To Queenstown but which way . . . choices!


A Queenstown drawcard (and my own photo, better than I could find on the internet!).

I think I will go via the Crown range again, the other way I can do on the trip back to the McKenzie Country.

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When Dasha and I travelled from Wanaka to Queenstown we programmed ‘Missy’, the newly purchased GPS, to get us there. There were choices with that also – the most economical, fastest, etc. At that stage (and still) I wasn’t too familiar with the workings of a GPS and can’t remember what I put in, but Missy did a great job and we went via Cardrona, the way I wanted to go. Clever! Cardrona of the famous (in New Zealand) pub and the bra fence! There was also an awesome toilet with beautiful artistic tiles.

Going over the Crown Range was interesting and the lookout at the top, lovely but we didn’t see any Keas, sadly. This time maybe?


The road is somewhat better now 🙂


I have to return to Arrowtown too *blush* and park well away from the main street that I partially went down the wrong way (a one way street) and had to get someone to reverse back for me. We left quite quickly after that so didn’t really get to appreciate the beautiful scenery  :(. Before then we spent a lot of time going round in circles trying to find the main street, I was doomed, really! This time I would like to do it with ease and on foot. There are around 60 historic style wooden shops. Unfortunately it won’t be autumn with the beautiful autumnal colours. There is also an historical Chinese settlement walk that looks very interesting. Arrowtown was originally a gold mining town after gold was discovered there in 1862.


It was really narrow for an small camper van 😦 and I was not going this way, I was coming from the other end.

I didn’t like Queenstown for the first hour I was there. I was extremely stressed and grumpy (again, poor Dasha). It is not a RV friendly town at all, the streets were narrow and the parking hideous, however once we got to the motor camp all changed (and it wasn’t the one I had initially chosen). I will be returning there.


One night here I think, just to mooch and relax. I had thought of paragliding but a friend that did got motion sickness.


Click to access arrowtown-chinese-settlement-lowres.pdf

Accomodation: Queenstown Holiday Park & Motels Creeksyde
$60 per night, wifi (cost unknown)
Address: 54 Robins Rd, Queenstown 9300
Phone:03-442 9447


McKenzie Country


The Mackenzie Basin is located in the middle of the South Island at an average of more than 300 meters above sea level. It contains Lakes such as Tekapo, Alexandrina, Pukaki, Ohau, Ruataniwha and Benmore. Because of the Basin is surrounded by mountain ranges it has a very distinct climate. The Mackenzie Basin is named after the legendary Scottish shepherd James Mackenzie. In 1857 the 704,000 hectares of the Basin was divided among runholders who mainly run merino sheep.


Celmisia semicordata and Celmisia spectabilis

My stay here is almost entirely weather dependant. I don’t intend to go to Mt Cook again (but that may change), if it is nice weather I want to look at the stars, walk around the lake, even canoe (provided free by the camp) and look around Twizel. The is also the draw of the Crested Grebe and the Mountain Daisy and always for Keas. Which is more Mt Cook 🙂


The (Australian) Crested Grebe

This single span deck arch bridge of the Twizel Iron Bridge was built over the Ohau River in 1889.with a clear span of 36.5 metres and an overall length of 41.5 metres. It was probably designed by Charles Banks, who was the Waitaki County Engineer at this time.



The Twizel iron bridge

November is also, coincidentally, the time when the lupins flower! The Russel Lupins were introduced in the 1950′s by Connie Scott of the nearby high country station of Godley Peaks, when the seed was scattered along the exposed sides of the main highway. These tall spikes of colour now grow in abundance along many roadsides and throughout the scenic Mackenzie country. The variety of colours make the already stunning Lake Tekapo area a photographers paradise. The plant threatens indigenous species especially when it invades the braided river beds but it’s a tourist drawcard 😉 including this tourist.


I found it difficult to find a natural photo of the lupins The tendency seems for photographers to produce highly edited photos of intense colours which I find unpleasant.

Lake ruataniwha

Lake Ruataniwha and it did look like this when we were here in April!


Twizel and lake ruataniwha looking south toward omarama

Twizel and Lake Ruataniwha looking south toward Omarama

Click to access mackenzie-waitaki-walks.pdf