We wake to a beautiful winter day in Queenstown.
It's around 7 am and I head out for a morning walk into town. It's still dark and around -2 degrees c, but there are lots of people out walking and jogging.
The day though is clear, and it looks like it will be perfect for our golf at around 11 am.
As I make my way along the lakefront to town, tour coaches line up outside the larger hotels, ready for the day ahead. Some will be heading off on extended tours to other parts of the South Island, but there are some that are preparing for the day trip to Milford Sound.
Although it's not on our itinerary this time, we can't wait to visit Milford Sound again. It's been a few years since our last trip there, and it's one of those places that the brochures don't do justice to.
Towering cliffs, deep dark water, and thundering waterfalls are all part of what makes it, and it's "twin" Doubtful Sound, a must do.
It's a big day (about 12 or 13 hours in total) but well worth it. The drive there is in itself something that you will remember.
You can learn more about Milford and Doubtful Sounds on our dedicated pages (just click on the highlighted links below):
As I reach the town center the first rays of sun appear. My eyes are drawn up to the top of Bob's Peak, and the Skyline Gondola complex. If you want the best views of Queenstown, it's the place to go.
plan is to head up there tomorrow or the day after. It's just such a
special spot, that we make sure we head up there each time we are in
Queenstown. Can't wait to show our friends the view.
this morning takes me on a circuit around the compact town center.
There are still a few stragglers out from last night (Queenstown has
over 100 bars and restaurants), and many of the businesses are preparing
for the day ahead. At this time of year, Queenstown is particularly
busy, with the nearby ski fields in full flight.
I stop in the mall to take a picture, then use an ATM to top up my cash (all of the major banks are
represented here). I head around the corner to a small supermarket
that I come to every time I'm here and buy an "apple square" (a small
cake with stewed apple between two crumbly bits of pastry - yum), then
head past the world famous Fergburger.
Is this the most well
known burger joint in the world? If the crowds are anything to go by, it
must be. Over the next few days we are amazed by the queues, no matter
what time of day or night, that stretch out of the shop and along the
footpath. Their gourmet burgers include "Southern Swine", "Little Lamby"
and "Sweet Bambi". I haven't had one but my son swears by them!
make my way back to our unit around 8 am. By this time it's full
daylight, and I stand by the lake and take in the views. It's hard to
imagine anywhere more stunning than Queenstown.
The three minute walk back to our apartment at Pepper's Beacon
makes me appreciate the location. No need to get the car out of the
garage, and no hills to conquer. Make sure you check it out.
the time I get back to our apartment everyone else is up, and breakfast
is cooking. Bacon, eggs and toast! Perfect for what will be a full day.
brekky we chill out for a few hours and around 9.30 am Dave and I head
off to Queenstown Golf Club. In a straight line from our apartment, it's
probably only a kilometer to the course, but we need to drive around
part of the lake to get there. Road works mean it's about a 20 minute
The girls have a day of shopping planned and they can't wait to head into town.
and I arrive at golf, collect our cart and hire clubs, and register to
play. We are a bit unsure what to do next, until a friendly local named
"Bob" introduces himself and takes us to the starters hut where we meet
He tells us which hole we are starting on and mentions that
he will partner us with two members. We make our way to our tee and are
met there by two of the club's life members. They are great blokes and
we make our way around the course, swapping stories, and trying hard to
concentrate on golf, which is difficult when our attention is constantly
drawn to the view.
It's a lovely course and after play we make
our way inside for a few beers with our playing partners. We meet a few
more members and are impressed by how friendly and welcoming everyone
is. A great spot.
Around 5pm we head back to our apartment and meet up with the girls who have had a very enjoyable day.
central Queenstown shopping area is quite compact and is concentrated
around three or four city blocks, fronting the lake. Filled with bars,
restaurants, gift shops and boutiques, it's a shoppers paradise, if
that's your thing.
During the day Kim and Paula stopped at
Fergburger's sister store Mrs Ferg, where they had a delicious gelato.
It was then off to the Saturday markets, which are held by the lake
next to the shopping area. These local markets have a great range of
local produce and hand crafted items.
After a short wander through the markets they finished up with a few local wines at the Pub on Wharf before heading home.
Reunited, we sit back with a wine and a beer, and watch the steamship TSS Earnslaw cruise by.
beautiful baked dinner in our apartment, looking over the lake, makes
for the perfect end to another wonderful day in Queenstown.
Go to Day 9