this car park to anyone going to QT. It is a short (and lovely) stroll to town and only costs $1 an hour during busy times. Excellent.

We had a breakfast planned for our wedding day but decided not to do it because of the time it would take away from our wedding preparation. We also have tended to stay away from sit=down breakfasts as they tend to be expensive and generally not worth it. This place came highly recommended though so we thought for our last morning that we would give it a go. It is quite a large cafe that is next door to Blue Kanu called Yonder.

We arrived right on opening time and sat down to order. We both ordered the full yonder (their version of a big breakfast) and a tropical smoothie. Unfortunately, we felt about this just as felt about other sit-down breakfasts. Expensive and not worth it. Perhaps it was our order but it was all really average. Nothing any better than we could cook at home or get from any hotel continental breakfast.

After our breakfast we decided just to go down for one more walk along the boardwalk and spent some time sitting on the brick wall there staring at the gorgeous view over Lake Wakatipu. This was really nice and peaceful. A great way to say goodbye to NZ.

We left and drove to return our car. The old Toyota Corolla served us well. We put about 5000kms on it during this trip. We did a lot of driving. It often didn’t feel like a lot but obviously it was. It went well the whole time and we didn’t get a single scratch on it. A successful trip we would say. A quick shuttle bus to the airport and we were off to Sydney. The airport is tiny and un-exciting. The plane was only half full so we had a row to ourselves – score. The views over QT during ascent were gorgeous though.

It wasn’t too long before we were landing in Sydney. We got back through the airport in our efficient manner and to our car. We forgot where we parked but found it nearly immediately which was lucky which is where our luck ended. As we were leaving the carpark, we scanned out card to get out and were charged $1,600. We had already pre-paid for parking so this was bullshit. We contacted them immediately though and they agreed to refund us – lucky! We arrived at the Wilson’s parking on Kent street and dragged our bags the couple of blocks to our hotel to meet up with Aimee’s mum. What we didn’t expect was how hot it was going to be in Sydney compared to NZ so we weren’t dressed appropriately – it had also been about 9 hours since we had eaten so we were starving. Do you think we could find any food around our hotel? Nope. The ONLY thing within numerous blocks was dominoes pizza. We were very reluctant to get this as we have one up the road from our house but at this point we really didn’t have any other options. We had a pepperoni pizza and some chips in our hotel room and it was surprisingly decent.

We spent some time recovering and getting ready to go out for some drinks and then to dinner in Sydney. We went down to the hotel bar for a couple of mocktails which was really lovely. They didn’t have any on the menu so we just asked the bartender to whip some up for us which he did a great job of.

We caught an Uber to Surry Hills to eat at a very trendy and popular Italian restaurant called Ciceroni Cucina Romana. It was very busy on a Saturday night, but we reserved out table a long time ago so it was fine. We ordered some mushroom suppli (arancini) for our entree. It was delicious. It has the right amount of crunch on the outside and flavour on the inside.

Then we ordered a Margherita pizza and two pastas to share. We always order Margherita pizzas at Italian restaurants because we love out pizzas simple but with quality ingredients. This one was no different. Aimee thought it needed a bit more salt but every ingredient was of good quality. Very authentic Italian pizza.

The pastas were a traditional carbonara (made with egg, not cream!) and an oxtail ragu. Both of these pastas were fantastic. There was just the right amount to share among us. The pastas were cooked perfectly. Aimee again thought there should be a bit more salt, but it was very tasty.

We decided against dessert as we were very full by this point. We ubered it back to our hotel down Oxford street which was pumping. We stayed at the Amora Jamison which honestly wasn’t a bad hotel. There were some firecrackers that someone let off across the road at 1:30am and 4am which were annoying. The next day we went to Phantom of the Opera at the Opera house which was really good and ate lunch at the opera bar which was really bad but we were so exhausted that we just wanted to be home in our own bed.

Much Love,
Ronnie & Aimee.

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