Le Queenstown (Late April/May Part I)

Robert Latta
May 28, 2013

This is the month of May.  On Wednesday, I’ll have been here for exactly four months.  Today marks one month until I go home for a week and then start my summer job in California.

Right now, I’m in a café on a rainy day in Dunedin, the second biggest city on the South Island.  While my friends are out gallivanting in the drizzle, I’ll give you the first part of a rundown of my late April/May.

I guess I’ll start with what I did over ANZAC Day weekend.  ANZAC (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps) Day is essentially the New Zealand version of our veterans day.  Both New Zealand and Australia celebrate it in commemoration of their collaboration at the Battle of Gallipoli in Turkey during World War One.  This year’s ANZAC Day (always April 25th) fell on a Thursday.  So a few friends and I took our day off as an excuse to high-tail it down to Queenstown for a long weekend.

We spent the majority of Thursday hiking in the hills above the city.  That night, we hit Fergburger, the world famous burger joint.  It was packed.  The wait for a burger was over an hour, but well worth it.  We crashed at the YHA that night.

The view from our tramp. Photo cred: Trevor

Photo cred: Trevor

Fergburger. ‘Nuff said.

Friday morning was, well, a bit interesting.  Cloudy, and probably about to rain.  Nevertheless, we wanted to get to Glenorchy–famous for its scenes in the Lord of the Rings series–for another day of hiking.  Alas, after the half an hour drive on the cliff tops above giant Lake Wakatipu, it started to pour.  So, the woosies we were for not wanting to tramp in the rain, we jumped back in the car back to Queenstown.

The rain stopped during the drive back—our luck—but my friend Kat and I were still not in the mood for tramping.  So while the other three did their own tramp, Kat and I walked along the lake shore and grabbed lunch at a Thai place.  Afterwards, we checked into our Nomads Backpacker hostel for the next two nights.

We hit a few watering holes that evening after getting a free dinner at Nomads!  If there is one thing that I’ve learned during this semester, it’s that when money is tight, free food is a blessing.

On Saturday, with Allie, Trevor and I scheduled to go hang gliding, we woke early to get to our ride for Coronet Peak to go hang gliding!  To our disdain, though, the high winds at the top of the mountain forced us to cancel our reservation.  Nuts!

The three of us, plus Kat and Kim, our other friend, grabbed a bus to Arrowtown, a quaint, former gold-mining town famous for its fall colors.  We spent the rest of the morning and afternoon, walking through an abandoned village of huts, where men from China would immigrate in hopes of striking gold.

Photo cred: Kim.

Photo cred: Kim.

We finished off the day by making pasta with chicken and watching a movie at the hostel.  Sunday was spent on the bus back to Christchurch.

Also, a really cool steamship that operates on Lake Wakatipu.


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Robert Latta

<div><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Robbie Latta and I am a junior studying civil engineering at Purdue University in lovely West Lafayette, Indiana. I am also a member of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity on campus. I like to spend time outside, bike, play hockey when I am home in Minnesota, write, and spend time with my friends. I am coming to New Zealand to explore the Kiwi lifestyle and have some fun!</span></div>

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