I enjoyed breakfast out this morning in Arrowtown, waiting for what little rain there was, to pass. Unfortunately it was one of those brekkies where they fill a teeny tiny plate to make it look like a decent size, but actually it’s a very small breakfast…hurrumph.
I started walking at 10.15am. The sun was out and it was another scorcher of a day. Out of Arrowtown the trail went through the Millbrook resort, country club, golf course and luxury housing estate. With it’s landscaped, lawns, water features, faux stone houses etc. it seemed completely out of place in NZ – where you can’t actually get any better than the real countryside just on the doorstep. I found it quite surreal!
The trail led to Lake Hayes, which was extremely beautiful, with the backdrop of the Remarkables mountain range. It then led to the Kawarau river. Note that the first toilet is after about 12kms (after Lake Hayes estate as you join the Kawarau river) and there is possible wild camping here too.
The trail followed the river for a while, and passed a huge construction site – loads of housing going up on the Kawarau river flood plain – which didn’t seem like a very sensible idea to me.
At 2.30pm I crossed the Shotover river (loos here too) via a historic bridge which has been restored. I was pretty tired by now, but still had around 15kms to go.. I was feeling every Km in the hot sun. The trail went up into Frankton, which is pretty much one huge building site – loads of development going on. There’s a Pak n Save and Countdown here, if you want better price/selection of groceries than in Queenstown. I stocked up on a few bits and pieces, and had a late lunch.
Afterwards, the trail skirted the events centre then the airport, then led down to the beautiful Queenstown lakefront for the last 8kms or so. The trail got pretty busy here with cyclists, runners & tourists promenading. The views over lake Wakatipu are splendid, and the lake is clear and clean. It’s possible to swim all the way along.
I got into Queenstown at 5.30pm and arrived at the Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park. Curly and Max were here – Yay! We chatted for a while, then I popped out for a quick dinner.
I didn’t recognise any of Queenstown from my trip here 12 years ago – it’s got so big, and everything has changed. I didn’t expect to like it, but I really did. I’m looking forward to my rest day tomorrow, and a bit of a poke around.