Blogs from Queenstown, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania

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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown April 30th 2021

The fine sunny weather keeps following us and this morning dawned fine and clear.OK it did take a while longer than we might have expected for the sun to infiltrate the area where we are staying opposite Kingston Heights but with a cruisy day ahead we were in no rush to get up. The apartment has a gas heater that is very efficient even on a low heat and we left it on all night and the temperature inside was just perfect without being stuffy. It was a bit too chilly to sit out on the deck area in front of the lounge and watch the planes come and go into Queenstown airport but we had a good view from inside anyway. One must admire the skill of the airline pilots that get to fly in ... read more
Restaurants etc down on the wharf
Looking south to Glenorchy
The 'Shark'above the water

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown April 29th 2021

We had had exactly 12 hours in bed when we awoke this morning. That is what can happen when there is no cell phone coverage, no internet and no television in your overnight accommodation. It wasn’t that we slept for 12 hours as we did have our kindles to read which passed away some of the time last night after our dinner in the adjacent restaurant, And Gretchen did get to check the emails at the reception in the lounge bar. So heading onto Queenstown today and what promised to be an upmarket apartment will be like coming back to civilisation after a one night stay in a remote location. It was only a short drive in comparison to others so far into Queenstown so getting on the road before checkout time of 10am wasn’t a ... read more
The A-Frame,Makarora
Rural scene south of Makarora
Lake Wanaka looking south

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown March 9th 2021

Queenstown. Rain. Cloud. Cold. We got here by driving from Franz Josef - again a slight underestimation of how long it would take but made easy by the scenery along the way. Fox Glacier, Bruce Bay Lake Paringa, podocarp forests; Rimu, Kahikatea, Totara, Kahikatea and beech among others. A good road surface, winding at times but with a good surface mostly, the forest leaning out over the road or pressing in on both sides. It's majestic. No other word for it. We have a beautifully, spectacular country. There was little traffic. We stopped at Haaaaast (forgotten how many 'a's) for lunch at the Hard Antler Pub/cafe. Not recommended. Poor service, not with a a smile and the food seemed old and tired. It's one of the only games in town so there's little choice. Ce'st la ... read more
Bob's Cove track
Glenorchy
Glenorchy

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown March 5th 2021

Arrived here in Queenstown after a longer than expected drive from Franz Josef; only because I hadn't looked at the map too carefully and should have realised it wasn't quite as straightforward as I though it might be. But what a drive - through beautiful podocarp forest towering over the road for kilometre after kilometre. Spectacular. We'd walked up to the viewing place for the Franz Josef Glacier after breakfast at the Rainforest Retreat (which was good place to stay in FJ. They upgraded us so Lyn was very happy that we had bathroom facilities in our room. Friendly staff and comfortable surroundings). The glacier has retreated kilometres since the first photo was taken in the 1860's but it's still possible to see its grandeur and what must have been as it tumbles down the mountain ... read more
Franz Josef 2
Franz Josef 3
Franz Josef 4

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown December 6th 2019

How many stray pubes in your hotel room is too many? Not a question that we thought we’d have to ask ourselves but, alas, we did at one of the hotels a few days ago on our journey down the north island. Unfortunately stray pubes were not the only issue, and we spent a fair amount of time at the front desk and were very glad of our short stay at this establishment. A particular low point: having to wipe the brownish gunk from the shower prior to use and then, mid shampooing, the water changing from tepid to the temperature of a thousand suns with no warning at all. It certainly kept one on one’s toes (although it was probably sensible to be on tiptoe already, if not in flip flops, given the aforementioned foreign ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown February 25th 2019

Yesterday we spent the morning hiking up Queenstown Hill, which isn’t difficult but steep! Tony was always 20 or more feet ahead! On our way down the hill (in my book mountain) we came across a college friend of Tony’s and his wife! Very very small world experience! We also checked out Arrowtown which was an old gold mining town! Most steps walked so far!... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown February 20th 2019

New Zealand - arriving in Queenstown was interesting as we swung through the mountains and bounced off the short runway before coming to a halt. First impressions were of a rugged, more varied and cooler country than where we had recently been. Plus it was 3 hours ahead of Brisbane and had much longer evenings - a bit like an English summer. We only had one night in Queenstown so we shot out and went up on the Skyline cable car up to Ben Lomond. Fortunately by the time we got up there the bungee jump was closed but we enjoyed the fantastic views over the scenic reserve and Lake Wakatipu. Eating out that evening we were following the recommendation of our friends from back home Jan and John and visited Fergbuger- which looked from the ... read more
view from top of cable car - Queenstown
on the Jetboat
Doubtful Sound

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown December 20th 2018

After our burger with Julian, we went for a walk in Queenstown. It’s a very nice town, which reminded me a lot of English towns but it is very busy and full of tourists! After a rest, we went for a walk near the river and had a takeaway dinner at a latin place. We are arepas and quesadillas on the beach with a beer. Shaun practiced his skimming skills on the lake. We wanted to buy some more beer and have another one in a quiet spot we had found but they refused to serve us as we didn’t have our passports. So we went back to the hostel! On the next day, we had a pretty lazy day and went for an early dinner at The Bazaar, an “interactive marketplace” restaurant we found a ... read more
View from Queenstown Hill
View from the beach in Queenstown

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown November 30th 2018

So today is our last day here in New Zealand. We decided to take a cruise on Lake Wakatipu on the S.S. Earnslaw, a steamship built in the early 1900's. It is a very nice ship. We could go down and look at the steam engines and boilers. We took a 45 minute cruise to the other side of the lake. We got off and visited the Walter Peak Station, which is a sheep and cattle ranch, for a bbq lunch. We got to see a sheepdog demonstration and a sheep being sheared. The lunch was great! Some of the best food we had all trip. After lunch, we returned to our hotel to start packing for the trip home. Later, we had our farewell dinner with our tour director and fellow travelers. Most people were ... read more
I don't know, Stacy took this
One of 2 permanent waterfalls
The opening to the ocean

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown November 28th 2018

SC writes: Queenstowbn is the most popular tourist destination in NZ and we have seen plenty of evidence of that. There are scores of things to including many white knuckle things such as hang gliding. It is a youngsters' town but yesterday we went for it and went jet boating up a mountain canyon. Even the 45 minute drive up int othe hills on unmade road was exciting enough. Stunning views and sheer drops. The boat itself is a high powered thing that only requires 8 inches draft and it wizzes up and down the canyon screaming past rocks and over waterfalls. A total adrenaline buzz - Amazing and all in glorious summer sunshine. The weather held today and we went for a more sedate cruise on the lake in the morning. In the pm we ... read more
Jet boats...best I could get
We jet boated up here




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