By the lake in Queenstown

We arrived in Queenstown early afternoon and our first sighting of the town did not impress.

2 kite surfersKite surfing over Queenstown

Once settled into our accommodation we enquired of the Reception staff where we could do some interesting exploring and we were directed down the road to a small lane which took us straight into the town centre. Our initial poor impressions were turned completely upside down. It was a delightful town which is growing fast as the main tourist attraction in NZ, particularly for skiing and hang gliding.

Queenstown is surrounded by the Remarkable Range of mountains for which the name is very apt. They are truly remarkable in size and shape and the tops of the mountains were covered in snow. The town is on the edges of Wakipitu Lake which, like most lakes in southern NZ, is a deep aquamarine blue. There was a lot of activity on the lake with a couple of tourist boats, there were a few boats which were personally owned and there were even people swimming in the lake.

Clouds over the mountainsView of mountains, lake and town

Boats on the lakePrivate boats on the lake

We spent about an hour wandering along the edge of the lake and up into a beautifully laid out garden with paths which led in various directions. Coming out of the gardens there is a lovely playground for children including some items which have been made from bits and pieces and children can make music on these. Next to this is an old restaurant called The Bath House but I called it the “The Royal Restaurant” as it has a crown on the top. I searched the internet but could find nothing.

Cafe at the lakeThe Bath House

Path up to the gardensOne of the paths through the gardens

Play area by the lakePart of the children's play area with tour boats in the background

We walked in the other direction along the walkway beside the lake watching children feeding the ducks. When we visited the Rotorua Wildlife Centre we were given packets of food for the ducks and the trout as the yeast in bread is bad for their digestion. This went through my mind when I saw these little ones having lots of fun I couldn’t bring myself to disillusion them.

At the far end of the walkway was a Memorial to the dead of the First World War but this memorial was different in that the names of those Queenstown men who had returned were written on the reverse side to honour their bravery. Apparently, at the time of construction, the memorial including the names of the returnees created quite a lot of contention. On one side there is a small plaque naming those who died in the Second World War.

Reverse of the MemorialFront of Memorial with names of WWI dead

WWI MemorialReverse side of the WWI Memorial with names of returnees and plaque for WWII dead

As we turned to walk into town we passed the Eichardt’s Private Hotel, a luxury hotel situated in an historic building. On the hotel website they talk of magnificent views of the lake and the mountains and standing there one can easily believe that these exist, especially from the higher floors. On a corner of the building is the Patagonia Chocolate and Ice-cream shop where everything is made on the premises. It was very expensive so we each had just a scoop of ice-cream; Trevor had Patagonia Dark Chocolate and I had the Tramontana, a mixed chocolate swirl with chocolate bits on top. Divine!

Apologies for no photos but for some reason these will not open. Please go to the links.

In front of the shop was a large statue of a gentleman with a sheep. A plaque attached explained that it was a statue of William Gilbert Rees, an explorer and the first European settler in Queenstown. He built many of the first buildings in the town and had a large farm but when gold was found he was paid £10 000 and moved from the area.

William Gilbert ReesStatue of William Rees with Patagonia chocolate and ice-cream shop behind

We wandered around the town admiring some beautiful buildings and purchased a magnet at a Chinese owned shop. Wherever one goes there are always Chinese shops and eateries. We also stopped in at an electronic repair shop as our Tablet had been a bit erratic. We were told that as it was late Friday afternoon to bring it back on Monday when there would be a technician there. That was not possible as we were leaving for Perth the following day.

We found a delightful fish and chip shop where we had supper and returned to our accommodation for the night.

Our accommodationOur accommodation - Blue Peaks Lodge

About Me

I was born into the early part of the Baby Boomer generation, the 3rd of what came to be a family of 6 daughters. Although both our parents, who are now deceased, had been raised in rural Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal) and the 2 eldest daughters were born in a country town, the other 4 of us were all born at home in Durban. Read More

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