Waking up in Queenstown at the Sofitel, we realized we had finally pushed our luck with the weather. It was drizzily with very low cloud cover. This did not bode well for views from the top of Bob's Peak.
Our views from the hotel room were nice, though.
And the room had the most beautiful wall hanging...
I took several photos and want to recreate it one day!
We TRIED the gondola up Bob's Peak.
Fail. Epic fail.
So we hit the road.
I really didn't mind the weather- I think it adds character to photographs that the sun never does.
We stopped for a brief look around the charming hamlet of Arrowtown, a former gold-mining boomtown.
Whilst stretching our legs, our driver noticed a quail walking alongside the path. I moved as quickly as I could to get a photo, but this was the best I could do.
Then we passed Wooing Tree Vineyard
whose name is pretty self explanatory. Only tree in the field.
Our next stop was brief, but as there were no takers to actively participate at the Old Kawarau Bridge, the site of the world's first bungee jump, time didn't matter.
Even though it was drizzily, we were able to watch one brave Asian lass take the jump!
And the restroom signs are hilarious!
After the excitement of all that bungee-ing, it was time for lunch. Oh, what a lovely spot The Packing Shed is.
Scattered around the beautifully kept garden are wonderful sculptures.
A wee bit of rain only made the landscape lovelier.
Included was the most DELICIOUS sauce/chutney of cherries and onions.
YUM. Serious yum. I went back three times just to get the chutney, eating it by the spoonful. Oh, how I wish the chef would have parted with the recipe!
Wonderful food, beautiful sculpture, GREAT homemade goodies like an intense balsamic reduction.....all topped off by our delightful 4 year-old (I think) waiter, Jack. He was very serious in his duties of refilling our table water! He was absolutely PRECIOUS--but moved too fast for me to get a photo of him.
We could have stayed there happily slurping up that cherry/onion concoction, but we had to take off toward Dunedin and the ship. We quickly toured the "Scottish" area of New Zealand (which is charming in its own right) and managed to get mooned by some college guys moving in for the beginning of term. What a giggle!
We quickly stopped by the old train station for a look at some beautiful architectural details....
...and then it was a sprint down to Port Chalmers to find our lovely lady waiting for us.
We were barely up the gangway when it was time to set sail, full of two glorious days inland.
It sounds trite to say it was a trip of a lifetime, but it was.
It really was!