From Hero’s to Zero’s in Queenstown

From Hero’s to Zero’s in Queenstown
Our plane glided between the mountains, either side of us the ominous protrusions jutted threateningly into the sky but we came to no harm and landed safely, nestled between them. It was an exciting arrival into Queenstown and a sure sign that this was going to be the perfect home of choice.


Or so we thought!


Grabbing a taxi for the 7km to town from the airport we were startled to see the numbers elevating so rapidly. When our total reached $30 dollars Prue exclaimed “that is going up so fast” and our driver evenly explained the huge prices of fuel in New Zealand while flicking the switch with another hand when the numbers touched 40. “There, I’ll keep it at that” he offered and we were glad not to pay any more for the 7 minute ride, at 6 dollars a kilometre it was already extortionate.


Brushing off the cab ride we retreated to our motel but we couldn’t stay inside, we’d just reached our new home land and that begged exploration. Walking into the heart of town we marvelled at the location, embedded between the mountains and beside an enormous lake, it was perfect and call us naive but we just expected that feeling to continue.


We had envisioned our happy home to erupt into our lies, we expected a single house viewing to turn into our rental property, a bank visit to turn into an account and all of the people to be friendly to travellers.


But none of this happened.


Instead we submitted an application for the property in stiff competition with 15 others, the women at the bank scoffed at the fact that we had no solid address and the people were in utter contempt for us.


Backpackers, their look suggested, were hardly welcome here. “But hang on a minute” we said to ourselves, “Queenstown relies on backpackers.” Who else is out there jet boating, sky diving, parasailing and bungee jumping? While being unable to get anyones attention to our plight for a real life we were bombarded with activities, tours, combo packages, best backpacker days out and the “best for your buck adrenaline” activities. Fliers, billboards, chalk boards and touters call at you from every angle, raising your backpacker status from zero to hero in a second, until you’ve paid for one of their rides and then you’re only a hero if you buy the photo.


Had we been travelling through, had we been more monetarily stable and had the woman at the bank not been such a bitch we would have probably loved this place. But in our time of settling down we fully fell in and out of love with Queestown within 48 hours. Moving back into our little tent because all the accommodation was sold out we decided that this was not the place for us.


It’s time to make a new plan!


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Written by

Rebecca Mayoll is a ‘just turned 30’ freelance writer and photographer from England. She is the co-founder and author of, a travel website with the mantra ‘find your own adventure.’ Promoting adventurous destinations, independent travel and giving a humorous insight to the World of travel is what Becky does best.

  • Haha! Can’t believe you decided to leave after 48 hours. ???? But you know what? You’re right! If there’s one thing a traveller CAN afford to do before settling down somewhere is to choose the “PERFECT” place: a place where one feels confortable, welcome and full of promises right from the start. If things don’t go right from the first days on, if you feel awkward or awful in a place, don’t stay there any longer, for (I think) you’ll always have that bitter feeling and everytime sth “bad” happens you’ll say “See?! I knew it! Shouldn’t have stayed here right from the beginning…”. Of course you could always return there later, but past experiences have taught us to leave right away for a (more) peaceful mind. ???? After all, the world is big enough, and eventually you’ll find another town that suits you ladies! Wishing you the best of luck!! ☺️

    • Merry Christmas girls, we hope your day was filled will love, happiness and cocktails 🙂

      You have hit the nail on the head, why stay in a place that doesn’t feel right when there are so many others that will.
      Queenstown seems the perfect place for a holiday but it dog eat dog for housing and work and to be frank… we are too old for that bullshit ha.

      We want out own place, own space and we don’t want to feel like a backpacker for the next couple of months ha… so no Queenstown is not the place for us but maybe somewhere up north will be 🙂


  • I guess they are sick of us. 🙁 Good luck in the next place and don’t ever be fooled into staying in Base hostels… If it gets too cold for your tent BBH hostels are a good bet. They’re all small, mostly friendly independent places and you get a good discount with their card. You probably knew that already, but just in case. 🙂

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Hi we're Prue and Becks, travel writers and photographers who have been travelling the world together since 2012. Without taking ourselves too seriously, we divulge the lesser known, out of the way places and give you the tools to replicate it. Want to know more? Click on our pic.