Our next stop was Queenstown. As soon as we arrived we both knew we would love it here. A small town that was packed with places to eat, drink and be merry, sitting on the edge of another great lake surrounded by mountainous hills sprinkled with icing.
The only camp sites in town were posh, expensive ones, but we happily formed out the extra few bucks to get us the extra comfort.
When arriving in a new place, we’ve found we enjoy a slow wander around the town, becoming acquainted with its personality and finding our way. This place had a laid back feeling, the green in the town centre fenced in by bars, each street shooting off with an array of more boozers, shops and eateries. Maps, despite my love for them, were a thing of the past as we discovered our own plans of this town.
I was up early enough to catch only my second Newcastle match, which in keeping with their form at the time, was a disappointing start to my day. However, in a magical place like New Zealand, I’m pretty sure things will improve immeasurably in no time. Which they did.
Today was Halloween and to get our day on the right track, we needed a good meal to set us up. This is where Fergberger comes in. This small fast food like joint serves up burgers that are renowned world wide. With their reputation proceeding them, we were all too happy to test out their fame, and give our approval. My stacked burger was laced with dripping melted cheese and BBQ sauce weeping out the sides with every bite. This monumental meal had my approval, although I do wish I had stuck to the classic burger as Holly did. Nevertheless, now brimming with Angus Beef, we were all set to get back on the adventure wagon and we headed to the sky rail.
These are becoming a doddle for me now and heights seem less of a problem. Holly winced as we bounced up the cables, the spectacular views enough to take our anxious minds off the drops below.
Patiently waiting for us atop the hill was a view which would astound anyone with eyes. With only a handful of other tourists eager to capture this sensual vista on their cameras, we were able to enjoy the view without aggravation caused by big crowds. The clear day offered a few scattered clouds in the azure, casting a lonesome shadow on the lake.
The vantage point of our view would get better as we climbed higher, via a ski lift over the mountain goats, to reach our final destination. On the summit of this great hill we would be luging. In our little go cart type contraptions, gravity would drag us down the course. In my extreme competitiveness I tried to go too fast, crashing at one of the corners, gifting holly the opportunity to drift past, giggling away at me, powerless.
I let her win, I kept telling myself.
We had one more course to race and I would be better. Whipping round the bends, through tunnels and over humps, I was unstoppable. Trying to slouch into the most aerodynamic position, I grinned all the way to the finish line. The course ends with a single lane to the finish where we hand our luges back. As I trudged down this track, trapped between barriers the width of my vehicle, I heard a rumble behind me. Holly can hurtling down and smashed into the back of me. I struggled our the cart with whiplash and a jarred back, overcoming the pain to take the crown.
Back at the van to start our Halloween celebration, and maybe our Christmas a bit early, we watching Nightmare Before Christmas, a Tim Burton classic. With the back of the van open and the volume up high, a few giggles were had by the nebby bypassers, understandably jealous.
We headed out without fancy dress happy to see that at least not every one was embracing the event so we didn’t stand out. After a few bars we ended up in a place promising dancing and a free bar tab later in the evening and we settled in for the rest of the night. Some of the costumes were hilarious, with the Jaeger Bomber taking my adware for most original.
One of the barmen, an English chap, whispered to us that the free bar would start at 11.30 and wouldn’t be announced. As we waiting for the clock to edge it’s way around Holly and I decided that a pint drinking competition was what was needed. A Dutch fella we met, I’m going to say was called Frank as his name alludes me, was to capture the event on film. As we raced away with our beers, some of the crowd unfairly getting behind holly and jeering me, we both slammed our glasses down at the same time. Hopefully Frank’s video skills would be enough to determine the winner. Sadly, the berk was unable to work an iPhone and had recorded about two seconds of footage.
Now it was 11.30 and the bar tab had started. I approached the barwoman and asked if the tab was open. With a nod of her head I ordered two jaeger bombs. She came back and barked through the noise “$30 please”. What she failed to tell me when I first enquired was that these was not included in the free drinks and it was only draught beer. Bitch. So I ordered two beers as well and begrudgingly forked out for the drinks.
We drank and danced the night away, stumbling back to our camper van.
Relieved the next morning not to be too hungover, leaving this place was going to be sad. With so much to do in each place, and with little time, the constraints were becoming more restrictive than in Australia. Never looking back, always forward, we headed for our next destination, Dunedin.