Why is a blog focusing on “a different New Zealand” writing about Queenstown and Rotorua, you might ask. I’m not going to talk about what to do in those places; that’s covered just about everywhere else. Instead, let me mention a couple of good places to stay and some great places to eat.
First, Queenstown. In terms of where to stay, let me make a suggestion. Check out the Millbrook Resort in Arrowtown.
Regular prices can be high, but sometimes they have really good deals. The Millbrook Resort was recommended to us on the basis that every place in Queenstown is expensive, but not all of them are good. We were lucky that Millbrook had specials the four days we wanted to stay there. The rates are sometimes $600 night or more, but the rates were less than half that the days we wanted to stay. While that may seem like a lot, it wasn’t that much more than other Queenstown hotels, and it was well worth it. Also, staying in Arrowtown (as opposed to Queenstown) is good for seeing things outside of Queenstown, like Central Otago (which I highly recommend).
One comment on the sights in Queenstown. I wasn’t sure about taking the Skyline Gondola to Bob’s Peak, but I am glad we did. The views were fantastic.
Obviously, there are lots of motels in Rotorua. We had a very good experience at the Emerald Spa Inn. We were originally booked for two nights, but at the last minute (about 4:30 pm), we called to see if we could come a day early. They only had a suite with two bedrooms available, but they still gave it to us for the one bedroom price. That was really nice of them. Plus the rooms were great. What more can you ask for.
Let me make two suggestions for eating in Rotorua. We had excellent kebabs at Ali Baba’s Tunisian Takeaways at 1146 Tutanekai Street. We had dinner at Capers Epicurean at 1181 Eruera Street. The seafood chowder was excellent, and here are my desserts:
They tasted as good as they look.