This morning I was greeted to a large market around the lake in Queenstown. Artisans brought their handicraft and the prices were much more reasonable for many of the same items I saw in stores throughout New Zealand. They also had unique items. It was quite fun looking at the wares and talking with the vendors. Later there was music in a grassy area where people were taking in the sun. A few other brave souls ventured into the lake swimming.
There was a hamburger place that was constantly busy called Ferberger. The burgers were good. They also had a bakery where the wares looked delicious. I had a beef and cheese pie. Meat pies are popular in New Zealand.
Today was my last full day in Queenstown. Tomorrow I begin my three day trek back home.
I cancelled the last two days of my hiking trip because of my sinus infection and stayed in Queenstown to recover. I have been on antibiotics and needed the rest. However, I couldn’t stay in my hotel room, as nice as it was for me. I walked around the town some more and the lake taking pictures and enjoying the warm weather, about 18C or 68F. I found a relatively old cemetery and took some pictures there. It was interesting to note that the European settlement of New Zealand was much later than that in the United States so the grave sites don’t go back much before the 1860’s.
Today we had the option of spending a free day in Queenstown or hiking. I was fighting a sinus infection so decided to skip the hike. It had rained the night before in Queenstown, but in the mountains it snowed leaving them speckled above a certain height, and this is their summer!
Queenstown is beautiful, vibrant, and full of young people. It seemed to be a significant crossroad for New Zealand’s South Island. The town has lots of restaurants, bars, and shops. With it nestled on Lake Wakatipu, there are many water activities and in the winter, snow skiing. I walked around the town most of the day then took a gondola midway up a mountain to catch the sunset. All was working well until clouds started coming in and blocked out the sun during the early stages of sunset. Oh well, the scenery was still beautiful.
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.