We chatted to Blogger and Boutique New Zealand Postcard designer Sarah Heffron about moving from Ireland to New Zealand, how she meets talented artistic people every week and her advice on the best walks in Queenstown.
New Zealand Postcards
I got bitten by the travel bug a few years ago so I left Ireland and Moved to Queenstown New Zealand where I can be found drinking coffee, eating chocolate, blogging and designing boutique New Zealand postcards!
If you had the day to yourself and $200 to spend what would you do?
Luckily for me I really enjoy hiking, it’s lucky because I also really enjoy cheese!! If I had $200 and the day to myself I would get up early and go for a walk. The walk around Kelvin Heights is one of my favourites in the summer. After that, I would hop in the car and drive out to Gibbston Valley. If you love cheese then you have to pop into the Gibbston Valley Cheesery! Amazing cheese, wine, and platters.
I love trying the cheeses and then having lunch and a glass wine on the picnic tables outside. If I have time I bring a book or do some writing while sitting under the vines in the vineyard, so stunning and peaceful. As the sun goes down I would head out to Arthur’s Point to the Onsen Hotpools (definitely make a booking as this is a popular spot!). This is the ultimate cure for sore muscles if you have been hiking or traveling. You get your own private room for an hour complete with hot pool and a retractable wall, open the wall as soon as you are in the hot pool and look out for shooting stars!
Queenstown on a budget? How would you spend the day without breaking the bank?
One of my favourite things about Queenstown is that you can have the most amazing day without spending too much money! The walking trail around the Queenstown Gardens is so beautiful no matter what season it is that you could easily spend hours there just wandering around taking photos and admiring the scenery, however, once you get to the Queenstown Ice Arena pop inside and ask about hiring a frisbee for a round of Frisbee Golf. So much fun no matter what age you are!
If you had time to visit only one tourist attraction, what would you visit and why?
A Jet boat experience is a must do when in Queenstown. It’s the perfect combination of adrenaline, scenery, and adventure. It gives you such a thrill as it spins, speeds and brings you insanely close to the canyons, but they also slow it down so you have a chance to see the amazing scenery while your guide tells about the region. It’s an awesome way to see Queenstown from a different perspective.
What’s your favourite outdoor activity in Queenstown?
My absolute favourite activity in Queenstown has to be hiking, and there is a trail for everyone here. Whether you want to go all out and climb to the highest peak of Ben Lomond which takes about 6 hours there and back, or you just want to go for an easy walk and a picnic at Lake Hayes, you will not be disappointed. There are scenic trails like Queenstown hill and the tiki trail up to the gondola, and then there are trails like Mount Crichton which leads you through the trees where you discover some Queenstown history like Sam Summers hut. You can see a restored lime kiln along the Bobs Cove track along with some of the most beautiful scenery in Queenstown, or you can hike up to Lake Alta during the summer which is a glacial lake on the Remarkables Ski Field. No matter how many times you do each hike the views are always mind blowing!
Where’s your go-to spot for a quick bite to eat on the go?
When I’m not eating cheese I’m eating dumplings! I love grabbing some takeaway dumplings from Queenies dumplings on Camp street and going to sit on the grass at the Village Green, on hot days take your shoes off and dip your toes in the little stream that runs through it!
Where would you grab a few late night drinks?
I’m a big fan of Surreal Bar on Rees Street. They have 3 levels, one of which always matches the mood I’m in! Downstairs is always toasty warm and has booths for sitting and eating, the middle floor has old school board games which are always fun after a few drinks, and the top level is a rooftop bar so perfect for sunny sessions and they have heaters for late night drinks under the stars!
What is your best kept Queenstown insider tip?
Queenstown has a really talented creative community and the best way to see this is to go to the Queenstown markets that are held every weekend. Musicians play while you get to walk around beside the lake and check out the stalls from so many local artists selling everything from candles to photography to cheese boards. When I first started my postcard business this is where I spent my weekends, chatting to tourists and getting to know the locals. These people are so talented and so passionate about their creations, make sure you go and see them on Saturday morning and take home a little piece of Queenstown!