It's another crisp morning and I head back to our apartment after my morning walk.
A cooked breakfast and a coffee are waiting (I'm a lucky man) and we
sit to eat, looking over Lake Wakatipu from our apartment at Pepper's Beacon.
advantages of staying in a fully self contained apartment cannot be
underestimated, and we certainly appreciate the full kitchen, washer and
dryer. Our two bedroom apartment is very spacious and as mentioned, the
views are to die for.
Over breakfast we plan our day and decide that we will take a cruise on the historic steamship, the TSS Earnslaw.
This historic steamer was built in 1911 in Dunedin, then dis-assembled and transported in pieces to Kinston, at the head of Lake Wakatipu, where it was reconstructed and launched in 1912. In the early days she was used to transport supplies and livestock around the lake. These days though the majority of her passengers are paying customers, just like us, looking to experience this awesome landscape from a different perspective. From our apartment it's about a three minute walk down town to the wharf.
We choose the basic 90 minute cruise which will take us up the lake to
the Walter Peak High Country Farm. Our tickets don't allow us to
disembark at the farm, but you can also purchase tickets that include a
farm tour and horse trek, and lunch or dinner at the farm.
After buying our tickets we are ushered onboard the Earnslaw. Inside
it's surprisingly spacious, with two decks, a central cafe, toilets, a
small museum, and a platform that takes you through the engine room.
There are also several external viewing decks which are the best spots
to take pictures from.
We grab a table next to the window as
she pulls away from the wharf. Progress is very calm and serene as the
Earnslaw makes her way up the lake. On the way we pass our apartment and
take a few snaps.
The trip to Walter Peak High Country Farm takes
around 30 minutes but along the way we are up and down from our seats,
taking pictures, and visiting the engine room and the museum.
we fit in enough time for an excellent coffee and fresh muffin, and
it's just so relaxing sitting back watching the world go by.
we arrive at the farm, we dock, and those passengers that have purchased
farm tours hop off, then we collect more passengers that are heading
back to town.
The whole process takes around 20 minutes and we are soon underway back to Queenstown.
this time of the year (Autumn) the region is at it's best. The
mountains are covered in snow and the scenery is as good as anywhere in
On the way back we head down one end of the ship and meet the piano player (who takes requests) and sit down while he plays a few old favorites.
A quick visit to the engine room reveals huge coal powered engines
and the viewing decks allow you to watch as the crew shovel coal into
the furnaces. Nothing much has changed in the 104 years since the
Earnslaw was launched.
We also have a look in the museum which details the history of the ship through a series of story boards and pictures.
long we approach the wharf at Queenstown. What a great trip. Next time
we come to Queenstown we might try the BBQ lunch or dinner. We have
heard they are both excellent.
A cruise on the TSS Earnslaw is
highly recommended. To read what others had to say about their
experience, or to make bookings, please follow these links:
TSS Earnslaw 90 minute cruise only click here
- TSS Earnslaw cruise and dinner at Walter Peak farm click here
- TSS Earnslaw cruise and BBQ lunch at Walter Peak farm click here
- TSS Earnslaw cruise and farm tour at Walter Peak farm click here
Satisfied with our cruise, we take the short walk back to our apartment for a freshen up and short break.
We then decide that we will head out along the road towards Cromwell to the Kawarau Gorge and the AJ Hackett bungy site.
This is where bungy started and, many years back Kim and I both jumped off the famous old bridge. What an awesome experience.
Today though, we were just going for a look, and to cheer on some jumpers.
The business has grown enormously over the years and now has sites around the world in places such as Germany, the United States, France, Australia and Mexico. There are several different sites in Queenstown alone.
Today there is a large crowd of onlookers, all ready to offer support to
each nervous jumper. A young woman we watch decides it's all too much
and changes her mind (no refunds) before a teenage guy steps up to the
edge, waves, and launches himself off the platform. The crowd cheers as
he plummets down, then bounces back up and down several times.
If you have always wanted to bungy, we can highly recommend it. The
adrenaline rush is amazing. The only word of advice that we would offer,
is if you are considering a jump, don't think about it for too long,
because you will find a thousand reasons to talk yourself out of it.
Just do it!
You can learn more about the various bungy sites in
Queenstown, read reviews, and make bookings by clicking on the following
After an hour or so we head back towards Queenstown, detouring for lunch at Arrowtown.
This historic village was born from the gold mining boom in the mid 1800's, and retains many of the original buildings of the era.
It's a beat little spot with a range of restaurants, cafes, pubs, galleries and shops. There is also an excellent museum that chronicles the history of the area, highlighting just how hard it must have been for the early pioneers.
We stop at the bakery for a local meat pie, sausage roll and a drink.
Full after our lunch we head back to our apartment for an afternoon siesta before dinner.
It's the last night of our holiday so we decide to eat out. Queenstown has over 100 bars, pubs and restaurants, so the choice is huge.
We decide on some pub food and around 6pm we walk down town to the wharf to an old favorite of ours, the aptly named "Pub on Wharf".
At the time of writing, the Pub on Wharf boasted a menu with "no meals over $20". The choice is excellent with dishes such as "3 Hour Slow Cooked Beef", "Atlantic Salmon", "Pork Belly", "Beef Wellington" and "Smoked Fish Pie".
The downside, as with a lot of places in Queenstown, is that drinks can be expensive.
Our four meals cost $80, whilst two pints of beer and a bottle of wine cost $65.
All up though, $145 for food and drinks for four is probably reasonable.
The meals were excellent and we can highly recommend the Pub on Wharf.
Around 8pm we headed back home for a relaxing evening before bed.
Unfortunately our South Island adventure was coming to an end.
Go to Day 10