We surrendered last night and decided to spend this day in Queenstown. It saved us two hours driving plus the 4+ hour round trip from TeAnau to Milford Sound. We have been so impressed with New Zealand that we have added at least two weeks more here on our next Around The World Award Ticket. We will concentrate that time, here, TeAnau, Lake Wanaka and Milford Sound. We have the miles already in our accounts. It is just finding the right combination of sites to see and matching them with the seasons and available award seats. I’m up for the task. For a OneWorld Around the World ticket, that allows for 25,000 miles of travel in one continuous direction the award seat is 150,000 AA miles. Our next one will cost a little more as we will be using an award that allows for 35,000 miles of travel, as we want to see Machu Pichu and Iguazu Falls in South America before heading to Europe for Stonehenge, the Swiss Alps and Croatia, then further east to Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand and a final rest stop in Hawaii.
On the way down from Lake Wanaka we passed acres of grapes for wine, cherry trees which made us think of home, Traverse City, and the original New Zealand Bungy Jumping site. Oh yea, we stopped. It is only my personal opinion, but I think those kids are nuts. It was all younger jumpers in singles and couples and only one young man backed out at the last minute. We both gave him the thumbs up for trying. He got alot closer to the edge than either of us.
We swapped out our stay at the TeAnau Holiday campground at $125 per night for a self contained unit for a lakeview room at the Rydges here in Queenstown at $105NZ. It is a beautiful location and we have a lakefront room over looking another gorgeous lake (sorry I won’t try to butcher the spelling) and the Alps. There is still snow on the mountain tops and a strong wind blowing across the lake. The sun is shining so not too cold, but it feels like fall is in the air. We’ve seen some postcards and the leaves do change color although many appear to be aspens.
Tommorrow we leave the mountains and head to Dunedin for a look at the coast again with penquins and seals. We really are outdoors people and love the views here. And the people are great. Thank you Steve for the internet pass. Although most of my stuff is for US travllers it is nice to have a Kiwi along for the adventure.
So every great trip must have a moment of disappointment. My Sherpa, Katy, is not an Ansel Adams type photographer. At about $300 for the rod, reel, line, license and baits, I was in hopes of a great photo of my rainbow if I caught one. It seems in the excitement of the moment, Katy got me in the picture and most of the trout. She just forgot to put the head of the fish in the view finder. the batteries then died and it was our only shot. Some photographers just freeze under pressure. she has been forgiven, but the event will not be forgotten.
Gambling is legal here and I made my minimal donation to the blackjack game it very rapid order. It is now dinner time the day after where you are, so off we go. Put Queenstown on your travel list. It is a beautiful spot in a beautiful country, full of beautiful people.