Queenstown is a popular place and that means accommodation is hard to find. There isn't much in between backpackers and five star (at least not when you're booking two days before you arrive). Basically we had to upgrade or downgrade. We went with upgrade, booking a room at Chalet Queenstown. As far as we can tell, all that extra coin gets you a super comfy bed, a guided tour of the building, chilled water and wait for it... breakfast! Yes, that's right, a proper cooked breakfast just like they do in England! A great way to start the day.
After breakfast we drove up to Glenorchy which is at the northern end of the lake to check out a couple of LOTR locations, like the Wizard's Vale and the Misty Mountains. Up here there is a bit more snow still on the peaks so it's very pretty. We did a quick tramp into the forest and then headed back down to Queenstown and out to Arrowtown for a look at another location, the Ford of Bruin this time.
Back in Queenstown we parked the car at the chalet and walked across town to the gondola that goes up Bob's Peak. We rode it to the top but had a different method in mind for descending the mountain; zip lines!
We'd zipped before in Whistler and decided we were ready to step it up. Our tour took us on six zip lines, which zip from platform to platform up in the tops of the Douglas Fir trees, one in particular giving us spectacular views of the mountains and lake. The first five were pretty tame but the sixth one is the steepest tree to tree zip line in the world. It is 300 metres long and descends 100 metres, and you can reach speeds of about 70km/h.
It was a pretty cool experience to fly along through the trees at that speed, a little scary though when they put the brakes on towards the end and leave you dangling on the line about eight storeys up before they pull you in to the platform.
Our tour finished up back in town at dinner time so we headed for Fergburger. It's a bit of an institution in Queenstown, and is said to have the best burgers in NZ. It's only a small shop and the line-up was halfway along the block. It took about twenty minutes to order and about another twenty to get the burger. It's not too bad though, they play music and the staff keep everyone upbeat. I suppose the question is, was it worth it? Well yeah, I think it was. It was a pretty tasty burger, and probably the biggest (not tallest, but roundest) burger I've eaten. I guess another question would be, did I eat it all? Of course I did, wolfed it down quick smart.
Well, the road goes ever on and tomorrow we are heading up Mount Cook way. Might have to do a proper tramp to work that burger off...