Thursday, March 17, 2016

A tale of two towns

After our heroic morning scaling small gravelly paths near glaciers, we drove to Wanaka, where we stayed for two nights, mainly just chilling out. It’s a nice place to do so, with plenty of cool bars, cafés and restaurants, a relaxed vibe, and of course, a pretty lake ringed with mountains. I also came across Glowing Sky, a clothing company that actually makes their clothes in NZ (a rarity these days). Their main product line is merino wool, but I was drawn in by the brightly-coloured dresses they had in the window. I ended up buying four in the same "Marilyn" cut, but with different colours and patterns. Very pleased with my purchase, look out for them on the blog soon and keep an eye out for the brand if you're in NZ!

We had an annoying group of 20-somethings across from us on the campsite, who basically seemed to sit there drinking all day and swearing every second word. On day two, I actually went and asked to change campsites to get away from them. I realise this makes me sound like a grumpy 80 year-old woman, but seriously, I think we all had enough of 20-something young men when we were 20-somethings ourselves. Their dulcet tones are not exactly what I want to listen to on a relaxing holiday.

The Haast River

Lake Hawea, next door to Lake Wanaka

Wanaka's lake and mountains

Lake Wanaka

We actually went to Manapouri/Doubtful Sound before coming back up to Queenstown, but because of the million photos of Doubtful Sound I have to upload, and because Wanaka and Queenstown are pretty much linked in people's minds, I'll do them both here.

A fantastic view of Queenstown from the Wanaka road

We were first going to spend two nights in Queenstown, and then mostly for time reasons, adjusted that to one night, arriving in the evening and leaving at lunchtime. And once we got there and looked around in the evening, we decided one evening/night was enough. As I said, Wanaka and Queenstown kind of go together. They're not far apart, they're both on the shores of a lake, they are both ski towns in winter, and they both pride themselves on adventure tourism. Queenstown is the bigger and probably more well-known of the two, and it had a correspondingly busier, brasher vibe.

Fluffy hills en route to Queenstown from the Te Anau side

Driving along Lake Wakatipu

Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown

Me and the founder of Queenstown or whatever, plus sheep wife

It's a bit unfair really, since we did actually have annoying drunken youths bothering us in Wanaka, but the entire population of Queenstown seemed pretty much made up of irritating gap year types, so we cooled to it immediately (can you say that?) There were also a tentful of young women next to our van getting ready for a night on the town saying things like "that's hot" in faux American accents as though this was 2004 and they were an entire gang of Paris Hiltons. But they left reasonably early and didn't wake us up coming home, so I can't hold it against them too much.

Our one must-do in Queenstown was to try Fergburger, an apparently legendary local institution. Once we saw the queue stretching out the door, we followed the pro tip I had seen on the internet and phoned in our order, ready for us in 15 minutes after a pleasant stroll around the town. I've got to say, pretty tasty. Jules went for a classic, if jumbo-sized burger, and I got a pork belly and hash brown extravaganza. Yum!

Mmm, pork belly


  1. Absolutely fabulous photos! (Alas all just a memory for you now.) xxx

  2. "I think we all had enough of 20-something young men when we were 20-somethings ourselves."

    So true :-)


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