Queenstown to Dunedin

We left via the mountain range “the Remarkables” a name that makes me think of a cartoon, and our first stop was at the Bungy jumping base.

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And no of course I didn’t! But it was amazing to watch other people gathering their courage and the doing this terrifying jump. The gorge the bridge is over is frighteningly deep. An interesting stop on our journey.

Queenstown

Just another view!

In Queenstown John and Pat went jet boating on the river Dart and Jeanette and I also took to the water, taking a trip on the TSS Earnslaw a coal fuelled steamer, across the lake, great fun. Queenstown itself is a bit touristy for my liking but it is the best base to do many of the outdoor activities.

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Wanaka to Queenstown

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Oh my, I can’t tell you what a stunning country this is, I am even being teased that I will run out of superlatives -too true, though awesome is the most appropriate one for NZ.

We went via Cardrona, which is bit like a one horse settlement town (which I suppose it was). It is now a tourist attraction and a popular skiing resort. We stopped to take a picture of the local bar and even went inside for a nose, it was terribly dark but actually quite comfortable and Tardis like, similar to a normal UK pub in the winter, log fire included.

The next stop was Arrowtown which was an old Gold Mining town, it is very pretty, all clapboard shops and houses painted in a variety of colours, we also walked around the remains of the Chinese miners settlement which must have been appallingly basic and poverty stricken in its day. It was a very hard life in those days as according to the history of the site, they were shunned by the local europeans.

Then on to Queenstown for a base for a few days for boat trips etc. the first impression is that it’s very touristy with shops ranging from Louis Vuiton to burger bars. Busy and bustling.

Touring NZ

Christchurch to Wanaka 300 km ++. A stunning journey where we stopped at Geraldine for coffee and then went up a rather scary windy lane to mount John Observatory for lunch. The wind was so strong up there, that despite the all round unbelievable views I couldn’t take photos as it kept pushing the camera backwards!

Then on down to Wanaka where we stayed in a holiday appartment and friends of Pat and Jeanette arrived to join us for supper in town. Oh the social life!

The following morning, after baked blue cod for dinner we took some photos. Wanaka Is beautiful a resort with skiing in our summers, sailing swimming and enjoying the sun in our winters, John would move here in a minute if it wasn’t so far away.

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Hanmer Springs

We are just back from a trip west through the alps to Hanmer Springs which is a thermal springs resort, with walking, skiing in season and spas to sit in. It’s a fantastic trip there through ever changing scenery, from the plains around Christchurch to slowly winding your way through rolling hills and then mountains, it changes so quickly.

The roads are pretty quiet here so its easy motoring with views to die for, a lot of the bridges are single track so you have to concentrate for these but you rarely slow down. The greenery varies from grasslands which are being irrigated at the moment, (seems a bit strange to us) to heavily wooded forests which in places seem almost prehistoric, the scruffiest areas are where there was coal mining, the farmsteads are tiny wooden shacks and the land is obviously poor. There are also hills abundant with tree ferns and the sort of plants you see in garden centres that cost a fortune, all covering the landscape. The river running through is bright blue/green a low level of water in a huge valley.

Hanmer springs was a typical small resort with lots of motels, ŵe stayed in the Tussock Peak motel which was excellent and ate indian in Coriander which is part of a small chain of Indian restaurants, food and ambiance very good. The spa is brilliant with lots of different pools from the unbelievably smelly sulphur pools to heated treatment pools at 36 degrees or simple hot pools at 40 degrees. We spent a happy couple of hours here.

Well worth a visit.