Queenstown + Lake Dispute
the Remarkable Mountains at dusk
We got into Queenstown around 8.30pm and had a lot of trouble finding
somewhere to stay. We started looking at Frankton, stopping the car
and trying one or two places each, separately, but everything was full,
cost too much, or had shut up for the night. We went out as far as
Arthur's Point, where the motor camp had a room with no linen for $10
per person - but it was Valentines Day and we didn't feel like another
night in sleeping bags. So after searching for more than an hour and
a half, we went back to one of the hotels we'd looked at earlier and
paid $140 for the night. That got us two double beds, a huge shower,
and all the mod-cons.
I charged my batteries, cleaned the billy, etc. and we counted
sandfly bites. Camilla's count approached 100 and mine must have been
similar. She had scratched some bites on her foot raw and was taking
anti-histamines to try to reduce itching, but I wasn't feeling it so bad,
or was better at not scratching.
Saturday 15th February
The $140 for the hotel room included a buffet breakfast, so we gorged
ourselves on sausages and eggs and bacon and cereal and fruit - they
were slow bringing toast, but otherwise it was pretty good.
We checked out and by 10 we were in the town centre.
Not wanting a repeat of the previous night's search, the first thing we
did was book a room in a Glenorchy pub for that night.
Then we did the tourist thing and wandered the extensive Queenstown
shopping options. Camilla bought some earrings and a beanie at a market,
a t-shirt from a shop, and a copy of Mushrooms and Other Fungi
from the DOC office, and almost bought a sleeping bag from one of the
many camping stores. I was tempted by one of the fancy liner bags,
but restricted my purchases to the Earnslaw topo map. (There was no
In between the shopping we
fed the ducks and the seagulls stale left-over bread and watched
diving scaups. And I took nearly 20 photos of a cormorant, inching my
way closer and closer taking photos as I went.
We walked along lake front to YHA, but the hostels were full at both Mt
Cook and Christchurch. So we walked back, found a phone booth and Camilla
did the ring-around with the Lonely Planet guide, booking accommodation for
the rest of the trip.
Eventually we got under way on the road to Glenorchy. We hadn't planned
which of the short walks we wanted to do, but stopped at a likely
looking road-side track sign and ended up walking up to Lake Dispute.
This track is mostly open farm road, with farms on either side, and was
rather hot. But the lake itself is pretty, nestled under the hills and
sporting beds of reeds and a flock of paradise shelducks. (There's also
fishing, apparently - a fisherman turned up as we were leaving.)
We had lunch by the side of the lake in what shade we could find. I tried
to photograph bees on flowers without much luck. Then we walked back
down to the car and continued alongside the lake to Glenorchy, stopping
a few times to admire the views of the lake, the islands in it, and the
mountains above it.
Next: Glenorchy + the Invincible Mine
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