So it seems that when I left the last blog post with the words “More Queenstown sights on the blog tomorrow”, I meant in a fortnight…
After a full on day of driving to Milford Sound the day before, the kids were happy to hear that there would be much less driving around today and the promise of a lolly shop at the end of the day was enough to illicit smiles all around.
After a lovely breakfast at our hotel, we headed out on one of my favourite drives in New Zealand. The 45 minute drive from Queenstown to the tiny town of Glenorchy is absolutely stunning. The road follows the Eastern edge of Lake Wakatipu and one would be remiss not to stop a few times to truly breathe in the scenery.
Once you get to Glenorchy, there are a couple of cafes but the scenery is the true star. The kids found a park to ride their scooters while Jeff and I grabbed a coffee. I was struck by the fact that this skate park was built where it was, in such a prime location on the lakefront with views of the mountains.
Leaving Glenorchy, we drove back to Queenstown where we headed to the renown Amisfield Winery. In my research, this place had been repeatedly mentioned for being a lovely spot to enjoy a meal and be kid friendly. William and Kate (of royal title) visited Amisfield in 2014 although I am guessing our visit may have differed slightly. I doubt my chosen outfit of the day would have caused a fashion frenzy that follows the Duchess everywhere she goes. Without the worlds media there to bother us (things to be thankful for) we enjoyed a lovely platter lunch and the kids devoured their gorgeously presented box lunches before running off to play amongst the vines. J and I have never met a bocce court we didn’t compete on so our afternoon concluded with several (some of which friendly) games of bocce. We left with several bottles of their delicious Pinot Noir and the hope that Poppy can get a bocce college scholarship one day…
Our last stop of the day was the picturesque Arrowtown. Developed during the gold rush of the 1860’s, the downtown has been expertly preserved and now thrives as a lovely destination for locals and tourists alike. The heritage buildings now house quaint shops and cafes that can easily fill an afternoon or two. The kids sniffed out the lolly shop like the professional sugar hounds they are and we all agreed that today had been a very good day.
The next day, we packed up our things, checked out of our hotel and headed to a development just out of town called Jack’s Point. Just 15 minutes from Queenstown, Jack’s Point is a relatively new community that features a championship golf course, a club house and some hiking and biking trails. Situated on the shore of Lake Wakitipu, at the base of the Remarkables mountain range, it is a stunning spot. Although they were setting up for a wedding, they were very welcoming and we were seated immediately. I did what I usually do when I have a driver (husband) present at that hour of the day on holiday and a table full of people I have given birth to. I ordered a mimosa. I was soon enjoying my libation and laughing with my family. When the restaurant manager stopped by our table to ask us how we were doing, she asked me a question I did not expect. “What are you celebrating? A birthday? An anniversary?” All I could manage was “It is Saturday and I have 3 kids…” The mimosa game is a little on the weak side here in New Zealand, mainly due to coffee being the religion of choice. I believe there is room for both and it is important to have goals…She did visit our table once more and completely redeem herself with the kind observation that our kids were the best behaved of any she could remember. I didn’t dare ask her how long she had worked there or how many children she had actually had met. I did thank her between generous sips of my mimosa.
More South Island fun tomorrow. Promise.