New Zealand. What is painted in your mind once you hear these words?
To most of us, it’s the 360-degree picturesque view that no matter where you’re at within this dreamy piece of land, you will always bring home a lot of memories and photographs that are worth keeping.
One of the most sought-after places in New Zealand is Queenstown. This humble town is surrounded by the scenic view of both the mountain range and Lake Wakatipu. Tourists love to head over this little town dubbed as the “Adventure Capital” of New Zealand because, as the name suggests, the thrilling adventure choices are a must-try. If adventure is not your thing, you can just grab a bottle of wine, sit by the lake and muse over the vividly pleasing and cool environment.
Since Queenstown is undeniably enchanting, Armand Ansaldo Photography’s (AAP) lenses seemed to be in a trance. But that did not keep me from clicking away through all of the beautiful stops in this trip.
AN ENCOUNTER WITH JOHN
Before showing you the wonderful activities we’ve had in Queenstown, I thought that it would be wonderful to share with you how the trip to New Zealand transpired.
On the 3rd of May this year, John, the soon-to-be groom, visited our studio to schedule a photo shoot of his wedding proposal originally set in Singapore on June 7 to 10. Due to certain circumstances, the shoot was reset to a later date and the location was moved to Melbourne, Australia. Since AAP is headed to Australia, John realized that it would be more romantic to have the proposal in Queenstown, New Zealand.
And that, my friends, is the reason why AAP landed a trip to Queenstown.
DAY 1: FINALLY, QUEENSTOWN!
On June 23, we flew from Manila to Australia and stayed in Sydney for a few days. By June 25, I had to fly to New Zealand for the most-awaited wedding proposal.
That, and New Zealand was a special destination for me as this would be my first time to experience the grandeur of Queenstown, New Zealand.
When were just heaps away from landing over Queenstown International Airport, a majestic view of the mountain range and its picture-perfect glaciers opened below us. I could not contain my excitement as this eye-popping spectacular billowed before my eyes – and my lenses. If this was just how it looks like in the air, imagine my elation when we finally got out the aircraft to explore on land.
DAY 2: THE PROPOSAL
This was the day when John and Katrina, the couple we were scheduled to shoot, arrived from Sydney, Australia.
AAP and a few of the bride’s relatives headed out from Holiday Inn to do an early check in at Ramada Suites by Wyndham Queenstown Remarkables Park. The receptionist was a Filipina. Her name is Jin and she’s from Ilocos. Because of her, we got our rooms upgraded from King Studio to Executive Studio Apartment. (Thank you, Jin!)
By 11 AM, I went out to town with the bride’s sister, Kryx, and mother, Aunt Imelda. We had a 20-minute trip to the Town riding the Orbus Queenstown Bus No. 1 (Route: Fernhill – Remarkables Park).When we reached the town, we witnessed streets crowded by people with different nationalities. While strolling around Ballarat Street with our choice of ice cream from Patagonia’s Ice Creamery and Chocolaterie, the glorious mountain view of Queenstown sits as a wonderful backdrop amid the busy walkways enjoyed by locals and tourists.
As we enjoyed our time in Ballarat, John called and informed us that he wanted to do the proposal on this day. The original plan was on our third day in Queenstown but John seemed to be moved by the romantic splendour of Queenstown that he could not wait for one more day to get his most-awaited ‘Yes!’ from Katrina.
John informed us that they’re at the Skyline and that’s where he wanted to propose. That’s our cue to pack up and immediately head over to where they’re at.
We all rushed to the Skyline by taking the Gondola ride. When we reached the top, John met with AAP to agree on the perfect spot for his proposal. Five minutes later, AAP stationed from afar to shoot John’s perfect moment to pop the question.
The AAP team made a separate post for you to enjoy the shots we took for John and Katrina’s wedding proposal. Check it out here.
After this romantic moment, we headed to Thai Siam Restaurant to celebrate the success of the proposal and to enjoy our first sumptuous dinner together with the couple.
DAY 3: DELIGHTFUL TOWN EXPERIENCE CONTINUES
We started the third day by enjoying a cozy breakfast with the couple at Evoque Cafe Bar. A few minutes later, we had another quintessential trip to the town and visited some of the most wonderful spots in Queenstown.
After breakfast, we headed to Walter Peak Farm Excursion by cruising through TSS Earnslaw where we got the best view of Lake Wakatipu. In this farm tour, we experienced a guided tour around the farm where they also demonstrated a few farming lifestyles, especially their ways of taking good care of the animals.
After the farm tour, we headed back to the town and enjoyed dinner and steak at Surreal Bar and Restaurant.
DAY 4: MORE SCENIC PHOTO SHOOTS FOR THE COUPLE
On July 28, our first order of business is a photo shoot for the couple at Coronet Peak Ski Resort. It took us 15 minutes to arrive at the Ski Resort from Ramada Suites. We took a couple of shots at the resort which you can view here.
Later on, we headed to Paradise Trust in Glenorchy. This is a go-to paradise for tourists especially that most of the scenes in the movies Narnia and the Lord of the Rings trilogy were shot here. This place is said to be very popular since the 1800s because of its ‘heritage significance and accessible wilderness experience’.
After enjoying the view and amazing spots at Paradise Trust, we headed to Bombay Palace to wake up our palates with a scrumptious lunch.
We then hit it off to our last check in for this trip at Heritage Hotel.
After a few hours of break, we went back to the city and enjoyed the trade fairs, street musicians and other whatnot relished by locals and tourists while in town.
The five to seven-degree weather in the town pushed us to try the famous hot chocolate from Ivy and Lola’s Kitchen and Bar. The hot chocolate which ran down our stomachs was enough for us to head on to our next stop.
As if the freezing weather wasn’t enough, John and Katrina thought that we should try the Below Zero Ice Bar which boasts a negative ten-degree temperature while inside. The ice bar serve must-try mocktails and chilling ‘Frost Bite’ juices.
DAY 5: AAP’S LAST DAY IN QUEENSTOWN
On our last day in Queenstown, we enjoyed Heritage Hotel’s buffet breakfast while savoring our last, few views of the town’s magnificence.
By now, we completely understood how John and Katrina love the snow cap experience. That’s the reason why they decided to have our last activities at The Remarkables Ski Area. We managed to shoot another set of photographs for the couple there.
By 3:40 PM, my bags are packed and I flew back to Australia with a heart full of gratitude. Queenstown is by far one of the most unforgettable experiences I’ve ever had. Thank you, John and Katrina, for this remarkable experience!
Don’t forget to check John and Katrina’s photographs here.