It’s our second day in Queenstown and we absolutely love this place. It kind of reminds us of the ski towns in Colorado, such as Breckinridge or Vail, except it’s right by a huge lake.
There are so many good restaurants here but we are trying to eat cheaper meals and save up our money for dinner at one of the nicer restaurants. Today we went to this really popular bakery/burger shop called Fergburger. So many people recommended it so we had to try it and we ended up going there three times today. The first time we went to get Claire some breakfast and she got a delicious chocolate chip croissant. Then we went back for lunch and Laura got the vegetarian pie, which was AMAZING, and only $5.50 and Claire got a ham and cheese baguette which was also really good until she realized there was mustard on it and freaked out. The birds next to our bench got the rest. The last time we went back was for dessert and to get a loaf of bread to eat throughout the week. Laura also got a gooey brownie and Claire got another Chocolate chip croissant. Another restaurant we have been to twice is Johnny Barr’s, which is a really affordable sandwich shop. Today we got potato leek soup with fruit smoothies for about twelve dollars (which is really good for NZ…food is pretty expensive here).
Besides enjoying the food, we have been having a great time exploring Queenstown. Today we took a walk along the lake and skipped rocks and played on swings. We also took a bus to Arrowtown because we’ve been on a quest to find sheep to hang out with. On our bus rides we literally see thousands of sheep but we haven’t stopped in a place where we could get up close to them. Apparently there are 4 million people in New Zealand and over 12 million sheep…so we figured we should probably try to spend some quality time with a flock of sheep during our visit. Well, we didn’t find sheep in Arrowtown like we thought we were going to but we did stumble upon a pretty spectacular view of the whole town.
Actually, “stumble upon” probably isn’t the best way to describe how we got to this overlook…the trail was actually a vertical hike for about a mile on an extremely narrow path which mostly consisted rocks next to sheer cliffs that we had to climb while carrying our heavy camera bags. It wasn’t easy but reaching the top of the mountain was such an incredible feeling. We had 360-degree views of New Zealand and the beautiful, quaint Arrowtown. We spent about an hour up at the top and it was the coolest thing feeling like we were on top of the world.
Getting down was also a challenge and we both had a good laugh when Laura fell off the trail into a thorn bush. It’s funnier now than it was then…but it was still kind of hilarious when it happened. After our trek up the mountain we headed back to the town center and sampled homemade fudge at a little candy shop. Arrowtown is a gold mining town and at one point it was one of the worlds richest sources of alluvial gold, so it has a few gold shops and gold themed souvenir stores. We would definitely recommend checking out Arrowtown if you are looking for something cheap and fun to do. The bus ride was $16.00 round trip.
Over all we are really having a great time here and we have three more days to explore. The leaves on the trees are all changing here so we are getting to enjoy New Zealand at a very picturesque time of the year.
In other news, we are having a good experience with our first time staying in hostels. Now we are at base in Queenstown where we have already roomed with two girls from Singapore, one girl from Brazil, one guy from Ireland, and one guy from Austria. We get new people every day and so far everyone has been super nice and respectful of personal space and the shared amenities. We have to admit, however, that we are NOT enjoying paying for towels and timed showers…do you know anyone that can shower in less than thirty seconds? If so please tell them to move into a hostel and never move out because if they can do that they were meant to live in one. We have to push our shower button literally forty times to take a 5-10 minute shower. Oh well…at least they are trying to be environmentally friendly. Also, speaking of interesting things about hostels, a group of about ten people outside our door just broke out into a Lion King song. They are belting, “In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight” at the TOP OF THEIR LUNGS. We are about to go out there and join the sing along….