98 days away
198 km / 123 miles since last post
25,578 km / 15,893 miles total
Today was a warmer start than we've gotten used to - no need for the cardigan first thing in the morning.
We left Te Anau first thing and headed north in the direction of Queenstown. There was, as expected, yet more fantastic scenery all the way along our drive. We also passed through a few small cute looking towns and picked a nice rest spot in one of them to grab a bit of lunch.
Around Kingston, on the approach to Queenstown, there were plenty of lookout points on the huge lake. It was a great area, the lake was amazing and it was lovely to drive around the lake to Queenstown. As well as the lovely views over the lake there were some great rugged mountains and the fields below containing many sheep and deer.
Just as we drove into Queenstown we crossed an attractive river over a one lane bridge. The water was incredibly clear and a great spot for more pictures.
Once into Queenstown we could immediately see why our guide book advised us it was one of the most popular destinations in the world. The town itself is set on a beautiful big lake surrounded by hills and mountains - it looks really attractive. We took a brief drive through the centre of town to get a feel for the layout of the place, then decided it might be a good idea to find a camp site to leave the van at so we explore on foot. Luckily, the campsite located right near the centre of town had vacancies so seemed the perfect place to stay.
After parking the van we made our way up to the skyway gondola base which was just a little walk up the road. As today was clear and beautiful it seemed a great time to take the gondola trip up to the top of Bob's Peak. It was a fantastic view going up the peak, and even better viewing areas once at the top. You really can't get enough of this view!
They also have a couple of luge tracks near the summit. We took the ski lift further up and then took to our vehicle - a plastic tray with handle bars! You have to take the slower scenic track on your first go, which is good fun. On your second go you can take the advanced track, this has a few steeper slopes and you can go a lot faster. It was really good fun, and you could easily spend all afternoon winding down the slopes. We decided that twice was enough though, and grabbed tea and cake in the cafe.
We took the gondola back down then headed for a leisurely walk around the town. There were plenty of nice shops and places to eat and drink, but it was clear that it was very much a tourist town. It's not too over the top however, although I can imagine that during the ski season things would get a bit livelier.
After a good walk around and checking out the lakeside we stopped for a drink in an Irish pub. The menu also looked very inviting so thought we'd stop for dinner too. I had a really tasty Irish Stew that hit the spot. We stayed for a few more drinks before heading back to our van for the night.