Well, with 2 nights in Te Anau I dare say we overstayed a little. If we could do it again 1 night would’ve be enough – just enough to catch a sunrise and explore the nearby trails. (Who are we kidding? We just want to stay long enough for at least two meals at Mostly Seafood).
Today we were back in Queenstown, and found ourselves almost overwhelmed by the change in scenery. After being marooned in Te Anau for 2 days, Queenstown – which almost seemed quaint just a few days ago – practically became cosmopolitan overnight. “Was it this busy when we left this place?” “Ohmygosh look, it’s a shop that’s open until 9pm! And here’s one that’s open for 24 hours!!” “Where did all these people come from??” We actually had to look both ways before crossing a street. Shocker. Te Anau didn’t prepare us for this.
Although it was a cloudy day, we could hardly complain since we already had more than our share of beautiful weather on this trip. We took the cable car up to Skyline and spent the day racing each other at the Luge. Then, right around sunset, our luck changed. The thick clouds broke up, offering dramatic views of the surrounding mountains. It was unbelievable – more like an oil painting than an actual scene. I wished so hard right then to hold that moment forever.
If you hope to return with good photos, never leave your camera gear in the hotel room no matter how gloomy the day may seem at first. New Zealand weather can be very transient; conditions, good or foul, could change rapidly. And when they do, you don’t want to caught unprepared. I left my tripod behind when we headed to Skyline, much to my regret. Thankfully, ST brought his, allowing us to bring back some precious shots. Tip #14: Dining culture Meal portions tend to be very big in this country. To avoid overeating, consider ordering one main dish and a side to share between 2 people when dining at restaurants.
Meal portions tend to be very big in this country. To avoid overeating, consider ordering one main dish and a side to share between 2 people when dining at restaurants.
Dinner was a cosy, candle-lit affair at the Spice Room, an Indian restaurant that serves delicious (and massive) portions with great ambience to boot. The waitress recommended that we split a main dish since the portions were so large. We duly took her advice and dinner only cost a very reasonable $12 each. Their basmati rice was fabulously fluffy, moist, and fragrant. We’ll be back, that’s for sure.