Published: March 2nd 2012March 2nd 2012
Although the maps told us the hotel was only a few blocks from the Queenstown CBD, they did not convey that the hotel was on a hill overlooking the town. So each trip to town started with a walk down about 50 feet. Getting to town wasn’t bad, but getting back sure gave the legs a workout. Anyway we strolled around town a bit and since it was early evening we looked for a pizza place we’d seen in a couple books. We found “The Cow” in an alley in the CBD and had a nice “everything” pizza and a couple gallons of water. This became our first experience with eating in NZ – good food, but very expensive; our first $30 pizza. Anyway with our hunger and thirst satisfied we continued our stroll around the CBD. Since Queenstown styles itself the “adventure sports capital of the world” the town was half American or Eurozone twenty somethings and half retired Americans and middle aged Japanese on holiday. Which group were we? Anyway it sort of felt like a US college town, Boulder maybe? We grabbed gelato for desert and headed back up the hill to the hotel. We were back in
the room by 8pm, but by 9 the travel caught up with us and we crashed.
Since we went to bed early, we were awake before the sun on Sunday morning. After puttering around getting ready, we headed downtown by 8am or so. Again, much like a college town on a Sunday morning we mostly had it to ourselves. We were just walking around, but we must have looked confused (what a shock) because a Kiwi gent asked us if we need help finding something. Fortunately we didn’t and headed to another restaurant we’d read about, Fregburger. It mostly burger joint, but they have a couple breakfast sandwiches. We were expecting something like an Egg McMuffin, but what each of us got was a sandwich about the size of a small cantaloupe. In addition to the egg, bacon, etc. you might expect each had avocado, lettuce, tomato, onion, tarragon mayo and “tomato relish” (ketchup). In addition Pat’s had cheese and beetroot. I know how it sounds, but they were wonderful and filled us for the whole day. We then took the Skyline gondola up to the top of Bob’s Peak about 500 meters (1,500+ ft.) above Queenstown. The trip
from Bob's Peak
was mostly for the view (see the pics), but as we were getting ready we saw on their web site about luge track at the top of the gondola. It’s not a real luge like you see in the Olympics, but a three wheeled cart you steer with handlebars like a bike and roll down a paved track. There were two different tracks, so we each rode both, and then since we didn’t get a picture of Connie on the luge, she went a third time. Great fun! We were also able to watch some tandem parasailers, and one person go off the bungy swing. We passed on that fun.
The other activity we’d heard about was the steamer TSS Earnslaw. The ship was built in 1912 in Christchurch and hauled in pieces to Lake Wakatipu (where Queenstown is) to carry supplies and people to the sheep stations on the lake since there were no roads. Now the ship carries tourists back and forth between Queenstown and the Walter Peak High Country Farm. We did the trip and a two hour visit to the farm which included feeding sheep and deer, a walk with the sheep in the meadow
and a sheep shearing demo. Sounds hokey, but the guide, Leslie was a very irreverent chap and did a wonderful job taking us around. As a bonus, on the boat coming to the Farm was a wedding party and guests. The bride and bridesmaids arrived by helicopter and the wedding was held on the lawn overlooking the lake. It was a lovely event and they all looked like they were having a good time (except for the father of the bride of course).
Back to Queenstown for dinner at the Pig & Whistle where Pat failed to understand the waitress and accidentally ordered a “pug” of beer; which turned out to be a liter in a small pitcher. Well when the going gets tough… The trip up the hill was even slower than the day before and Pat was asleep well before 9pm. Tomorrow morning is the first organized day trip to Te Anau and Milford Sound.
There are more photos below