We've had a quieter day today in order to reach Queenstown in time for our next adventure on the Milford Sound tomorrow. Our day began with rabbits, lots of them around the van. After breakfast we negotiated the steep gravel slope down to Bendigo Wine Estate and then set course for Queenstown. This is truly wine country and we passed by several estates with wonderful names: Red Shed Vineyard; Wooing Tree Winery; Bannockburn Wines; Peregrine Wines. I love the place names here, Deadman's Point and Devils Creek. We passed through Cromwell whose town sign is an enormous bunch of fruit and then we were in to the Kawarau Gorge which was about the busiest road we have been on since leaving Auckland! We had to keep pulling Oscar over to let faster vehicles go by so we decided to call in at Roaring Meg Power Station to give Tony a breather from concentrating on the road. Apparently they have killed off the 'Wilding' Forest here to encourage the native tussock and shrub to re establish in the gorge. Further down the Gorge we stopped off to watch several folks throw themselves off a high bridge at Hatchetts Bungy Jump, lots of money being made there! Moving on we took a diversion to Arrowtown to look at the Chinese settlement. The Chinese gold miners were encouraged to come over as the gold started to disappear in this part of the world and they were not always well treated as we know from our own history of encouraged immigration. Their living conditions were terrible but they appear to have established a caring community and lived 'peaceful, noble' lives. Arrowtown is an amazing little place with many of the early buildings still in existence, now housing upmarket gift stores and restaurants. We had a very good lunch at Gibbston Valley Restaurant- smoked chicken and corn soup then took the back road to Queenstown which gave us this excellent view of the Remarkables Range. Once settled in at the Campground and laundry done we went to explore the town and to see where we need to be early in the morning. Queenstown is bonkers! Everywhere is selling tours and experiences. We just wanted to find a leaflet of local walks and bike rides but, no, we had to pay someone else to sort it for us! Eventually we read the small print on one leaflet and were able to find the DOC office which had proper maps and advice, so now we are set to walk up Ben Lomond (!) on our spare day, or maybe have a bike ride depending on the weather. There are so many people here all doing mad adrenalin rush stuff, I shall be glad when we are on the boat and out in the Sound!

Sign in or get an account to comment.