NZ – Queenstown Revisited

– MARCH 28, 2015

We had unfinished business in the beautiful city of Queenstown, so we returned to complete the south island journey.  Jill’s wrist strain from our Wanaka canyoning wasn’t well enough to do the luge activity in Queenstown, so after some Waimate time to heal it we returned after seeing Dunedin/Bluff/Te Anau to right this wrong.  The city of Queenstown is quite attractive and resembles an Aspen-like resort town.  It’s on the water, surrounded by mountains, clean, fun, and importantly without bugs.  I can’t stress the absence of bugs here…no mosquitos, no sand flies, no spiders…just everything about Queenstown shouts “why would you ever leave here?“.

Queenstown downtown

Queenstown downtown

The downtown core is vibrant and fun, while the harbour has musicians playing and pubs alive with Speights on tap.  Beyond the harbour is a hill that has been used in many movies.  For example, the Wolverine movie where he is based in the Canadian Rockies was actually not filmed in Canada, but in Queenstown!  Why use the actual Rockies when you can just call New Zealand the Rockies!  It’s also the home of Beorn (the large werewolf/bear thing) in the Hobbit movies.

The hill in the background was used in the Wolverine movie (aka the Canadian Rockies) and as the home of Beorn (the werewolf).

The hill in the background was used in the Wolverine movie (aka the Canadian Rockies) and as the home of Beorn (the werewolf).

We took the Gondola ride and it offered some amazing views of the city and surrounding area.

Queenstown city view from top of Gondola

Queenstown city view from top of Gondola

 

Queenstown city view from top of Gondola

Queenstown city view from top of Gondola

 

Queenstown city view from top of Gondola

Queenstown city view from top of Gondola

It was a rainy day, but as per all of New Zealand the weather was perfect for our planned day’s activities.  We did not run across any other travellers who could claim the same thing, so if any of you reading this blog come to New Zealand please plan some extra days in your itinerary so you can buffer a day or two when weather does not cooperate.  Fortunately, we had a perfect run.  See the image below for the weather while riding the gondola.

Queenstown city view from a rainy Gondola car

Queenstown city view from a rainy Gondola car

At the top of the gondola we then geared up for the luge (more like go-carts) and rode a chair lift to the luge starting line.

Queenstown city view from top of Luge chairlift

Queenstown city view from top of Luge chairlift

 

Skyline Luge chairlift

Skyline Luge chairlift

We purchased 3 rides each, the first ride is mandatory to take the slow course (as opposed to the second fast course).  It was great traction in the rain and the carts rode quite well.

Skyline Luge

Skyline Luge

We took turns wearing the go-pro camera so we could video each other racing down the course.  Jill really got into the speed!

Skyline Luge

Skyline Luge

But I was in hot pursuit!

Skyline Luge

Skyline Luge

It looks like something meant for kids, but it was almost all adults doing it.  It was more fun than it looked and we could easily see how people spend a day there buying more rides.  We capped it at the 3 rides purchased, as we have plenty of more adventures to come over the next 13 months and we need to keep an eye on the budget.

Skyline Luge

Skyline Luge

Just when you think you’re catching up, she took off like a bat out of hell (to quote Meatloaf)!

Skyline Luge

Skyline Luge

As always, Jill has the ‘tude (attitude) down right for the activity.

Skyline Luge

Skyline Luge

It was fun and we recommend anyone travelling to Queenstown to do this on a rainy day when your skydive gets cancelled.

Since we’re back in Queenstown, you have to make a stop at Fergburger again.  Why wouldn’t you?  I got the “Sweet Bambi” which contains: wild fiordland deer, thai plum chutney, lettuce, tomato, red onion, aioli, plus I added American streaky bacon and pineapple.  It was good and a welcome reminder of this wonderful place.  A draft Speight’s was a necessary companion.

Fergburger "Sweetn Bambi"

Fergburger “Sweet Bambi”

On the day we left we both had our favorites as a send off.  Jill had the “Holier Than Thou” and I returned to the “Little Lamby with bacon/pineapple“.  Pure Heaven.  Come to Fergburger.

FergBurger-"Little Lamby" and "Holier than Thou"

FergBurger-“Little Lamby” and “Holier than Thou”

We then headed back to Morven/Waimate to the Hughes farm to collect ourselves in the final three days.  On the way we came across a cattle crossing on the highway.  We know this happens in North America, but usually on secondary roads, not on main highways.  LOL.

Highway traffic stopped for a cow crossing.

Highway traffic stopped for a cow crossing.

On the way we stopped in Kurow to top off some petrol, but across the street we saw two cars parked side by side with the license plates seen below.  How does this happen?

License plates of "NUDIST" AND "RAPERE" side by side....are you kidding me?

License plates of “NUDIST” AND “RAPERE” side by side….are you kidding me?

We both got a good laugh at this…quite the way to wrap up the south island journey.  We have some small daytrips in the potential works, but otherwise we are now just setting up for the Australia run (Melbourne accommodations, reviewing the planned days, checking supplies, repacking, etc).

This is our final post from New Zealand.  We will be staying with Lynn in Christchurch (our host to the rugby game earlier) and departing on Wednesday to Melbourne, Australia.  New Zealand has been beautiful and a blast…but we’re in the mood for a change in location.  Australia should be a welcome new addition to the itinerary.

Thank you New Zealand…this adventure couldn’t have started off any better or with any better people.

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For more photos of our adventure go to our flickr account here.

2 thoughts on “NZ – Queenstown Revisited

  1. It’s been great to read about so many great places in our country that I have yet to visit. It was lovely to meet you both and to have you stay. Keep cheering for the Crusaders, hopefully they pick up their game for the rest of the season. Safe travels from here on – cheers Lyn

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