Monday, December 21, 2009

NZ 2009 Day 5 - Queenstown

We were given complimentary breakfast by Crowne Plaza at the threesixty restaurant. So that was our first top in the morning.

From Queenstown
hotel-front. Took the picture to show what the temperature was that morning (around 13degrees C!). But the numbers didn't reflect on the picture :(

Went to Real Journeys office, just across the street, for our TSS Earnslaw cruise with farm tour and BBQ lunch ($276 for family) at 10am. We got our boarding passes but it was still early for check in so we walked around the boardwalk.

Crowne Plaza

The uphill road on the left side of the hotel is one area with free overnight parking. The city actually reminded us of San Francisco - with steep roads/streets, proximity to a body of water

waiting for check in time

TSS Earnslaw - believed to be the oldest working coal-fired steamship in the southern hemisphere.

on board TSS Earnslaw. The kids played with the anchor. We went to the engine room, as well. Then hubby explained to the kids how the engine works.

The cruise itself is around 45minutes. It took us from Queenstown harbor to Walter Peak Farm.

From Queenstown
view of Walter Peak Homestead from afar

From Queenstown
approaching Walter Peak harbour

Few more minutes and we were already at Walter Peak Farm. The farm tour was headed by Lindsey (hope I got his name right). He introduced us to Storm (a sheep dog). Then we were lead to the sheep enclosure where we were able to pat and feed the sheep.

Ira was so fast to approach Lindsey to get some pellets to feed the sheep.

I didn't think that a sheep could be as big as this one!

From Queenstown

Lindsey showed us how Storm was good at his job - being a sheep dog. He was able to herd the sheep out of the enclosure and back, without barking.

Then Lindsey did some sheep shearing. I couldn't believe the sheep just sat/stood there as he was shearing it! I could've mistaken it for a dead sheep. No struggles at all.

After the farm tour and sheep shearing show, it was lunch time. We were ushered to the dining area at the homestead, across the beautiful gardens.

There were only 9 of us who availed of this option (among all those who took the tour). There were chicken, pork, lamb, sausages, corn, vegies, fruits, etc etc.

After lunch, we still had a few minutes before our cruise back to Queenstown harbour. We went around the gardens to see the variety of flowering plants - roses, lilies. They had really vibrant colors I was tempted to pick them!

From Queenstown

From Queenstown

Few more minutes and we were on our way back to Queenstown harbour. We decided not to go to the Jetboat and bungy jumping sites. We just walked around the esplanade where there was a small park, a flea market and live performers.

After that, we headed back to the hotel for a nap. We needed to recharge before our luge ride adventure which the kids were looking forward to since we arrived yesterday.

Gondola and luge ride - a short drive up to Brecon Road. We took a family package which includes gondola + 5 luge rides ($79 family package).
From Skyline Gondola, Luge and Mini Golf
view of Queenstown from the top of the gondola

From Skyline Gondola, Luge and Mini Golf
TSS Earnslaw and Jetboat at Lake Wakatipu (view from the top of the gondola)

The Remarkables

From Skyline Gondola, Luge and Mini Golf
Bungy Ledge which is accessible from the gondola station

From Skyline Gondola, Luge and Mini Golf
luge track. There were 2 tracks to choose from - Scenic and Adventure. We went on the luge ride twice.

From Skyline Gondola, Luge and Mini Golf
luge convoy

From Skyline Gondola, Luge and Mini Golf

From Skyline Gondola, Luge and Mini Golf

From Skyline Gondola, Luge and Mini Golf
down we go!

From Queenstown
yes, we did it!
There were walking tracks but we didn't do any. Just looking at the views from the top was enough.

At the gondola base, our pictures were waiting for us - $30! It included 4 postcard photos, 2 big photos, all in a folder with Queenstown scenery. We were only interested in the postcard photos ($10) since it was quite expensive to get the whole package.

We walked to the nearby mini golf - just a short walk along Brecon Road. While I was paying for 2 games for kids ($8 per game per child) , Ira was already making his way on the green, checking all the holes and courses. The boys didn't really know how to play golf (as so did the adults) so it was more like just hitting the ball to the hole kind of play. Ira made it like a baseball on the ground game!

The area was well designed (for a small area that is). There were some obstacles, some uphills and round abouts.

From Skyline Gondola, Luge and Mini Golf
view of the mini golf course from the top of the gondola

Before they start playing in every course/hole, Ira would go and check the course and check the hole. After that he would give the go signal for them to start. After a few holes, he said he didn't want to go to the 18th hole. We were wondering why so we asked him. He explained, in a very hyper way (with all the facial expressions and gestures that he does), that on the 18th hole there REALLY is a hole wherein the ball will pass thru the tube and he won't be able to get his ball back, unlike all the other holes wherein he could retrieve the ball. He didn't want to stop playing so he would not go to the 18th hole. At first, I thought he remembered the Mr Bean show in the episode where he was playing minigolf. It turned out that while I was paying, he checked out all the holes and found that only on the 18th hole there really was this "hole" and he couldn't get the ball back (because the ball would then pass through a tube that goes back to the main office, meaning end of the game). Very clever!

We had to explain to him that 18th hole was really the last one and we had to leave after that. He had to finish his game and try to hit the ball in the least number of strokes as possible. He was not happy about it. And he really did not do the last hole.

Kelvin trying his luck on the green

Ira acting like a pro. From teeing off... to walking away.
From Skyline Gondola, Luge and Mini Golf
and we're done... all 18 holes...

Done with all the adventures for today, we headed to the town centre for dinner. Dinner takeaway at Ferburgers (for me and Mark) and Subway (for Kelvin and Ira).

Mark read about this popular burger place - Ferburgers so gave it a try. The queue was quite long and our order took around 15-20minutes to be served.

From Queenstown
what a BIG burger! This is the BIG AL burger which costs $16.50. Their fries are also huge!


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