My Lexus chauffeur, Kevin, drops me at the Auckland domestic airport. I’m off to Queenstown for a celebrity appearance wearing my Kublai Persian Jacquard, which is one of five in NZ. A quick airport meal, always rushed so I decide upon ferociously hot won ton soup to slow me down. I met fellow emcee , Lexus ambassador Murray Thom and his beautiful wife Anne seated next to me on the flight, the conversation is hilarious!
Queenstown is awesome viewed from the Lexus RX350. I’m settled in my suite at The Hilton. Since it’s so southerly crisp I decide on a luxury bubble bath. Heaven. I’m obsessed with Grace Coddington’s autobiography, to be inspired by successful people who know their truth and don’t wear beige to fit in with the flock. I’d pick her for a lunch date anytime in a Lexus! I’m wet, warm and happy.
It’s a very cold, clear, clean Queenstown night and the launch is in full swing. The who’s who of QT locals, the league of magnificent Lexus management and ambassadors spread throughout the flash showroom drink their finest choices while the live entertainment delights everyone. Emcee Murray is excellent and led the charge of speeches from the dapper Lexus NZ general manager, Paul Carroll, to an inspirational Cam Calkoen. While my Nomad Trench Sand and Sky (Manahan Menswear) draws a lot of attention, the true stars are the Lexus models, especially the RC F to celebrate 10 years of exceptional “F” performance. Exclusively, it’s one of only 500 globally. And then I spy Marc Ellis …!
I’m an early bird. I love mornings. It’s so fresh and my brain is sharp. I do my best business negotiations early and on a double espresso buzz! I decide against going to the gym because I have no idea I’ll find it, or the way back to my Hilton suite, so I do 100 press ups instead. There’s a knock at the door, my breakfast lands, still warm baked croissants, freshly squeezed carrot, ginger and orange juice, and more black coffee. The view from my room is breathtaking. I’m naked.
Photographer Carla Mitchell arrives, I like her. Photographers are always so visual and see the world raw. We share stories over warm croissants. Today’s sightseeing in the Lexus LC 500, I throw on my season favourite Ulan Batar Nomad Trench. Queenstown is a destination like no other. We shoot over Lake Wakatipu with the powerful Remarkables mountain range as our backdrop.
My 24 hours in Queenstown is over. Lexus had an incredibly fun launch for this destination showroom. I made new friends and discovered many things like three scoops of ice-cream at the Hilton is $22 and their coffee and croissants are delicious. Air NZ Flight 616 circles over the lake one last time, I’m coming home.
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Photography: Carla Mitchell