Putting the ‘Holiday’ in “Working Holiday”

For a Christmas gift my incredible parents (Thanks Mom! Thanks Dad!) got Miriam and me a bike trip around Queenstown. Due to bad weather and conflicting work schedules we hadn’t been able to use it until this week. Then the stars aligned and we both had the same day off and the weather forecast simply said “perfect” so we decided to give it a go. We got our rental bikes dropped off in the morning and left at 10 with the goal of biking 35km on the Queenstown Bike Trail and ending at the Gibbston Valley Winery where our shuttle would pick us up at 4:30 and drive us home.


We started with breakfast at the Boat Shed Cafe. Miriam got a coffee with Baileys and I got a Bloody Mary. Upon dropping them off our waitress remarked “You two are really gettin’ after it.” Why yes. Yes we are. Now fetch me some hot sauce because there’s no way you made this drink spicy enough to make my eyes water.


After breakfast (which was delicious) the sun really started to come out. This a view of Lake Wakatipu from a beach in Frankton. To get here we rode along the shore in the right side of the photo.


Even though we both have bikes we decided to rent them because ours aren’t the nicest bikes. Miriam got hers for $20 from a teenage girl at a yard sale. My bike is another story.

There’s a spot in town where people lock up their bikes and post for sale signs on them. I walk past it every day on the way to and from town. One day I noticed a bike that was unlocked and didn’t have a for sale sign on it. Since I’m not a thief I just let it be. The next day it was still there. And the day after that. And the day after that. I walked past this bike every day for over a week. Each time it was sitting there unlocked, taunting me, begging me to liberate it from its resting spot. One night Miriam and I went out drinking with some friends until the wee hours. The next morning when I woke up I was surprised to see the bike leaning against our garage. Who knows how it got there.


We stopped on the Kawarau Bridge and asked an Asian woman to take our picture. Turned out great. Asian tourists will just come up and take a picture of you when you’re minding your own business. However, when you need them to actually take a picture of you this is what you get.



Once we got outside of Queenstown and Frankton we started riding past multiple cow, sheep and deer pastures. Miriam was very insistent on getting a hearty amount of animal pics.


On our map this trail was listed as an easy trail which we assumed meant that we would be taking a leisurely pedal through the countryside. “NOT SO FAST” said New Zealand. This trail had some brutal hills with multiple switchbacks that resulted in Miriam and me walking our bikes up the never-ending hills. At one point I’m 85% sure I passed Lance Armstrong out of breath on the side of the trail.


Swinging bridges kinda freak me out. So when Miriam was brave enough to ride across this one I just had to snap a pic.


At around 3:00 we made it to Chard Farm winery. Notice our bikes hurriedly plopped down by the entrance. There was no time to lean them against something. We hadn’t had a drink since breakfast and after a series of rough uphills, my legs felt like cooked spaghetti. I needed this wine to help me channel my inner Popeye and power through to the finish.


Chard Farm is probably my favorite winery that I’ve been to in NZ. It was very picturesque and the guy let us taste 10 different wines for the whopping price of nothing.  We bought a bottle because Miriam felt that I needed more weight in my backpack so that the ride wasn’t too easy.


Turns out consuming wine does not make it easier to bike. After arriving at Gibbston Valley we decided to take pictures where our facial expression dictated how we were feeling. I felt shredded.


Miriam apparently felt adorable and photogenic.


At Gibbston Valley you could sample some wines and then head over to the cheesery and sample some cheeses. Its all very bougie.


Don’t worry friends and family, even though I’m going to fancy wineries and cheeseries I’m still as classless as I ever was. The other day there was a shirt I liked in our lost and found at work. It is now my shirt.


Even though Queenstown is a very pretty town and we love hanging out here with our friends I really enjoy the opportunities when we get outside the city, even if it’s just a few minutes away.

Miriam and I had a great time on our bike tour. It was without a doubt one of the best days we’ve had since moving here. I hope you enjoyed reading about it!



5 thoughts on “Putting the ‘Holiday’ in “Working Holiday”

  1. First of all, I love Bailey’s and Coffee, Miriam has great taste. This is my favorite post yet. Looks like you both had a great time….loved the play by play. Great pictures, except for the one where the tourist chopped your head off. 🙂 Thanks so much to you and Miriam for including me in your posts. Loved to see a picture of your rescued bike that found it’s way to you.

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