Day #84 - Where Adventure is Queen and the Views are Her Court

Queenstown. Today was our first full day in this wonderful part of New Zealand and after being on the road for over 1600 miles, you will understand that we didn't want to travel too far today. 

So after a leisurely and relaxed start (including making a start on all that clothes washing that needs to be done!) we drove the short distance from Jo and Simon's house into Queenstown. 

The road into town is a majestic sight in itself, as the road sweeps up into town, crossing the River Kawarau en route. Queenstown sits on the banks of Lake Wakatipu and of course, is surrounded by those impressive mountains (including The Remarkables) - a combination that makes for a breathtaking setting. 

The town has a fresh feel about it, due in part to its rapid expansion and redevelop in the last 15 years or so. The main shopping area boosts a good range of shops and the waterfront area has a lovely continental Europe vibe with its street side bars and restaurants with their lake views.

We wandered through the town, checking things out and making some enquiries into activities that we want to do while we're here. More about those in future blog posts! 

We took a relaxed lunch at one of the lakeside restaurants and just enjoyed watching the world go by for an hour or so.

How's that for a view from a town centre?

On our way back to the house, we stopped off at a retail park just beside the airport to stock up on some supplies and were again impressed by the cleanliness and "newness" of the development. It was fun trying to second guess the business of some of their shops, purely by their name. What we thought might be a clothing store, turned out to be an electrical retailer but somethings don't change: Specsavers and McDonald's were all in place!

On returning, we settled in for a lazy afternoon and started on the epic movie marathon we had set ourselves to complete before we set off in September! We had wanted to rewatch the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogies before we came to New Zealand, but we never got around to it. And so, we started with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey today and squealed just a little bit when we saw Hobbiton on screen!