Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Honeymoon in NZ - Queenstown

Ha ha ha!!!
I bet you thought I'd forgotten all about this blog! Boy, is the joke on you!
I haven't forgotten, nor have I forgotten that there are two more honeymoon-centered posts left: Queenstown and Auckland.
So, I'm not going to bore you with the same old life/school/work excuses, I'm just going to dive straight in to Queenstown. Won't you join me?

Queenstown was our longest stop on the NZ leg of our honeymoon. We arrived on December 30th and left on January 2nd, and in hindsight we probably could have done one less day there, at least. Don't get me wrong: Queenstown was gorgeous and fun, but it was also the one place where all the teens and twenty-somethings from the South Island convened to celebrate the New Year. It was heaving with people - even by NZ standards - which, by this point in our trip, was a little too much for our tired, old, matronly selves to stomach. And speaking of stomachs! Ours were starting to play tricks with us. It may have had something to do with many of our meals being eaten on the go, or too many mussels (yes, it is possible), but neither of us were feeling too hot for our last few days in NZ (just wait till we get to Auckland).
Unfortunately, this meant that we basically slept through the New Years festivities. It's not such a big deal in general, except that our hostel was perched high on a hill overlooking the harbor of Lake Wakatipu, where Queenstown's fireworks were set to go off. It was the perfect vantage point - if only we had gotten up out of bed (in the interest of full disclosure: I take the blame. We were awoken by the fireworks, but I was the spoilsport who didn't actually want to get up out of bed. Mike was willing to try, but I just couldn't muster the motivation).
The following morning, however, we did gather strength to take the gondola up to Bob's Peak, where we watched people luging and paragliding, and then we went ziplining. But not before running into the same child and parents who terrorized us on our train ride to Christchurch!!! In fact, this was the third time we had encountered him: the first on the train, the second at a rest stop on the way to Milford Sound, and the third here in Queenstown. But would it be the last...?

So here we are on the way to Queenstown:

Mt Cook

More Mt Cook

Lake Wanaka


Vineyards on the way to Queenstown

Kawarau Bridge Bungy - the pioneer of the bungy phenomenon

The Remarkables - and rightly so

Lake Wakatipu from our hostel

View of Queenstown from our hostel

Lake Wakatipu from the harbor

Vintage steamhip, the TSS Earnslaw

The hill to our hostel

Mmmm. Condiments

Crafts fair in Queenstown

False alarm

Top of the gondola at Bob's Peak

Taking the gondola up

The luge that some folks take back down

Queenstown, with the Remarkables in the background


More bungy!

Aerial shot of the luge


The group before us

Going for a hike until our turn to zipline

Look closely and you'll see a paraglider

Ready for action

Getting ready for the first line



This guy didn't listen to instructions and got stuck in the middle of a line. Sigh.

Our instructor had to go out and rescue him.

Um. Mike mastered it.

So wish this was in focus.

POV of Mike on the final zipline.


More me

Taking the gondola down, as a bungy jumper gets hauled back up.

Walk around Queenstown

Another view from our hostel

The (incredible) Remarkables

Street performer

Engine room aboard the TSS Earnslaw

On our way to the Walter Peak High Country Farm

Walter Peak High Country Farm

This thing.

Baby thing

Our guide

High tea at Walter Peak

Merino sheep - soooo soft

Our guide (foreground) and Meg the sheepdog mustering a pack

Meg a-mustering

It's all in the eyes

Our guide shearing a sheep (no sheep were hurt in the making of this demonstration)

Meg's puppy being trained to muster

Me and Meg

Our ride back to Queenstown

Dinner after the farm

Caught in the rain (there are little kiwis all over his poncho)

Our farewell tip-up to Queenstown

Next, and last, stop: Auckland!