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Published: October 20th 2009
7th October- Te Anau to Queenstown
Seeing as we’d seen both Milford & Doubtful Sound, we thought we’d push on to Queenstown, the adrenaline capital of New Zealand! It was a beautiful, sunny day so we thought it best to take advantage of the good weather & take the Skyline Gondola affording us fantastic views of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains. We had an hour or so to explore & get some pictures before watching a Maori culture show, giving us a small insight into Maori life & a chance to see the famous Haka up close. For dinner we ate out & sampled what is maybe NZ’s best burger (according to the Lonely Planet!) at Fergburger & then it was onto Winnies bar with a roof that kept opening up (literally!!!) for a few beers in front of a log fire with some very cool live music.
8th October- Queenstown
Lazy day today as it had clouded over during the night, so we took the laptop & chilled in one of the many coffee shops that gave free internet upon a purchase - Not that there was much point as the internet was
shockingly slow! We then did some food shopping and rented a movie (The Reader) to watch in our little Jucy whilst having dinner…
9th October - Queenstown to Lake Wanaka via Glenorchy and Arrowtown
After a couple of days in Queenstown it was time to move on, so we headed for Glenorchy to see if we could find a couple of Lord of the Rings film locations( we think we did, its hard to tell!). We drove 15km north to Paradise, but rest assured it was anything but that! Essentially just a paddock at the end of a gravel road, but it runs through some beautiful farmland fringed by majestic mountains. Then onto quaint Arrowtown, which retains more then 60 of it’s original wooden & stone buildings. We stopped for a quick coffee in a really cool stone café/restaurant which dates from the 1860’s called Stables. Onto Lake Wanaka, via the more scenic route through the Crown Range, offering fabulous 360 degree views of the Queenstown region.
10th October - Lake Wanaka
Today we had a very nice relaxed day. The weather was stunning and we just really did feel like lazing about! We
did some exercise though, we started off the day with a walk to the summit of Mount Iron, which is only a 45 min climb, but you get really nice 360 views of the area from the top. We then did a quick stop to puzzling world, but decided against paying to go inside and just took some funny pictures outside! We’re not cheap…Honest!! We drove back into the town and booked our cinema places for 8 30 pm, then went to have a lovely coffee and cake out in the sun at “Café Gusto”. After the coffee we walked over to the lake front and just put a sheet on the grass and sat in the sun playing cards and chess for an hour or so until it got too cold! Quick food shop before going to use some internet for a couple of hours and then off to Cinema Paradiso!!
The movie we watched was “Inglorious Basterds” (great movie!!). The cinema was great in itself though! It’s a little cinema with a selection of lounge chairs and even a little (bright yellow) VW Beatle if you get to it fast enough! We ordered food before going in, which got served to us during intermission, Steve got Fish Pie and I stuffed my face with Quesadilla. There was also some DELICIOUS, huge and still warm cookies (white chocolate & ginger) offered during intermission… Yum, yum =) Then it was off to set up camp for the night, which turned out to be a free night in a 5* camp site…Bonus! =)
11th October - Lake Wanaka to Franz Josef Glaciers
Today we set off bright and early (as we planned to have a free night at last nights campsite) and made our way some 350kms across to the West Coast and to the Franz Josef Glaciers. We stopped a few times along the way for pictures & made a quick stop to check out Fox Glacier before arriving in a grey, wet Franz Josef mid-afternoon. The rest of the day was organizing ourselves for tomorrow before the bad weather arrived…Heli-Hike on the Glacier first thing followed by Steve jumping out of a plane in the afternoon!!
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