Last month, on the 25th of May, I called in sick due to the sniffles (which is still bugging me 2 1/2 weeks later). While I was snuggled up like a bug in bed, hoping for the sniffles to disappear, my mobile phone rang. It was a private number and I immediately knew that it was Westpac. You see, I just changed banks a few weeks back and the only “Private Number” calls I receive are from Westpac. I picked up the phone, silently wondering if I had forgotten to sign papers and needed to pop in a branch immediately to sort things out. I was relieved when it was not KW (the lady I usually deal with), but … someone else. Our conversation went something like this …
Westpac Lady (WL): Hi! Is this “The Rabbit”?
Me: Yes (monosyllabic replies due to colds)
WL: This is “WL” and I understand you changed banks recently and in so doing, applied for a Westpac Airpoints™ Mastercard.
Me: Yes … (becoming slightly wary)
WL: Westpac was having a promotion during the time you applied for the card. Those who applied were automatically put in a draw to win a Surprise Weekend Getaway which includes return flights and accommodation for two to either Auckland or Queenstown …
Me: okay … (still not catching on to anything, still wary …)
WL: Well, you won the grand prize …
Me: What? Are you serious …
And so, that phone call created a small hubbub in my “sick room”. The Grizzly Bear walked in to see why I was suddenly chatting animatedly and when he found out about it, he naturally, perked up as well. Thus began an unexpected journey to Queenstown.
We flew out of Wellington via Air New Zealand on Friday afternoon, had a brief pitstop at Christchurch (where I was pleasantly surprised at how much the airport has changed since I was there last – kinda sad the Auckland Airport doesn’t look that nice) and flew in to Queenstown a little bit after 5:00 pm. We got our rental car and drove to Heritage Hotel Queenstown, where we were booked for the weekend. Since it was wet and dark, and we were tired from travelling, we decided to stay in for the night and just explore Queenstown and its surrounds the following day.
On Saturday, after having an amazingly sumptuous and filling breakfast, we hopped in our rental car and drove to the town centre. Unfortunately, it was still bucketing down so, instead of staying in Queenstown, we decided to drive off to parts unknown and explore more of the Otago district.
We drove out towards Cromwell (but didn’t stop, I’ve been there before so I wasn’t too fussed about not seeing the town again – speaking of which, I really should post a story about my quick Cromwell Trip sometime) and headed on towards Ranfurly, driving past Lake Dunstan and the amazingly turquoise Clutha River (sadly, no pictures, hard to take photos in a moving car). Stopped briefly at Ranfurly to get a cup of coffee and then drove on to a small town called Patearoa. After walking around Patearoa, we drove back towards Central Otago stopping at Omakau for a “stretch your legs” break and a cuppa (visit The Muddy Creek Cafe when you’re in the area, they have really good coffee). Afterwards, we drove off towards Wanaka’s Puzzling World.
After getting ourselves dizzy and confused, we headed back to Queenstown to call it a day. Sadly, it was still wet and cold at Queenstown, so we proceeded to the hotel to rest.
Queenstown was having a bad weekend while we were there – it was still raining on Sunday. However, since this was our last day, we decided to brave the wet weather and enjoy what Queenstown had to offer. We walked around Queenstown Mall, took a few photos and…had a Fergburger for brunch! After stuffing our faces silly with burgers and brioches, we drove back to the airport and waited for our flight back to Wellington.
It may have been a wet weekend, but it was a weekend break that we desperately needed. We came back from the unexpected holiday a bit more refreshed and ready to face the challenges the next few weeks would bring. We’re really grateful to Westpac for this unexpected break. Thank you. It was very much appreciated. 🙂