Where two next?

Antipodean travelogue through the eyes of two - one textile and one building lover. It'll be hard to differentiate the two!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Queenstown (36) Days 10 & 11 (Post No. 98)

Every holiday deserves a catch phrase or sound bite that you will associate with it for the rest of your life. "Living the dream" and "Hi-di-hi campers", mostly thanks to Annette, became ours. Living the dream being a reference to the by line associated with Kathmandu.

It was slightly ironic that we should come across the sign above in Queenstown, as it was here that we decided to book into a hotel for the two nights! The camper van might be the only way to travel, but no holiday is complete without a little bit of luxury and pampering. We booked into the Heritage Hotel on the outskirts of Queenstown. Here's a few pics of the views from outside the hotel.

Queenstown is situated on Lake Wakatipu and is the self-styled adventure capital of NZ. Here's a few pics taken from around the harbour.

The picture above is of the TSS Earnslaw, the TSS stands for a twin screw steamer. It burns a tonne of coal an hour and is Queenstown's most famous cruise boat.

Queenstown was our favourite city/ town in the South Island by far and even if, like us you are not the bungy jumping types, it is definitely a must see. As you walk around the town you are constantly aware of the mountain ranges that enclose the city. To quote the Lonely Planet "The aptly named Remarkables and the Eyre Mountains form a breathtaking backdrop to this super active town." Here's a few pics taken from a walk through the town.

Micheal, a first cousin of Sharon and Annette's, had just arrived in Queenstown a few days prior to our arrival and we met up with him that night in an Irish Bar. Here's a picture of Micheal entertaining us all.

The next day we went to the Skyline Gondola and caught a cable car to the summit of one of the mountains where you get great views of the Remarkables and the lake. Here's a few pics taken from the look out at the summit.

There are loads of activities at the summit including bungy jumping and a luge track which is a type of track used by 3 wheeled carts. Here's a few pics, the first is of the gondolas looking down towards Queenstown.

The pic above is one of many bungy jump platforms around Queenstown. We were told that the tradition in NZ at one time was that if you did the jump naked you didn't have to pay. It became so popular though that they had to abandon the idea!

The door above might look innocuous enough but what lies behind, if you like your food, is a real treat. While the girls were busy shopping I went off and found an Internet Cafe and googled Queenstown restaurants. I came across a couple of review sites and they all heaped praise on a particular restaurant called The Bunker. (I am salivating just thinking about it). It is a small, expensive, boutique restaurant situated on a little side street called Cow Lane and it's a little gem. The ambiance, like the food, was superb. The ambiance made all the more cosy by its small size and big open fire place. Having said all that it probably lags slightly behind Fleurs Place in Moeraki Village but they are so different perhaps comparison is a bit unfair. I think the food was slightly better in Fleurs and the ambiance better in The Bunker. I suggest you eat in both and make your own mind up! If the budget doesn't extend to the likes of the Bunker then try the Vudu Cafe on Beach St. for breakfast or lunch. We ate there a number of times and thought the food was really good.

We left Queenstown for the Blue Pools of Haast Pass (21) wanting more, the general consensus being that we could have easily stayed a few more nights there.

As we had left the West side of the Southern Alps the weather had picked up again and we had two fantastic days of sunshine during our stay. I am conscious that this always helps to make a part of a trip a bit more pleasurable and therefore a bit more memorable.

I think the hotel might have had a bit to do with it too!


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