Monday, January 11, 2010

(Rainy!) Queenstown

Well, we got on the bus in Franz Josef the morning of the 10th - in the rain - and got off the bus in Queenstown late afternoon - in the rain! It's now the evening of the 11th, and it hasn't stopped raining!! What a dreary introduction to Queenstown! Considering that Queenstown is the adventure capital of the Southern Hemisphere, we were not feeling very adventurous. We managed to go out for supper downtown at a Thai restaurant and grab a beer at a local pub, but walking around checking out the scenery was not on the itinerary!

Queenstown only has a population of about 13,000, but has the most restaurants and bars per capita than anywhere else in New Zealand (and probably Australia). The typical things to do in Queenstown would include bungy jumping, jetboating, river rafting, mountain biking, hiking, skydiving, and hang gliding...but who wants to do that in the rain?? Not Teri. And not Chris. So we ended up going on a boat (covered!) tour of the area on Lake Wakatipu with commentary by Captain Wayne, which turned out to be pretty interesting and scenic. Since there were only 6 of us on the tour, it was almost like a private charter. Captain Wayne even showed us his house as we cruised by the shore!

After the boat ride we decided to do a typical rainy day activity and went to see a movie, then had coffee at one of my favorite places in the whole world - Starbucks (a bit of sarcasm there!) But they did have brewed coffee which I have been craving, considering everything is basically an espresso or double espresso with weird names ("short black", "long black", "flat white"). It's certainly kept my system in a constant state of movement!

We then decided to take the Skyline gondola ride up to a scenic lookout of Queenstown and and do the luge ride while up there. Basically a big skateboard with a steering column that you sit in and let gravity take you downhill on the track (see pics). It was actually a lot less lame than I thought it would be!

For supper we went nostalgic and went to the "Tandoori Palace" and had some excellent Indian fare...some butter naan, basmati rice, Chicken Korma and Bengali Fish. What a great feed! And brought back some good memories of October-November in India.

Next we're off to Te Anau and Milford Sound on the 12th before heading back up to Christchurch and finally make our way back to good old Manitoba and it's winter! Can't wait!!

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