Published: May 24th 2012May 24th 2012
Old steamer on the lake - still gives tourist rides at almost 100 years old
En route to Queenstown.
The road down towards Queenstown was to drive on, with spectacular views all of the way, including mountains and some lakes. Centres of population are few and far between, and where existing, tend to be very small. How do people exist so far away from a city?? Whilst we took lots of photos, they would become boring in excess, and so have restricted the ones we published to just a few to give a flavour of the scenery. We did not manage to get to Queenstown by nightfall, and stayed overnight on a Department of Conservation site along the way. Next morning, on the road again until we got to:
BUNGEE JUMPING – the origin of bungee jumping was claimed to be just north of Queensland and still exists as a commercial venture for those interested in trying, so we stopped to see if there were any brave souls (loonies?) who were about to do a jump. We saw three jumps. Valda offered to pay if I would have a jump, but I didn’t fancy the long climb up the stairs from the water afterwards else I would have -
Origin of Bungee Jumping
The first commercial bungee junping took place here. Only $180 for the pleasure. (Took a video - will try to upload it in the future.
(there must have been almost a 100 steps on the path up – far too many to justify a bungee jump.)
QUEENSTOWN - When we got to Queenstown, we had a drive through to orientate ourselves with the layout. The atmosphere reminded me very much of Keswick in the English Lake District – a commercial centre for holiday makers by the lakeside – lots of souvenir shops, cafes, hotels, etc – and parking meters, the first we have encountered since Christchurch. We followed a road sign to the local library – big mistake, a narrow road with a sharp right turn over a severe hump back bridge which would probably have grounded a Mini never mind a long wheel base campervan! Queenstown local authority, take note at put up a warning sign please. After reversing back and holding up traffic, we got on our way again trying to find a place to park. Lots of parking for cars, but nothing obvious for campervans – perhaps Queenstown council do not expect visitors with campervans? The best place we found to park a campervan was on the road leaving Queenstown for Glenorchy, in front of the hotels, hostels, etc.
Origin of Bungee Jumping
Must be mad - anyone that tries it!
Free, and just a minor walk into town along the lakeshore.
Queenstown is very beautiful, set on hillsides by the lakeshore, definitely worth a visit. An old lake steamer still runs tourist trips on the lake, adding to the atmosphere of the place. We camped in a local campground just off Beacon street and walked into town to soak up the atmosphere, do shopping, etc.
Next day, we decided to deviate from the main tourist track and go up a valley to Glenorchy, a settlement at the top of the lake that used to be a mining town only accessible by boat, and then if roads permitted, further north to Paradise, where lots of films have been made including part of Lord of the Rings. Sadly when almost reaching Paradise, the road turned into a gravel one that was unsuitable for larger motor-homes, so we turned back. Not Paradise for some motorists then.
We stayed at a site just outside of Queenstown, with a view to moving on to Milford Sound the next day. And so on to Milford Sound....
There are more photos below