Day 22: Queenstown - Wanaka
17 January 2010
4040km - map

We woke in a baking hot campervan with a stonking hangover - not a good combination. It started out hot this morning and it just got hotter and hotter throughout the day. To blow the hangover cobwebs away we decided to take a ride on another jet boat, this time the Shotover Canyon Jet Boat just outside Queenstown. It was much the same as the Huka Falls jet boat we rode in the north island except this one took us along a river canyon, just inches away from rocks at the sides of the river. The signature move of the jet boat, the 360° spin, was present in abundance too. It certainly cured my hangover but Sarah didn't feel any better.

Back in Queenstown we got the gondola to the top of the mountain that overlooks the town which provides activities such as bungee jumping, canyon swinging, quad biking, luge rides and parasending. We took in the views for a while and had a coffee before giving the Luge a go. It was quite fun, if a little tame, and I provided some amusement to the guys running it by mistakenly putting my helmet on back to front.

Back down in Queenstown we had a Fergburger - a famous burger restaurant in the town - they were huge and really filled us up. Prue, who we had met last night, came and met up with us again to return Sarah's Camera. In our drunken stupor we had forgotten to pick Sarah's camera up from the bar when we left. Thankfully I had taken Prue's number with the intention of calling her when we got to Christchurch and so was able to text her and find that she had picked the camera up after we left and had it with her safe and sound. Prue told us about a free concert going on in the park in the centre of Queenstown this afternoon so as we still weren't feeling 100% and had just eaten a large meal we wandered over to the park and found a nice spot in the shade of a tree to lay down and listen to the live reggae music.

After a couple of hours relaxing in the park listening to music we moved on north to Wanaka, choosing the more scenic (but very steep!) route along the top of a ridge of hills before descending into the town. We found all the free sites to have been closed by the local authority to overnight camping (it seemed like quite a posh town of expensive looking houses around a lake so they probably don't like the 'hippy campervan types'!). So we decided to stay at a Department of Conservation site a few kilometers outside the town beside a river instead. A few other campervans were there already and it was a lovely site, plenty of room and plenty of shade from pine trees and even had nice toilets.

We spent the evening reading and feeding (mouldy) bread to the dozens of birds that gathered looking for crumbs. A couple of beers and we were ready for bed. Thankfully we are also far enough away from the river tonight that the mosquitos haven't bothered us and there are no sandflies here to speak of either so a good night's sleep was had.

The Shotover Canyon Jet Boat
Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu
Mmmm... Fergburger
The band playing in the park
The campsite at Wanaka