Day 8 (20 May)
Staying at The Ramada – Queenstown
Today was ‘the Tennis Player’s’ birthday so after brekky at our hotel’s cafe we layered up (5 degrees celcius today) & headed lakeside for his birthday adventure – the Shotover Jet Boat experience. He had a ball but says it wasn’t as adrenaline inducing as he thought it would be. From what I witnessed – it would be for me! He returned with absolutely freezing cold hands that had been gripping on tightly the entire time and his clothes were quite wet (mostly his pants because he had a waterproof jacket on)! Luckily we’d planned ahead and had a couple of towels packed in our backpack for this purpose. I suggest to anyone planning on doing this, that you wear some gloves (especially if doing this during the cooler months). After he dried off and got his hands warmed up we browsed the nearby waterfront markets & had a coffee.
Note that ‘the Tennis Player’ doesn’t want his photograph on the internet so I respect his wishes. There ‘were’ photographs taken of him and of the two of us but to respect his wishes they won’t be shared on my blog. However, don’t tell him but sometimes you’ll see a sneaky one of the back of him! Shhh!
Note that in the video below, they go out beyond the jetty and stop for a group photograph and then they go out a bit further and hang about for a while while getting safety instructions and then BOOM off they go (but that’s another video that’s a bit too long to upload).
Next we were off to explore historic Arrowtown, a New Zealand treasure. It’s a scenic 25 minute drive from Queenstown, and a popular winter base for international ski teams. It’s charming and quirky – a delightful gold-rush village nestled below the beautiful peaks that surround the sparkling Arrow River. An interesting fact is that Arrowtown was originally known as Fox’s, named after William Fox an early gold discoverer. Then it was known as The Arrow and later Arrowtown.
We had a very enjoyable wander around the shops and I managed to find myself some lovely NZ Greenstone (Jade) earrings which was ‘my’ little adrenaline thrill for the day! I also picked up a wee little bottle of port from ‘The Winery’ (I’d been missing my port). We perused a fabulous art exhibition at the Lakes District Museum and Gallery and then for lunch we had the most divine Pumpkin & Coconut Soup with Cheese Puffs on the side at The Postmasters Kitchen & Bar. Absolute perfection!
After Arrowtown we briefly visited Gibbston Cheesery & Deli where we bought some cheese to take along with us on the trip. We dropped in at New World at Frankton to pick up a few grocery supplies on the way back to our hotel and had a quiet night in.
I have a fascination with sparrows. We don’t really see them anymore in Brisbane. I’ve seen them in Melbourne when I’ve visited and I’ve seen them in New Zealand. Here’s an Arrowtown Sparrow. They’re so cute!
Day 9 (21 May)
Staying at The Ramada – Queenstown
It was really nice to take our time this morning and not have to rush off anywhere. We had brekky in our room using our own food supplies, followed by morning coffee at The Bathhouse where we saw a group of young men & women swimming! It was 4 degrees!
Next we went on a 90 minute cruise of Lake Wakatipu which was fabulous and of course, beautiful! We were privy to some interesting stories about some of the very expensive lakeside real estate along with some fascinating local history. We met a lovely couple from Perth who first came to NZ on their honeymoon in 1975 and they’ve been coming back often ever since. I can understand why. It’s picture postcard beautiful here!
After the cruise & some freshly cooked dumplings for lunch, we went for a walk around the Queenstown Gardens. Wow – what a beautiful walk. You simply must do it if ever in Queenstown. The Tennis Player was happy because it was here that he found the Queenstown Tennis Club and its tennis courts!
We went to the Artbay Gallery and saw some wonderful art but my favourite were some outstanding collage pieces by Virut Penchabuse, a Thai artist from Bangkok. The two photographed pieces you’ll see in the photo’s below apparently took him about 1 month each. To see the detail & work involved up close was mind blowing! His artworks were absolutely stunning! In fact, so much so that I have sketched/painted one of them in my travel sketchbook which you will see eventually in an upcoming Art Chat post.
We wandered around Queenstown a bit more. One thing I noticed there was that there are a lot of people vaping, and there are vaping stores (you’ll see one pictured below). I bought myself a cheap little New Zealand shot glass from a souvenir shop so that I had something to drink my port out of that I’d bought the previous day!
We eventually returned to our hotel to charge up our phones and have a bit of a rest but went out again for a casual Thai dinner at ‘EatSpace’, a dining precinct at Queenstown that offers some budget friendly yet delicious meal options!
For the next NZ Trip post we’ll cover our day trip to beautiful Glenorchy and our final night staying at beautiful Queenstown.
Ciao for now,
Linking up with Denyse Whelan’s ‘Wednesday’s Words and Pics‘