I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Wednesday 13 March 2024

The BIG One - New Zealand - Days 29, 30 and 31

 Thursday 29th February - Queenstown

We started our day with a trip to the supermarket. We have decided that we like New World best mainly as it has superb layouts for its fruit and veg!

We then went to Cromwell, which was a town established by gold miners.  However it was decided to dam the Clutha River which meant that the town would be at the bottom of the new Lake Dunston.  Fortunately before this happened some of the properties were rescued and rebuilt on the lake shore.  A lovely spot.

The area is known for fruit growing with lots of stalls along the road side.  There are also lots of grape vines too.

Our next stop was Roaring Meg a hydro power station with waterfalls.  Again the river had the lovely colour of glacial water.  According to the internet, two saloon girls, Annie and Meg asked some miners to help them cross the river.  Annie was calm but Meg was loud and boisterous.  As a result two sections of the river were nicknamed Gentle Annie and Roaring Meg!

Next was Arrowtown.  We weren’t too sure what was there but it seemed to us to be shops built to look old and filled with expensive things!  We were rather disappointed to say the least.  However according to Wikipedia it goes back to 1862 when Māori Jack found gold in the Arrow River and a township of over 1,000 miners sprung up, so maybe the shops were genuine.

Our site for tonight (and tomorrow) was in Queenstown.  I had booked it ages ago as Queenstown is a very popular place.  The campground is very central but oh boy have they jammed everyone in!  We are lucky as we were on an end with a hedge so had our own little enclave.

We walked down in the town for dinner.  I wanted to try a Fergburger!  In the 20 years since it began, Fergburger has become an institution.  It has a wide range of burgers going from 3/4lb burger to tofu.  We had Bulls Eyes which were rib eye steaks. I think we must have queued for about 20 minutes then had to wait another 20 minutes while our burgers were prepared.  We took them down to the lakeside and sat and ate them. They were delicious but very messy, our shorts and T-shirts were covered in dribbles!

We took an Uber back to the site as my back is playing up again.

Friday 1st March - Queenstown

I didn’t sleep well worrying about the washing!  I wanted to get the sheets washed and was worried that I wouldn’t get a space on the washing lines - honestly how ridiculous can you get!

We had a quiet morning and did some housework.

We walked to the Kiwi Park to, hopefully, see a kiwi.  They had lots of birds there but we went straight to the Kiwi house.  As Kiwis are nocturnal the house was more or less in pitch blackness and it took a while for our eyes to get adjusted.  We walked around and were just about to give up when I saw one, right in front of me!  It was a lot bigger that I thought it would be.  I was really pleased that I have been able to see a real Kiwi.

From the Kiwis we walked to the cable car and took a ride to the top of Bob’s Peak (who was Bob I wondered!). The view from the top was stunning but there is also a luge from another cable car higher up and we enjoyed watching them hurtling down.  I was most impressed, though, with the way the participants were able to jump out of the sledges - those days have gone for me!

We walked down into the town ready to catch our boat.  We had a while to kill so had a drink on the boardwalk.  We were going on TSS Earnslaw (TSS standing for Twin Screw Steamship) down the lake to Walter Peak farm where we were having a BBQ.  The boat was pretty full but the organisation in the restaurant at the farm was first class.  We were amongst the first group of diners to go for our food and there was masses of it, from salads to hot veggies and plates piled high with about 6 different meats and fish.  There was a good array of desserts too.

After dinner we watched a guy shearing a sheep and then watched his dog bring some sheep down to where we were.  It was a very good presentation.

Back to Queenstown on the Earnslaw and then an Uber back to the site.

Saturday 2nd March - Te Anau

We got away from Queenstown quite early for our drive to Te Anau.  It was a lovely drive all down the side Lake Wakatipu, lots of mountains going right down into the water.

We stopped at the bottom of the lake for coffee finding ourselves in the middle of a freedom camping area.  What a spot to camp, the view up the lake was stunning.  The spots right by the lake were mostly taken but there were still plenty of other spots.  We sat on a tree stump and had our coffee.

There was plenty of parking alongside Lake Te Anau as we drove by so stopped for our lunch.  The lake is the second largest in New Zealand, Lake Wakatipu is the third largest.  We found our campsite which was very central to the town though the town isn’t very big!

As we checked in to the campsite we decided to book a trip to see the glow worms.  We had missed two free trips and I really wanted to do it.  We set up camp and walked down to the lake where a catamaran was to take us down the lake to the glow worm caves.  It was a lovely trip down the lake though it was a bit rough but the catamaran made short work of it!  We walked into the cave and then got into a boat and looked up, the GWs were like stars in the roof.  It’s strange how they seem to live in small enclaves.

After the trip we had a presentation on the GWs.  They only switch their lights on when they are hungry and as soon as they are replete they switch their lights off!  A moth can take a couple of weeks to eat but they go for the eyes first as they are juicy 😒 The lifecycle of the GW is about 12 months. 3 weeks as an egg and 6 months as a glow worm before turning into a pupae and becoming a fly type creature so that they can procreate.  They only last a few days as a fly type creature so they have to mate and lay their eggs quickly.

Back down Lake Te Anau and to Kiwi where I cooked a meal - first one for ages.


1 comment:

  1. I'm loving reading your trip. It takes me back to 2009 when we spent 3 months in NZ. We hired a motor home for three weeks on the south island. We did the Queenstown site! Then Walter Peak. And Te Anua. We also did the the underground power station and boat trip down the sound. Enjoy the rest of your trip. Judith nb Serena