Kirsty & Nick's New Zealand Adventure travel blog

Queenstown & Lake Wakatipu from Remarkables Ski Area

Lake Wakatipu from Remarkables Ski Area

Over Queenstown to Coronet Ski Area from Remarkables

From Frankton looking south past Queenstown

The road to Glenorchy looking back at Queenstown

The road to Glenorchy

The road to Glenorchy


Depart Queenstown: 3171 km (09.45)

Up around 8.00 this morning but still on the road before 10.00. Headed north back towards Frankton and the Remarkables ski area.

The weather was perfect. Clear, blue sky with only a few clouds over the mountains to the north.

We parked in car park at the bottom of the resort road and had a nightmare bus journey up to the resort. It was actually 13 km to the top and the views en route were amazing. But we decided that the driver was trying to make the journey as adrenaline packed as he could, skidding round the corners as fast as he could and so on. The worst thing though was that the bus leaked – not water, but air, or rather dust from the track, into the bus. It was coming through the vents and through gaps in the roof. The bus was filled with it and it was disgusting. When I got out I was covered. Not very nice.

When we finally got to the top, unfortunately the 'resort' was crap, and there was hardly any view whatsoever because the resort was tucked into a crevice back from the edge of the mountain. Nick forgot to bring his sunglasses too, and it was so bright because of all the snow, he couldn't see anything anyway. The first bus down again was not for 90 minutes, and just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, we realised they were celebrating the last day of the season with a 'retro party' and had a dj playing hits of the 70s and 80s – in fact I think they played every record Nick hates. He wasn't a happy bunny.

We got a coffee and a muffin, and I wandered off on a hunch to see if we could get a 'pedestrian pass' up a chair lift to look at a view. Sure enough they did a 'tourist pass' which got us up a chair lift (and back again) and I was told that with a 5 minute walk we would be able to look over the edge into the Queenstown valley.

Oh my goodness what views! When you first got to the top and looked over the edge, the view just took your breath away. I'd never seen anything like it. We stayed for about 20 minutes, just gawping and taking photos. I just wanted to drink it in and be able to remember it for the rest of my life.

We got down just in time to get the bus back, which fortunately was a much more sedate affair than the upward journey, and the bus much nicer too.

Back in the camper, we drove back through Queenstown and down the west side of the lake to Glenorchy. The road to Glenorchy is supposed to be one of the most scenic in the world, and it didn't disappoint. We stopped about 5 times in the first 5 miles.

We rolled into GY in the late afternoon and booked in to the one and only camp site there. Unfortunately it was a dump. The grounds didn't seem maintained at all and were very uneven (even ground is very important for good camper plumbing activity). The facilities were basic, dirty and old. There were the obligatory 'permanent caravans' which succeed in lowering the tone of even the best sites.

Anyway, there were no choices so, we settled in and went out to explore Glenorchy. 5 minutes later we were back. OK, maybe 30 minutes, but really, there is nothing there. A hotel, a cafe, a souvenir shop (closed) and the General Store that was part of the camp site (also closed). We walked down to the lake front where the wind was blowing sand from the sandy, tussock vegetation down the valley making it look as if there was a forest fire burning.

All in all, a disappointment.

Back at the camper Nick made curry for dinner. Three other campers arrived and were allocated spaces about 2 inches from ours – always great in an otherwise empty site.

Early night, tired from yesterday's rafting adventures.

Supposed to rain tomorrow. We're thinking of doing some cycling here and then heading down south.



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