Getting lost, getting wet and getting fat
Queenstown: the town where all backpackers seem to flock to when visiting New Zealand. It’s the place to bungy jump, white water raft, skydive and kayak. Except you can do any of these activities all over New Zealand and for a cheaper price. Therefore we went to Queenstown to actually see the town and hoped there’d be enough to keep us entertained. There wasn’t.
We started off in the i-site (NZ’s info centres) trying to find something free or cheap to do but they don’t seem to be commonly used words here. Defeated we pinned our hopes on a place called Cookie Time whose leaflet described it as a five dimensional experience. We scampered along hoping to fill our hungry bellies with cookie freebies only to find ourselves in a shop. That’s pretty much all it was and trying to limit our spending in a pretty expensive place we ended up with one hot cookie each.
It finally stopped raining for the first time that morning so we decided to venture up and see Queenstown from above. Shunning the $28 return cable car we took the tiki trail, a two hour return walk. The track it turned out was more of a mud slide with the occasional rock. Considering how much it had rained over the past day we squelched and clambered our way up to the top where the views were impressive, although slightly hidden by cloud.
If we found the walk up hard, going back down was a nightmare. Alex, wearing his trademark flip-flops as usual, found it particularly difficult to manoeuvre through the mud and we descended at a snails pace. With a quite regular frequency we heard the other going ‘woooop’ as they slid down the bank. Somehow we made it to the bottom with neither of us falling over once. Yay!
Now around lunchtime we decided to get some grub and headed for Fergburger, a place we’d been recommended by Alex’s friend. When we got there however it was clear that everyone else's friends had also recommended the place to them as the queue was out of the door. After a bit of a wait to order we managed to squeeze onto a bench where we patiently waited for fifteen minutes before our burgers were ready. It was then that we realised just why it was so popular. The burgers were bigger than our faces and tasted delicious. Rach had a Sweet Bambi which was deer with plum chutney and Alex had the Big Al, the largest burger on the menu containing egg, beetroot, two burgers, bacon and much more. Our bellies sufficiently fit to burst we gave up on Queenstown.
After a night spent by yet another lake we set off for a day in Wanaka with two things on our to do list; Puzzlin’ World and Wanaka Beerworks Brewery. We began in Puzzlin’ World figuring we could run around it in around two hours. An hour in and we were still trying to find our way out of the damn maze. We are normally both pretty good at them but this one was impossible. We managed to find three of the corner towers without too much trouble but we really struggled to find the last one and the way back out again. Constantly retracing our steps we finally made it out in one piece. The rest of the place was average. There were some fantastic optical illusions like the room of faces on the walls that followed you around. The rest of the features however were ones we’d already seen in Australia (An aMAZEing day). We actually spent more time in the games room playing with the puzzle sets.
We moved on for a relaxing lunch by the lake but perhaps it was too relaxing as we overran on time and missed the brewery tour- oops! Out of ideas we headed to the library intending to catch up with some overdue messages, however Wanaka has obviously had some experience of backpackers using up their internet so there was a charge. Begrudgingly we went to a cafe with wireless so we could at least get a coffee with it- just a few extra calories for a very fatty few days.
Rex’s Rules of the Road
- If you’re looking to get yourself stuck into some expensive extreme activities then Queenstown is the place to be. If you’re not then we wouldn’t advise hanging around there for too long.
- If you want huge, delicious burgers then join the queue at Fergburgers.
- There’s some free internet places in Wanaka but they come at the price of a coffee.