Monday, 8 August 2011

Queenstown & Lake Wakatipu

I’ve been having a little holiday in Queenstown for the past week. It is a very picturesque town, albeit cold at this time of the year. My main reason for being here is to go skiing but when the weather hasn’t been up to it, I’ve used the opportunity to look around Queenstown a bit.

I’ve already written about the NZSki Pass, Arrowtown and the Arrow River trail and lunch and wines at Mt Difficulty vineyards, but the town centre and the lake itself deserve a mention on their own.

There is a lovely walk around the edge of Lake Wakatipu in the Queenstown Gardens that has beautiful views looking in any direction. This is within easy walking distance from the heart of Queenstown.

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The town itself is also looking even nicer than when I stayed here about 5 years ago and the quality of the restaurants, cafes and bars seems to have improved. I will cover further restaurants, cafes and bars in separate posts.

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There is a monument down on the waterfront that I quite like, that has apparently been here since 2000 and comprises 5 different layers each signifying different eras in Queenstown’s history:

  • Limestone – the beginning, when moa roamed the region
  • Riverstone – the arrival of Maori
  • Schist – the gold rush
  • Railway Sleepers – settlement and development
  • Water – Lake Wakatipu

The two metal rings show the lake levels at the peak of flooding in 1878 (bottom) and 1999.

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The Lake is equally magnificent from the other end of the Lake at Frankton.

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