Saturday, 27 June 2015

Queenstown - Feb '15

This time I made sure to email Bumbles Backpackers in Queenstown to double check they had us as an out of hours arrival. They did gave clear instructions on how to find our keys. As well asour keys and the wifi codes there was a lovely note welcoming to us the hostel and giving us important information such as how to find our room and check in/out information. We weren’t as late as the previous evening but I was so tired that it was straight to bed for me. Big brother and his wife went in search of food and ended up at the famous Fergburger. They were less than impressed with the chaotic service and said the burger, though good, wasn’t worth the forty minute wait. I was glad I had elected to choose sleep over food.

The next morning we were up early as we had a long bus trip to Milford Sound to see the fjords’. The trip went past very quickly for a four hour journey and Milford sound was worth it. The boat took us out and round so we could see it in all its beauty and, yup you guessed it the camera got a major work out. The packed lunch provided was simple but exactly suited to the type of trip and again we were blessed with good guides. I would definitely recommend Awesome NZ to anyone considering doing the same trip, they are aptly named.

The journey back was a lot quieter with much snoozing going on which meant by the time we got home we were well rested and ready to eat. Being high season it is advisable to book everything in advance, including dinner. We discovered this by going out for dinner without booking. Fortune was smiling on us though as we were lucky to get a table at a great steak house thanks to a party of four not turning up. The portions were generous and the steak was cooked to perfection. It was another brilliant end to a fabulous day.

The next day dawned bright and clear which was good news for us as we were heading up Ben Lomond. We drove up the to chair lift and took the fast route up the boring bits. As before brother and his wife made sure we were well prepared and I made sure both camera batteries were fully charged. This was one of my favourite days on the South Island. The weather was gorgeous and the walk fairly easy going for the most part. The final hike to the top was a little hard going but absolutely worth it once we got there. This is my kind of hill walking; beautiful sunshine, gorgeous views and a fully charged camera. The company wasn’t half bad either though they did seem to be under the impression that I took too many photos. The walk took up the best part of the day but there was plenty of time to play on the luge before we got the chair life back down. I was a bit wary of going fast on the luge at first but soon I was determined to beat the others and even managed to over take some slow people a few times. A brilliantly fun and to another lovely day.

Since we had yet again failed to book dinner we settled on a rather tasty pizza before heading to one of Queenstowns ice bars. If you’ve never been they are exactly what they say they are, bars where everything is made from ice. We went in, took some photos, admired the sculptures then when I thought I my toes might freeze off we left. Across the street from the ice bar was a chilled bar of a different kind; chilled music and service but most importantly and nice warm log fire to help us thaw out. I had expected the days of our journey to be full and exciting but I hadn’t counted on the evenings being such a large part of our trip. By this point though we were used to nice meals out and rehashing the days events over a few drinks. We truly had the holiday thing sussed.

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