We set off very early last Monday morning with daughter's camp gear squashed into the back of my wee car. By mid morning we had left her at her second home - Pukerau Christian camp.
We drove up from Gore through rolling green farm land to Kingston. Tucked in under mountains at the southern tip of Lake Wakatipu, Kingston is a tiny town where the Kingston Flyer resides. At present the steam train is out of use and in the hands of new owners. Hopefully it will be up and running again soon. Several years ago we took the family on the restored train on its roundtrip to Garston. A 20 minute trip if I remember rightly. New Zealand readers might remember the role the train had in the Cadbury's Crunchie Bar adds. A very western style add with gun-brandishing outlaws!! One of my favourites, of course.
|The shore of Lake Wakatipu - Kingston|
By the time we arrived in Queenstown the weather had closed in. We ducked between shops trying to avoid the rain. It's almost ten years since I last visited and I was amazed at how large this town has become. In my younger days it was a quiet holiday town. Now it is the adventure capital of New Zealand and even has its own international airport.
A short drive from Queenstown had us in Arrowtown; cold and wet. After settling in to our accommodation we searched out a nice place for dinner. We ate at an old converted stable in the middle of this picturesque little village.
|The Stables - built by Bendix Hallenstein in 1873.|
I love how this little town, foundered on the discovery of gold in the 1860's, retains its frontier look. Here's some photos. Imagine there's no cars, add a few horses, a wagon or two, perhaps a lady in a bonnet and a long dress ...
The next morning brought torrential rain and after a virtually sleepless night, due to a bed which I'm sure was made from lumps of concrete, we decided to return home. So our holiday was cut in half, but it was refreshing to get away and revisit some interesting and beautiful places. Here's a few more pictures.
|Several cottages in Arrowtown built in the 1870s.|
|A little house close to the restored Chinese Settlement. This place tugs at something deep inside. I've a feeling it's going to feature in a future story!|
On the way back home we went off the beaten track to visit The Lonely Graves. Before I took this photo a Magpie dive bombed me and tried to take off with my hood - he failed!
Last year I wrote a story about these graves. You can read it here.
With summer just around the corner, I'm going to have to organise a few more of these excursions. I'll need to pray for soft beds and no rain first!!