6/5/09 10 °C
Free camping went well last night with two exceptions: the car driving by at 4am that decided to lay its horn on and the gas finally running out. Never the less today is our explore Queenstown day so off we went. After having massive difficulties finding somewhere to park (all of Queenstown is free parking), we eventually swooped in and nabbed a spot. Tom's history with Budget panel vans proved useful as he backed the van-a-ram neatly into the spot. Our first stop was to locate internet so off we wandered in the pouring rain until we came to a chocolate shop where we indulged in delicious hot chocolates (lavender for Chrissy, regular for Tom) The cafe proved quite entertaining as we watched a group of diva americans bicker back & forth about driving. Looking at our watch, we realized it was time to head over to the TSS Earnslaw for our adventure to Walter's Peak.
Tom was thrilled with the steamship while Chrissy caught up on postcards. Once we docked at Walter's Peak the fun began! The group of us was led to see the various animals. Walter's Peak is a working sheep & cattle farm with about 4000 acres and umpteen dozens of animals roaming around aimlessly. The stag was having a riveting game of soccer with himself while the three lady deer just lazily watched. Over in the other pen, the two sheep were having a lovely time indulging in some feed while the alpacas watched.
Afterwards we moved indoors for afternoon tea and it was delicious! Tea and some various little snackies. Tom wolfed down the cheese scones while Chrissy enjoyed mini pancakes with jam & whipped cream. Tom ended up chatting to a lady from Nelson NZ about horses, eventing, and the likes for quite some time. After tea, we wandered around the grounds for a bit and soaked up the scenery. Chrissy played peekaboo in a tree and Tom checked out the mad duck flock. After we had enough of the sites, we hung around the sheep for a bit. Petted them, fed them, bowled over by them; the usual sheep-y activities. Then we watched a sheep herding demonstration with the dog which was fascinating and ended the day with a demonstration on how to shear a sheep. All in all a lovely day of sheep!!
Jumping back on the TSS Earnslaw in the pouring rain, we headed back to Queenstown where we decided that it would be better just to pick up a(nother) pizza from Hell's Pizza and get on the road to Wanaka as it was getting pretty late. The road to Wanaka can only be described as twisty, turning, and will make even the most iron stomach want to throw up. Up and up we wove our van-a-ram for an hour and just when we thought we couldn't take anymore, we popped out at Wanaka!!! The next step was to find lodging, as there are no DOC anywhere remotely close to Wanaka we ended up in a Holiday Park. Our chosen stay for the next two nights? A luxurious holiday park with a hot tub, sauna, and a lovely shower. Quite nice considering the choices here!! We hopped into the hot tub and met up with a group from Ireland who we swapped stories and advice with. Trying to finish Whale Rider tonight but don't know if we will get that far....Will post later