Queenstown, New Zealand
New Year’s Eve: Tue 31st December
The morning that greeted us on our last full day was cool and slightly cloudy but, thankfully, free of any rain. We set our for our morning walk but the chill had us seeking some protection for our morning coffee so we headed to the ‘Bathhouse Cafe’. This is situated at the northern end of the Bay and right on the beach front but has plenty of tables inside offering excellent views out over the water.
Our evening was already decided as we had a dinner cruise on the TSS Earnslaw booked from 6-10 pm but that left the middle of the day open for planning. Mark was keen to try a burger from the highly acclaimed ‘Fergburger” so our activities needed to fit around that. We decided on a trip to Wanaka which was only one hour away. This was a pretty drive out through the mountains but the main surprise of the day was just how busy the small town of Wanaka was. It was traffic jam central so, after one photo stop, we decided to do a loop north of the lake and stopped in at ‘Edgewater’, a resort type hotel, for a coffee. It was quite windy at Wanaka so we chose to sit inside the dining room area at Edgewater to have our coffee. We thought this wind was a temporary situation but Ali and I noted on the way home driving out of Wanaka that most of the vegetation has a slight, but distinct, lean towards the South. So, we’re not too sure about the ‘temporary’ here!
Our plan for the drive home was to ring ahead to Fergburger and order our burgers as the queue there is always quite lengthy. This was a tip from our hotel Concierge but, sadly, all of our calls went straight through to voice-mail. So, after managing to get back to Queenstown without running out of petrol, Mark, Ali and Tom headed in there for said burgers. They returned not long after that though with Fergburger pies as the queue for burgers today was over 1 hr! It looks like we’ll be going home without having tried the famous burgers after all.
5 pm rolled around quickly and we set off on the hotel shuttle into town to meet our 6 pm TSS Earnslaw dinner cruise. We had a look around the shops before boarding and looked back in on Ferburger to find it just as packed. The cruise was a great evening with interesting transport on the Titanic replica engine steam boat, a sumptuous BBQ buffet and a wool shed display. We didn’t end up seeing midnight though as we caught the 10.15 shuttle back to the hotel.