This morning we boarded the bus for the two-hour ride to Queenstown, which will be our home for the next three nights. The ride was through very picturesque sheep and cattle ranching country. Our guide, Lisa, has been coming here for twenty years and she taught us all about the sheep ranching industry-breeding, shearing, marketing and more. It was very educational and entertaining.
Before we reached Queenstown we had a gourmet lunch and wine pairing, prepared by the renowned chef at Amisfield Winery. William and Kate will be visiting here in a few weeks, and their advance team was here, scoping the place out. I’m looking forward to reading about their visit! The winery and grounds were lovely and I don’t think they will be disappointed.
After lunch we stopped briefly in a quaint little town called Arrowtown. Gold was discovered here in 1862 and it was once a thriving mining town. From there we drove to our hotel in Queenstown, the Crown Plaza. Accommodations in New Zealand are not as elegant as in Australia because the towns are small, but they are very clean and comfortable.
Queenstown has wonderful skiing in the winter and all kinds of adventurous things to try in the off-season. Tomorrow it’s jet boating, a helicopter ride and a gondola ride for us. Also available are bungee jumping and skydiving.