Finally we arrive in Queenstown
We drive into Queenstown, looking down upon a city centre surrounded by snow capped mountains on all sides, a body of water in the basin to sail upon. Beautiful, homes settled comfortably into the hillside, looks like the homes are teetering on stilts. When you are not used to living on a hill it is a bit daunting. Perth is reasonably flat, I get a kick out of going into the hills here. My sister in law found us the perfect place to stay, I am still pinching myself with gratitude.
Queenstown is full of what the Kiwi’s call batches (holiday homes) Today and through the tourist season the town is heaving with tourists, have a passion for skiing this is the place to be. For those Australians think of Whistler (no I haven’t been there). Why the reference to Whistler, because the multitude of bars, restaurants and cafe’s appear to be staffed by blow ins, lots of different accents, youth travelling and seeing the world. You could eat somewhere different every morning noon and night for a few weeks if you wished. Those wait staff work hard, those chefs must be run off their feet.
This is where our trip was let down by one of these blow ins, (a waitress even apologised for her colleagues behaviour, not the photo above, they were awesome, but as I don’t want to give them a mention, needless to say they are small and popular and make mention of a cow). A chat with one of the chaps working on the mountain was a highlight of my trip. A youngster from England, all of 22 we had a heart to heart. Poor bugger probably still thinking he got in the wrong car for a hitchhike down the hill.
Our conversation went likes this, as you do. After all he was trapped in the back of our car for nearly half an hour, unless he wanted to walk down a very slippery hill at dusk.
‘How long are you here for’
‘This is my second year’
‘How’s mum handling that’
‘Not very well’
‘Do me one favour? Go home at some time and say hello to your mum, oh and Skype lots won’t you’
He assured me he was going home on his way to Uni, enrolling in Switzerland as it was way cheaper than attending in England. He said he was now ready for the next chapter of his life and was missing his family.
He is a very nice young man.
We stayed in a town house that overlooked the mountains, lake and the city. We had a hike down the stairs each evening into the city and a bloody hard climb back up after a few drinks and full bellies. My butt cheeks I hope appreciated the exercise.
One eventful evening
One evening waiting outside a restaurant we saw a group of blow ins, wearing not much and dressed as cavemen screaming around the street with paper in hand (treasure hunt) we shouted out, ‘Bit cold aren’t’ you’. As bare chested young men ran past us, giving us a sideways look.
Followed by us screaming out to the next group and pointing in the opposite direction, ‘They went that way’.
So much to do in Queenstown apart from skiing
It’s not always about the skiing is it, heres just a few things to do.
You can parasail, golf, ride in a helicopter, walking tours, cruise in a 100 year old steamer, wine tours, climb the mountains and just about anything else that takes your fancy, including playing on kids equipment.
A highlight and the most scariest moment, that I am so glad we experienced, was drive to the top of the Remarkables. It was scary, there was no turning back a 14 Km slippery hike up the mountain and back again. With a bus up your backside so no turning round.
That my friends is what my story is about next week.