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Day 17- The Journey to Queenstown

Cardrona, Zipline, Arrowtown and campsite!


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We were pleasantly surprised to not wake up as stiff as we feared, which was fortunate as we had to hit the road early for to ensure we could fit in our planned stop points before we reached Queenstown. First stop was for breakfast at the Cardrona Hotel. We had heard this place mentioned a few times by a number of people so thought we would check it and its food out. This small town was established in the 1860s during the gold rush era and the hotel is a relic from that time and one of the oldest hotels in New Zealand. The whole place did feel stuck in time and definitely had a certain charm. The hotel itself was just gorgeous, both inside and out, and you can see why it is one of NZs most photographed buildings; although in summer it was lacking the Christmassy touch the famous wintery pictures had displayed.

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With breakfast and a cheeky pint down we got back in the camper to head to Kawarau bridge, the location of the first bungee jump. Although we toyed with the idea of doing a bungee we opted for the less nerve wracking zip-line. Although when stood in the queue and looking at the height and speed we began to question if even this was a wise choice, plus it was freeeeezing in the wind! But it was good fun and the views were amazing, although you cant really appreciate these on the below video. The view from the bridge is one that any LOTR fan should recognise as the location for the Pillars of the Kings, although unmistakable it does take a bit of imagination to picture the two huge statutes on either side of the river. After watching a few people defy death as their bungee ropes saved snapped into action we headed towards our next stop of Arrowtown.

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This quaint little town is also one time forgot set in the same era as Cardrona and famous during the gold rush period. You can still hire pans and try your luck in the river to find gold! We opted for some treats from the bakery (as recommended by Kirsty) and a little walk. As previously highlighted LOTR filming locations really are scattered all across New Zealand and another was just around the river bend, famous for the scene Arwen saves Frodo from the Ringwraith.

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We were both really looking forward to Queenstown, although there was one problem... the lack of campsites in the area. We both found this very suprising considering the waves of tourists that pass through this town. As far as we could see there were only two possibilities. We headed to the first option which was just various patches of concrete on different levels with very limited space. The only spots left were in undesirable locations either located a way from the toilets or in the middle in a massive puddle. Ruling this one out we headed to the second choice, which although was drastically more (a whole £15 more a night) did appear to have good facilities. We pulled up and it was heaving, but with little other option through gritted teeth we paid for our 3 nights in our most expensive campsite yet! It may seem strange that we appear to be scrimping after saving for this trip for so long; half of this is just out of habit from the last 3 years but the other half is because we have already spent well over our monthly budget for NZ (it is expensive here!) eeeekk!!

The pain of the cost was off-set by the facilities including; really lovely showers, toilets, a kitchen and running hot water! Plus the huge perk of being only around a 5 minute drive from them centre of Queenstown! Plus that view of the Remarkables is well.... Bloody remarkable! I think these mountains are my favourite, I could sit and stare at them all day; which we did during dinner that evening!

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Posted by Bears on Tour 15:36 Archived in New Zealand

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