Today we were just going to hang around Queenstown after our long day down to Doubtful Sound yesterday. Jason and Cynthia wanted to go kayaking. I needed to find a camera store to replace my now sleeping-quietly-at-the-bottom polarizer. After lazing about all morning we drove out to a camera store by the airport. No luck. The only camera store was back in the insanity of downtown Queenstown. So we headed back, found a place to park for $6/hr, and walked to the store. The lady was quite pleasant. The filter set me back $125. Ouch. The store had a 2.6 star rating. The main complaint — ridiculously expensive. Yep.
Susanne decided it was too cold and didn’t want to go kayaking, so we opted to go up the Gondola and hike around the top. We went back home, picked up Jason & Cynthia, dropped them off for their kayaking, and headed to find parking by the gondola. It was a madhouse.
We drove around for awhile and finally ended back in the $6/hr lot. We opted to bite the bullet and pay the $30 for the full day. We hoofed it back up the hill to Gondola where the line was tremendous. We waited and waited. Then Susanne saw that it was $44/person to go up and down. Yikes. She also saw the look on my face and wondered whether this was really what I wanted to do. I said “yes.” Then I thought about a bit more after viewing the throngs and said “no.”
We bailed and decided to head over to the Queenstown Hill trail head and do something a bit more peaceful. Good thing we paid the $30 for parking. Doh!
The hike was quite nice. We had done it in 2011. As all hikes in this part of NZ, it is steep. There were a ton of mushrooms along the trail in the forest. They truly looked magical.
There is a great view spot on the top with a “dream basket” sculpture. We hiked up to that, took a few photos and headed back down. There was a guy that had a tiny little drone. It looked pretty cool.
As we were heading back down, we ran into Cynthia out for a hike. Poor Jason had some work to do and was back home. And the kayaking had been “baby kayaking” as they didn’t let them out of the immediate area. So much for adventure capital of the world!
I had seen a butcher shop while I was out replacing my polarizer, so we headed there to get dinner supplies. We got some lamb, pork chops, and venison sticks. They looked really good. The key challenge was how many bottles of wine to buy so that we didn’t leave any behind. The stress of vacation.
After a nice dinner we just sat in the living room enjoying the view from our very nice house. Tomorrow we say goodbye to Southland and head way up North on the North Island.