Sunday, June 25, 2017

Arrowtown Chinese Settlement & Bush Creek Trail

On HT's second to last day in NZ, we visited the partially restored Arrowtown Chinese Settlement to read about the lives of the Chinese goldminers and the huts they live in. Visitors can try gold panning at the Dudley's Cottage or the Arrow River but neither of us were interested. If it's that easy to find gold, I believe any gold would have been gone by now. We finished in less than an hour and since the Bush Creek Trail is nearby, we went for a walk.

I didn't realise there were old pipes in the wall which were built by Chinese miners to divert water from one side to the other so that they can dig for gold on the dry side.

I was quite amused with the fact that they would rather get their feet wet than use the bridge.

I had no idea the trail had a few crossings that require us to take off our shoes in order to get to the other side.

Finally out of the bush with my pants still rolled up waiting for my legs to dry

The track disappears after this point and there were no signs at all. It didn't feel right to continue so we turned back. Years later when I read the track description and duration again, I seriously think we have reached the end of the track.

We must have crossed the creek at least 10 times now jeez

Last shopping in Queenstown - can't go back without Cookie Time!

With our Fergburgers and all our barang barang (bags) on the left LOL

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Wanaka: Mount Iron & Eely Point

I started hitching along Adamson Drive, sticking out my sign as I walked for about 10-15 mins before I got my first ride. Bernice is going to Wanaka to pick up some driftwood for next winter. She went via Cromwell and stopped along the way to drop some coins into an honesty box. She told me she had bought something the other day and didn't have money to pay for what she had bought so she came by specially to pay. Bernice has a Korean daughter-in-law and doesn't really like Korean food. She dropped me right at the start of Mount Iron track and offered to give me a ride back to Arrowtown in the afternoon around 3pm. She sounded worried about me and asked if I had a sun hat as it was very hot. I wanted to hang around Wanaka for awhile so I politely rejected her kind offer and thanked her for the ride. 

I crossed into private land to get an unobstructed view of Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea. It was absolutely stunning; so beautiful and comfortable in this pleasant weather that I hanged around for 2 hours at the top.

Made my way down, checked out the DOC visitor centre and grabbed a map from the i-site. Figured there was still enough time to go for another walk and decided on the easy Eely Point track along the lake.

Bought some groceries and bumped into HT outside New World. I waited for a long time in town and couldn't get any ride. A man gave me a very short ride (less than 5 mins) to an intersection that will stand me a better chance of getting a ride. Finally at 7pm a blue ute with the Queenstown Lakes District logo (years later I realised that was the name of the Council) stopped. Peter told me he don't usually give people a ride and he had noticed me standing by the road when he passed by earlier and decided if I was still there he would stop. Bless him. He sent me all the way to Arrowtown via Crown Range. It was so hot I was burnt that day. The next day I fell sick and couldn't go anywhere when it was my off day, wasted!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Cycle Arrowtown to Peregrine Wines via Gibbston River Trail

Another bike trip from Arrowtown to Gibbston Valley covering at least 34km for over 4 hours. A longer but easier ride than my previous one to Lake Hayes. This was along Centennial Ave getting ready to leave Arrowtown and approaching the start of 100km/h zone. 

I was lost for awhile at Morven Ferry Road and cycled into private property. There were warning signs on the ground with lightning symbols but didn't say what the danger was. At this point I still believed I was heading in the right direction so I kicked the leg stand down, lifted my bike across the 'danger' line, made sure it's standing on the ground while my body and feet were still on the other side of the line, then lifted my feet and crossed the line (hoping I won't get an electric shock >.<) and I was relieved nothing happened. I then realised I had reached a dead end and had to turn around and cross the 'danger' line again. (Smacks forehead!) Along the way I passed stags and alpacas who were equally curious as I was to see them.

I was getting bored of the same old scenery of lakes and melting snow mountains in Queenstown so it was a good change of views to river, valleys, bridges and vineyards.

Just before the bungy jump bridge, SH6 narrows round a bend and there is a separate track that goes around the hill for the safety of cyclists. I had to get down and push my bike up the hill.

Stopped briefly to watch a lady leap into the valley at Kawarau Bridge

An easy one hour ride (5km one way) from here to Peregrine Wines along the Gibbston River Trail


Peregrine Wines is owned by the McLachlan family. The design of the building's roof was inspired by the native falcon (karearea). This was the furthest I went and I decided it was time to make my way back.

Running late have to cycle across the bridge go go go

Last photo at Kawarau Bridge

I reached Romans Ln at 5.58pm, packed up in lightning speed, zoomed to the bus stop got there at 6.03 just in time for the 6.05 bus to meet HT in Queenstown for dinner.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Queenstown: Frankton Arm

Met up with HT in town with nothing planned in advance. Checked out the crafts market first but there wasn't much to see. Collected her skydive photos then had a look around the Queenstown Gardens which is the other peninsula you see from Bob's Peak looking down. Did another easy walk along Frankton Arm Walkway together and watched someone practising paragliding off a hill. Took the bus to New World for some grocery shopping then went back to have dinner in her hotel room and we sneaked into the staff kitchen to heat up the rice I had prepared beforehand.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Queenstown: Skyline Road to Bob's Peak

The Skyline Road (or sometimes known as Skyline Access Road) is an alternative route up to Bob's Peak without having to pay ($35 one way) for the gondola ride. There's a web of walking and mountain bike trails that link up to the Skyline Road throughout the forest. On my first visit to Queenstown, I tried the Tiki Trail which starts at the gondola base building near Brecon St. The last 600m follows the Skyline Road towards the top of the gondola. 

I kept going until I couldn't go any further as the track appeared to be closed due to snow...

I went back the next day and tried a different route; this time starting from Lomond Crescent. It was a bloody sharp climb up to the start of Ben Lomond Forest and the rest was going round and round the hill via Skyline Access Road (yellow solid track) for over an hour to reach the top.

I slumped onto a nice and flat concrete patch when I finally reached, feeling both tired and rewarded by the sweeping views of the Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu. After catching my breath, I realised I was lying on a helipad! It was a windy day but that didn't stop people from having a picnic and zipping down the luge track.

Three days later, I went up again, this time with my friend. I've only just started exploring Queenstown on my own and the gondola was the only place I was confident of going without getting lost. We stood outside her hotel and I showed her where we were going, pointing to the building up the hill. I advised her to take the gondola up and I'll walk as fast as I could up the hill and meet her at the top. I felt bad that she chose to walk up with me instead.

This is by far my favourite photo of us in our many years of friendship :)