Touring Monocle

New Zealand's flag
Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown
January 20th 2016
Published: January 20th 2016
Edit Blog Post

Now in Queenstown, and wow, a really awesome place, well over my expectations.

Checked in to a room with an impressive view over the lake, with patio. 10 minutes walking distance into town. Straight away, set off for a meander. Weather cloudy today, so great excuse to look round the tourist shops. Booked in on the shot over jet for Wednesday, as tomorrow forecast rain. The New Zealanders have all said the weather is acting rather strange down to the El Niño, which is really affecting fjord land. All the land is bare scrub instead of lush green. Walked around the quay side, and the peninsula, on it has tennis courts, bowling greens, golf frisby!! Ice skating, and plenty of cyclists and walkers. Then had blue cod and chips on the quay side, before though, called into the Ice Bar -5. Absolutely incredible. Had to wear very fetching snugly boots, gloves and coat. Was made to buy a silly hat to wear, which I was assured would use again. Had a cocktail from a glass made from ice, no need to add icecubes. Was so cold when I came out, but then warmed up instantly even though it was cool outside. Well worth the experience.

Woke up to heavy rain, but the land desperately needs it. Met up with an old friend of Sues who she met years ago in Australia, and is now back in her home country - kiwi. Drove to Arrowtown an old gold mining town, the prettiest in NZ, mainly populated by the Chinese in the 1800's. Walked up the river where they panned for gold. On they way back went to the famous Hackett bungy jumping bridge, and watched the nutters for over an hour. Made me feel really queezy. There is no way I could do this.

Have now moved accommodation to Frankton 8k from Queenstown. Amazing views over the lake, its own spa and walked 10 minutes to the water taxi that took 20 minutes to get to Queenstown. Had a walk around and had spare ribs for one but shared, the portions are massive. Plenty of tourists, and the water taxi was so much cheaper than a cruise on the lake. Met a couple older than me, born and bred Queenstown. Turns out they were the main instigators for setting up the guided walks round the Kepler, Milford, Routeburn walking trails way back. And introducing the huts when tourism started to kick off specially on the Milford that gave you ensuite!

Trampers (walkers) when doing a walk like this normally takes around 4 days. A hut although necessary for sleeping, can be a life saver if the weather changes on the mountain. They usually have a wood stove, and gigantic bunk beds with mattresses and you can just crash there. Now with huge tourism, these need to be booked in advance.

It's now Wednesday and this afternoon have booked on the shot over river jet boat. It's a glorious sunny day, blue skies, decided to go up the gondola to the top of the mountain. Sue suggested the luge, neither of us have done it. When you get off the gondola, you then catch a chair lift that takes you up higher. A minutes lesson, to make sure you know how to brake.. Then you are off down a 360metre run. You had 2 runs, first was slow, the second was the red run where the sides became more steep on the bends. Brilliant.

Had coffee on the top of the mountain then a short drive to Arthur's Point to Shotover River. Well, the experience, I am still alive, nobodies heads got knocked off by the sheer rock face. You must you tube it. Amazing 360 degree turns, a narrow gorge, inches literally from the rock face at high speed, all got soaked, I didn't scream as loud as Sue. 30 minutes of pure adrenalin fun. The guy who is running this B and B was insisting that we drove to Glenorchy at the bottom of the lake for the views. The scenery was from Lord of the Rings, Middle Earth. Again amazing scenery, but it was a 44k drive each way. The kiwi's talk as though it's 5 minutes,

Moving on tomorrow, the pace should now slow down. Driving to Lake Tekapo tomorrow, hopefully the weather will be ok, but it talks of rain now here in the fjord lands for a few days.

Chat soon when wifi permits x

Additional photos below
Photos: 6, Displayed: 6


Tot: 2.683s; Tpl: 0.052s; cc: 11; qc: 41; dbt: 0.0337s; 2; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 3; ; mem: 1.3mb