3rd March 2014, Monday
We checked-out of Wanaka hotel at 10 am and made our way to Queenstown by car which was 117 km away from Wanaka. Along the way we stopped by Cromwell originally in search of some coffee, but all were lost when we stumbled into a playground. A very old skool one nonetheless! You can rarely find playgrounds like this in Singapore nowadays (especially the tunnel and metal see-saw). Lucky thing I married a fellow young at heart guy haha so off we scurried to the slides, swings and flying foxes…
Less than 2 hours later, we reached the familiar town where we spent our first 3 days. Since we had some time before checking-in, we decided to drop by Queenstown Gardens.
Queenstown Gardens is similar to Singapore Botanic Gardens except that it’s more spacious, surrounded by mountains and lakes. And ducks can be found roaming around happily.
Compared to our first accommodation which was an 8-10 minutes drive from the town, this time our shelter for the last night was in central Queenstown.
We checked-in to Reavers Lodge, which was situated uphill near the Ben Lomond Mountain. As a result of this, we were greeted with spectacular views and gushes of cold air when we arrived. The only downside was the very steep slope right in front of the lodge which we had to navigate to get to the reception area. If you don’t have a car, you save the scary driving but you do have to walk a lot and use up a lot of your energy walking uphill.
The awesome thing about our accommodation in Reavers Lodge was getting the loft-style apartment! I love loft-style apartments so it was such a nice surprise to get this room for our final stay. The room was equipped with more than enough cutleries and utensils, a decent shower, a spacious “living room” space, a telly, a sofa, chairs and small table, a queen-sized bed and the basic kettle and microwave (which we did not use though) amenities.
The only downside was that while our room in Shotover Lodge was on the ground floor, this time our room was on the 3rd floor – the highest – and there were no lifts either so we had to lug our luggage climbing atop 3 storeys. Oh well tit for tat, you win some you lose some. Either ways it’s good for us Alhamdulillah.
In the evening we went out for our final dinner at Turkish Kebabs and then to get some souvenirs for our families and friends. It was raining that night, and it felt like even Queenstown was sad that we were leaving. 😥 At dinner we reflected on the past seven days and what a great trip it has been. We also laughed at ourselves for making some foolish traveling mistakes during the whole trip. We talked about the future and the kind of marriage we want to have, a beautiful one like Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him) and Khadijah 🙂 It may seem like a really huge goal but we can dream and work on it right? InsyaAllah…
We managed to get a couple of stuff for our people back home. Especially New Zealand specialties such as manuka honey, body products from local brand Wild Fern, sheep stuff toy and pillows (requested by some!), “I love NZ” t-shirts and key chains. Unfortunately, there weren’t many Lord of The Rings products (only t-shirts) which a couple of my family members had requested. Perhaps next time if we go to Hobbiton in North Island 😉
4th March, Tuesday
And so the day has come for us to depart from beautiful New Zealand. While we felt a little gloomy that morning, we also felt so thankful to God for allowing us to explore another of His lands and giving us the opportunity to experience a part of New Zealand with our sights, sounds and senses. Alhamdulillah, we also felt grateful that God guided and protected us throughout the entire trip for He is Al-Muhaimin, The Protector. As we had a morning flight from Queenstown Airport, we checked-out of Reavers Lodge by 7.30 am in time to return our rental car and make it for our flight to Melbourne at 9.40 am.
We arrived in Melbourne Airport at 11.05 am and “parked” ourselves at cozy Hudsons Coffee while looking at the gorgeous blue skies. We had a 7-hour transit in Melbourne Airport before departing back to Singapore so we had plenty of time to do our own thing, including performing our final prayers as musafir (traveler). Come 7.00 pm, we boarded our plane ride for the trip… back to home sweet home Singapore, arriving at almost midnight SG time.
It’s been an amazing trip and I couldn’t have asked for a better partner to explore New Zealand with. Thank You Allah, for letting us start off our marriage beautifully at a beautiful country, with an equally beautiful person whom you have presented to be my companion in this life and InsyaAllah in Paradise. Alhamdulillah. Thank You Allah for your protection, guidance, infinite mercy and supreme love. If He wills, we will definitely come back to New Zealand again InsyaAllah. 🙂
Previous on Kiwimoon: Wonderful Wanaka (Day 5-6)
Next on Kiwimoon: Food and Solat – For the Muslim Traveller (Final entry for Kiwimoon series)