Queenstown for a whole day and two nights! How good to wake up and know that exploring time was (relatively) unlimited.
It was agreed that the shops we’d walked passed en route to and from dinner needed investigation, as did the waterfront and the Gardens, and further afield Arrowtown, and The Warehouse in Faulkton which we’d driven past as we neared Queenstown.
We left our rooms as independent couples but curiously followed much the same route into town, following the path around Lake Wakatipu. Gary and I walked downhill on Suburb Street. The surrounding streets were named Adelaide, Brisbane and Hobart; our accommodation was in Melbourne Street, off Sydney. The pathway is part of the ‘Queenstown Trail’, 120kms of paths suitable for walkers and cyclists. (for another trip) We passed the Ice Skating Rink – here Ron and Christine left the path to walk through the Gardens – we continued around the Point and wished we hadn’t. With wind off the snow it became bitterly cold; the monument to Scott of the Antarctic was appropriately positioned! Lots of bird song from within the trees and frisbee golf around the massive Douglas Firs. We drank coffee at The Bathhouse; never had I finished NZ’s oversized ‘trim’ lattes on the trip so far, but this one was especially good and warming.
We left for lunch at Arrowtown after 1pm. It is an historic gold mining town from the 1860’s with plenty of character in a picturesque setting on the Arrow River. We spent some time reading about the lives of the Chinese miners and shuffled through the mounds of greying leaves which must have been a spectacle before falling. I recall being told that 99% of NZ’s trees are evergreen; obviously here in the valley are the 1% that aren’t.
From Arrowtown we drove to Faulkton to investigate “The Warehouse” that had been promoted as a place to find anything we wanted at a cheapish price. The cost of living in NZ is frightening. One look and we were out of there – a fusion of KMart, Best & Less, Shiploads…
Back home for resting although Gary & I took the car to explore the burbs. Hilly. Tired.
My Thai restaurant was the choice for dinner, where ‘authentic Thai tastes and techniques are applied to NZ ingredients’. And it didn’t disappoint. Asian umbrellas hung from the ceiling, and had it been daytime, we would have had a great view of the Lake and The Remarkables – the mountain range, not us, nor the tables of Canadian school children surrounding our table, who were mid a massive trip around the world: had come from Sydney and next stop Fiji. We had a view of the waterfront street below which was alive with tourists, not all Australian we suspect, unlike at Wanaka.
Rated #3 of NZ dining experiences. Our shared plates included – Mataba Chicken – Thai roti pockets filled with chicken curry, kumara & onions, and served with pickled vegetables; Soft Shell Crab – stir fried in their special scrambled curry with red pepper, onion, egg, celery & spring onion; Mussaman Curry – chickpeas slow-cooked in peanut Mussaman curry with pumpkin, and served with a refreshing cucumber relish & Thai roti.
The walk home uphill mentally helped to reduce the bulge.