It’s nice to get some sun back in Queenstown after a day of torrential rain in Milford Sound. The road to Queenstown isn’t as nice as the roads we have been able to take so far. However, towards the end, when we drive along the lake (I forgot the name) bordering Queenstown, reflecting perfectly the half-snow-covered mountains on its motionless surface, we say “wow”. I love it!
Queenstown has everything to please: small houses, clean Disneyland-style streets, a nice lake with swimming spots (pebble beaches), a path along the lake for joggers and cyclists… and one of the best burgers in New Zealand: Fergburger
We are fortunate enough to live right next to this sign. Finally, “luck” is a big word, there aren’t many choices for Queenstown, so we chose a central location, a campsite belonging to the chain “Holiday Park” (which we are testing for the first time). Basically, a huge parking lot, with showers and state of the art kitchens. It’s a bit like the factory, all that has no charm, no view, but the comfort is there
This is where JB found a wallet full of pennies (about 3000$), without any ID card or anything. Of course, he gave it to the reception, but we think it belongs to one of the Asian tourists who often travel with wads of money because they don’t trust their bank too much. Unfortunately, we will never know if the reception desk found this unlucky tourist
Well, let’s go back to Fergburger. The main interest of this burger is its size: twice the size of a normal burger. For the same price. Of course, it attracts a lot of people. There is a very long line in front of the sign, we get a number after our order. Between the order and the tasting, there is a minimum wait of 20 minutes. The verdict? It’s fine! But all the burgers of New Zealand disappoint us then, this one is the least worse
Queenstown is a paradise for thrill sports… which are expensive so no thanks! We will be satisfied with its pretty lake, before leaving the next day for Arrowtown and the surroundings
Arrowtown, Arrow River and the Lord of the Rings
Today is “Lord of the Rings” day. I have identified two filming locations that are worth visiting. The first was chosen for the travel scene on the Anduin River, where Frodo and his friends see two huge statues. Unfortunately, we will have to be satisfied with the view from above because it is impossible to go down to the water level. The path isn’t too difficult, it is even pleasantly scented with lavender. Not very far from this place, we can even make bungee jumping.
I show you the landscapes of ouf of this place of shooting
We then move on to Arrowtown where the scene of the Nazgûl chasing Arwen to the river was shot. In the novel it is called “Ford of Brunei”. Actually, this scene was shot in two places, in Arrowtown, and another place 21km away. Arrowtown is much more accessible so let’s just have one location
We really like Arrowtown which looks like it was frozen in the time of the gold rush. In fact, there is a museum (NZ$10 entrance fee) that still preserves the tools of the time and reconstructs classrooms, or a baker’s oven within the museum
Lake Hawea, Lake Wanaka
We continue the journey to Wanaka where we plan to spend the night
On the way, we have a breathtaking view of Lake Hawea. The road along this lake is so beautiful that we drive too slowly and stop at least 5 times
Arrived at Lake Wanaka, we inspect the DOC campsite where we plan to spend the night (Boundary Creek Campsite) and there, the horror! In spite of landscapes of dream, we are surrounded by sandflies
In spite of my anti-sandfly product, they sting THROUGHOUT the clothes! (I don’t know if it’s them or the mosquitoes but SOMETHING has bitten me through my thick socks). We will inspect other DOC campsites on the way before concluding that no, never in life will we spend the night (sniff)
We advance as much as possible in the direction of the glaciers by stopping on the way to the Blue Pools. We cross 2 suspended bridges and we see that
Some jump off the bridge to swim in the swimming hole below. Others broke their legs. Admit it, it makes you want it too much!
We finally decide to spend the night in Haast, a city with no tourist interest. Even its beach isn’t swimmable, the waves are much too strong and the winds are too strong. We have the surprise to find there 3 other French couples (usually, we see a lot of Asian, Australian and German people), as if everyone had a rendez-vous here
Tomorrow, we will visit the glaciers