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.
Well my day in the outback is not going to happen on this trip. And we had rain again. Today I took a the Kuranda Scenic Railway into the mountains above Cairns. The weather cleared for the ride up and it was beautiful. From the mountain, you could see the Daintree River empty into the coast. There is much history along this rail line. dating back to its building and its role in World War II. We rode on the original cars from the late 19th century. At the top of the mountain was the town of Kuranda with shops and activities for tourists and regular businesses for the locals.
On the way down, we took the Skyline. This would have been breathtaking had it not been for the rain and fog.