After checking out of the hostel we decided to head to Patagonia chocolates in Queenstown for a smoothie and to use their wifi. We needed to sort out the car hire for Australia, looking to drive from Melbourne to Adelaide along the Great Ocean Drive. The main sites I checked was www.standbycars.com and www.hertz.com. Standbycars is great IF you can get the deal, they offered a one way rental from Melbourne to Adelaide for Aus$5.00 per day but the mileage is limited to 1,500km and you need to complete the journey in two days. Also the dates were not favourable with us. I ended up using hertz as I am a member of their Hertz number one gold club. The price quoted was good.
We spent about three hours at Patagonia, a Sikh family also came in to buy some drinks and sweets, their father sat with us and told us their life story….him and his wife are both doctors and run a hospital in Hyderabad, one of their two sons works as a doctor in Dunedin and the other works for Microsoft in Auckland. We exchanged contact details, he also told us that he has good contacts around India and if we do visit he can get us good discounts….! On a very personal note I have difficulty trusting people from India though he seemed like a genuine person.
After they left we continued with our internet work which was completed by around 4pm. As we were heading north to Lake Tekapo we decided to stock up with food, soups, gluten free bread….yes you may seem surprised, but sometimes we eat healthy! Saying that, on the way to the supermarket we did pass by Fergburger for our last serving of fries and onion rings!
We said our goodbyes to Queenstown and headed north on highway 6 then caught highway 8 to Lake Tekapo. The drive was amazing, driving past rolling hills. It started raining very heavily, we then saw a double rainbow. The drive takes about 4 hours and is very pleasant, the only downside is the 100kmph speed limit. We also passed beautiful Lake Pukaki. The lakes here have an amazing turquoise colour. This is due to ‘rock flour’ (sediment) in the water. This so called flour was created when the lakes basin was gorged out by a stony bottomed glacier moving across the lands surface, with the rock on rock action grinding out fine particles that ended up being suspended in the glacial melt water. This sediment gives the water a milky quality and refracts the sunlight beaming down, hence the brilliant colour.
We arrived in Lake Tekapo around 7pm and were lucky to catch the hostel staff before they closed up, they showed us around the very busy hostel and to our room, it was okay but we have been very spoilt at other hostels…..I am sure you know which ones!
In the evening we walked across from our room to the kitchen where Sangeet had a humus and salad wrap, I had soup and bread.
After dinner we went to the common room where Sangeet challenged me to a game of Jenga, in this game one would place wooden blocks on top of each other in a stack, one then removes a wooden block (not from the top, but anywhere else) without the structure toppling over. Sangeet won!
As the hostel was full for tonight we decided to move on. It will be very hard to leave as it is a fantastic hostel and the staff are very friendly and helpful in making your stay memorable.
After breakfast Ruth, Sangeet and I decided to walk up the gondola track….there are two ways to the top, take the gondola which means departing with money or walk which is free, of course we decided on the free route. We said our byes to the hostel staff who now seemed part of our ever growing family and walked towards the hike starting point. Unfortunately the hike route we wanted to do was closed and the other routes would have taken longer, so instead we decided to walk into town and around Queenstown Park. Ruth headed back to the hostel after we’d said our goodbyes and agreed to arrange a reunion in Europe! Then we walked towards the park.
Queenstown park is very nice and calm, you have people playing disc golf, (golf but with a frisbee), lots of amazing trees, beautiful tennis courts and bowling greens (though not real grass!) and a great rose garden.
Afterwards we walked into town and headed for a veg juice from:
15 Church Street,
+64 3 409 0169
For lunch we headed over to:
Bombay Palace Indian Restaurant & Takeaways
66 Shotover Street,
+64 3 441 2886
The waiting staff here are very knowledgable about the way the food is cooked. We asked about the frier and whether there is a separate one for meat and vegetarian items. Straight away he said it was the same frier. He also knew exactly which breads had egg in them.
After walking back to the car which was parked near the hostel we drove to Arrowtown. Arrowtown is a historic gold mining town in the Otago region of the South Island of New Zealand. It is located on the banks of the Arrow River approximately 5 km from State Highway 6. There is also road access directly to Queenstown via the Shotover Gorge and a third route via the picturesque Lake Hayes.
During the high point of the gold rush the population of Arrowtown rose to over 7,000 and became the center of a larger municipality, which covered the new settlements of Macetown, Skippers and Bullendale (today only ghost towns). Arrowtown was constituted as a borough in 1867 and became part of the Queenstown-Lakes District in the local government reorganisation of 1989.
The town reached a population low of fewer than 200 people in the 1960s before gaining popularity again. According to the 2006 New Zealand census, the usually-resident population of Arrowtown was 2,151, a 27.1% increase since 2001. The town has seen considerable growth and construction, but it falls under strict appearance covenants applied by the local authority that aim to preserve the appearance of the town. There are many well preserved buildings used by European and Chinese immigrants dating from the gold mining days of the town. Arrowtown is the home of the Lakes District Museum and Ah Lum’s store.
Bordering the town is Sir Michael Hill’s Championship Golf Course which is home to the New Zealand Golf Open. This championship golf course is a private membership club, but does allow green fee players by appointment only. The Club also provides a Day Spa that is available to the public.
A BBH hostel, in any other circumstance this would be a fantastic hostel but because we left Butterfli lodge which has just been superior, this lodge feels a little mediocre!
Afterwards we walked by the shops, cafes, restaurants and cinema of Buckingham Street, the Main Street of Arrowtown. We popped into the cinema and saw a listing for the movie called ‘The Intouchables’. So amazing that only yesterday Ruth was telling us about this movie, as it sounded good we bought tickets to it, the showing was at 6:15 so as we had a couple of hours, after chatting to the lady Sam (from Derbyshire, England!) running the cute little cInema, we had a wander to the Chinese settlement. The settlement was very interesting, we saw how the Chinese suffered real hardship during the mining of gold in this area in the late 1800s.
Whilst in town we saw an Indian restaurant called Mantra, Sangeet noticed an elderly long bearded Sikh by the window above the restaurant and became very happy, we had not seen a Gursikh in the South Island. Sangeet said he looked like an angel. I was confused and just laughed.
Afterwards we went to watch the movie, The Intouchables, this is a fantastic movie and definitely worth watching. Based on a true story.
Dorothy Browns is a luxurious boutique Cinema and Bar in picturesque, historic Arrowtown.
The main cinema is beautifully designed with Chinese silk ceilings, chandeliers and seriously spacious seats. The Den is smaller, comfortable and relaxed. It screens mostly arthouse movies.
We then went to eat at Mantra, it is run by a Sikh lady called Shammi, I would like to say the food was amazing to help support a Sikh business but I can not, the food was made for a western tastebud. Personally I do not think people from India can cook, only Indians from East Africa can cook!
12 The Royal Oak,
+64 3 442 0880
We returned to the hostel and sat with fellow backpackers in the lounge to watch another movie, Happy Gilmore.
After breakfast we headed over to the city centre to have a look at the underwater observatory, the guide book said it was free, they actually charged NZ$5.00, being true backpackers we decided not to part with our money so had a wander around the lakeside. We saw people disembarking the steam powered TSS Earnslaw, this has been cruising the lake for 100 years now.
Afterwards we popped into Patagonia Chocolates to use the internet and for their hot chocolate, which is much talked about but not that good! O well at least the internet is fast and we got a lot of work completed! We decided to return to Fergburger, Sangeet had fries, I had falafel burger and onion rings, totally unhealthy but goooood!! We sat overlooking the lake and Sangeet ate her fries and I had a few onion rings, I decided to eat the rest at the hostel. We saw Tammy from the hostel walk by and invited her to join us. We all chatted for a while then I walked back to the hostel whilst Sangeet popped back into town to get some sunscreen and foot rescue for me….the hot weather has made my skin break, so much that it now hurts to walk!
Old fashioned sweet shop
At the hostel the manager Cindy was looking at this blog and commented on the good work.
When Sangeet got back from town we drove to Glenorchy, a very small town, a complete opposite to the bustle of Queenstown. It is about 45 minutes away from Queenstown and the journey there is spectacular. After walking onto the jetty and talking to a French family who have been living in Papeete in French Polynesia, we wandered around the tiny little town and then walked over to Foxy’s Cafe where we both ordered a hot chocolate. Again I have had better!!
The drive to Glenorchy:
We then drove to Kinloch, the only thing in this town was a small motel. I would definitely recommend this town, especially if you enjoy the peace and quiet and stunning lakeside views.
Drive to Kinloch
As it was getting late and the sun would soon be setting we headed back to Queenstown and to the supermarket called Freshchoice
64 George Road
where we stocked up on a few items for this evening snacks, soup, crackers and Brie.
In the common room we (Tammy, Ruth, Sangeet and I) watched Bad Boys 2, a lighthearted movie. Earlier in the day, Sangeet asked Ruth what her favourite movie is, Ruth replied that she really enjoyed the French movie “The Intouchables”, I had never heard of it. Apparently it is a true story about how a paralysed man who employed a ‘nurse’ who showed no sympathy and brought so much richness to his life. It sounds like a good movie and we said we would keep an eye out for it.
As we were taking Marlene to Queenstown, we also asked Ruth if she would like to come, she said yes as she wants to spend a couple of weeks there.
Checkout at the hostel, like many others is 10am. We packed the bags but decided to relax in the common area until about 12. The owner is very relaxed and was happy for us to be there, he even left the hostel whilst we were there. This is such a laid back homely type of hostel.
Around 12:30 pm we left for Queenstown, we took state road 6 north. It is around 190km away so about a two hour journey. About one hour 15 minutes into our journey we saw the southernmost tip of Lake Wakatipu. The views are amazing, as if we were just viewing a picture.
The hostel has a very nice energy, another homely atmosphere, there are no dorms here, the biggest room has four beds. The view from the hostel overlooking Lake Wakatipu are great. The total number of occupants who can stay at any one time is 19. The manager Cindy does a fantastic job of making sure the hostel is smoothly run. At the time of writing this hostel is the number one BBH hostel in Queenstown.
As we were all very hungry we had a wander around the town centre looking for a place to eat, no restaurant stood out (unbelievable, there are no vegetarian restaurants here). We ended up at Fergburger:
42A Shotover Street
T: +64 3 441 1232
The restaurant is open from 9am until 5am! Staff are knowledgable about the burger and sauce ingredients and can cater for all needs. Sangeet had a tofu burger, I had the falafel burger, with fries and onion rings. After eating a very unhealthy but tasty meal we had a wander around the city centre and along Lake Wakatipu. Queenstown is a touristy town, there is a lot going on, so different to Invercargill.
We had ice cream at
50 Beach Street
T: +64 3 442 9066
Pretty expensive, one scoop of ice cream costs NZ$5.00, they offer fast internet, the internet is only available from 9am until 8pm. The shop closes at 10pm so your best bet for a great coffee. Apparently, even the library here charges to use the internet!
Afterwards we walked back to the hostel, where some people had started watching a DVD…..not sure what it was called. It is very funny but with the majority of the backpackers being German / Chinese, Sangeet and I seemed to be the only ones laughing!
Hi, thanks for visiting my blog, feel free and have a look around.Here is a bit about me, as you may or may not have guessed my name is Mandeep,I work to travel as opposed to work to pay bills and die!Every trip for me is an adventure, I have been very fortunate to stumble across amazing places and meet awesome people along the way.
Why gaygoat? When I first started this blog I was a vegetarian, so gaygoat – happy goat! Also you have to admit it is catchy and a URL you will not forget!