Thursday, February 9, 2012


We arrived in Queenstown early, the flights in NZ are short. Our hotel was right by Lake Wakatipu. So far each city is a little better than the last. Queenstown is small, friendly, beautiful, and full of good restaurants and things to do. When we checked in we were told we had to eat at Fergburger, the best hamburgers in the world.  Judging by the line, that might be true.  Luckily the service was fast, we only had to wait about 10 minutes for our food.  We walked down to the lake and had a picnic on the beach.  The burgers were pretty awesome, the fries above average, but nothing special.    

After lunch we took the gondola to the top of a hill (mountain?) overlooking the town and lake.  At the top of the hill they have a luge ride.  It is sort of like an alpine slide, but the track is wide enough for two sleds so there is steering and passing.  It is more fun than a regular alpine slide.  We spent a long time on top of the mountain before taking the gondola back to town.  We spent the rest of the day relaxing and enjoying the city, ending with a nice dinner in a traditional NZ pub.    

Thursday the weather took a turn for the worse, but we made the best of it.  We found a great playground with a unique seesaw where the bar is up high and you sit on swings hanging down.  We also walked through the botanical gardens and visited "Underwater World" - a huge window in the side of the lake where you watch the fish and ducks dive down for food.  It was much better than I thought it could be.  They had a system set up that dumped food pellets into the water when you pushed a button, so the area was full of big fish and ducks.      After lunch at KFC and coffee at a lakeside cafe, Katka went to see the shops in town while Misa and I went to feed the ducks.  We all ended up together in town shopping eventually, and then for dinner on top of a restaurant with beautiful views of the mountains.  Our waitress was from Illinois and has a brother going to IIT where Katunka goes to school in Chicago, it is a small world.  

Today we leave for Te Anau, time to see some fjords!