Day 15: January 22, 2014
We drove to Lake Wanika where the weather was sunny, but very windy. We were to have biked around part of the 45k lake, but two of us chose to walk around the bike path and one chose to ride a bike. I walked around the lake for about 3 hours. I don’t think there is any bad scenery in New Zealand’s South Island and this lake was no exception. The water was clear along the shore and a beautiful blue in the deeper areas. We passed boats, playgrounds, barbecue stations, swimming beaches, deserted coast, and large beautiful homes overlooking the lake.
After our walk, we had lunch at Kia Whaka Pie, not pronounced as it would seem. The downtown area around the lake resembled a resort town catering to summer visitors and tourists. After a nice lunch we headed toward Queenstown.
Coming through the mountains and down into Queensland nestled along the shores of Lake Wakatipu, we first stopped at Arrowtown. Once a gold mining town, it is now a historical area and resort town a short distance from Queensland. There are some of the original buildings, vintage 1860’s that have been turned into shops. It is home to Patagonia ice cream, famous in the region and quite good. I took my scoop of ice cream along for a walk of the town and a section known as the Chinese Settlement. Chinese were brought over to help with the gold digging. They weren’t slaves, but were treated poorly and lived in dire starts. There are a few remaining shacks and remnants of areas where they once lived. The last Chinese resident, owner of the store, died in 1925.
After a short drive we reached Queenstown, our accommodations for the next two nights.