After our day long bus trip from Christchurch, we arrived at our hotel in Queenstown. After a bit of a rest and refresh, we took the water taxi across lake Wakatipu to Queenstown proper. We arrived in time for the weekend outdoor market with it’s vendors and buzz of excitement.
Lots of the goods for sale caught my eye but many of the vendors are camera shy. We visited the life size statue of the giant Mao which presumably became extinct over 200 years ago. For millions of years the Mao was the largest living creature in New Zealand and the largest bird in the world. There were 11 subspecies of Mao, the largest reaching heights of 9 meters weighing up to 250 kg. Contributing to the Mao’s extinction was of course hunting but also limited reproduction. The Mao laid only one or two eggs per year. Those eggs held the capacity of over 90 chicken eggs making them a much sought after source of nutrition.
Farther on in the circle of Queenstown waterfront, lies a bronze statue, tribute to William Gilbert Rees, the founder of Queenstown. In 1861 he and his wife Frances settled and built the first buildings in what is now Queenstown. They sold off the portion of their farm that included Queenstown in 1862 when gold was discovered in the region and resettled to Kawarau Falls.
As we continued our walk around the perimeter of the waterfront, we came across St. Peters Angelican Church. A lovely little oasis of peace and serenity amidst the hubbub of the waterfront.
We continued our walk about off the waterfront and into the merchant and restaurant area of town. One of the things I adore about New Zealand is the sense of humor I see displayed everywhere in the most mundane acts. Yep, we stopped for a Helova good coffee, and found the actual location of Hell’s Kitchen!
Tired but pleased with our outing, we caught the water taxi back to the hotel dock and were rewarded with an awesome view of “The Remarkables.” These are the mountains shown in all 6 of the “Lord of the Rings/Hobbit” movies. On our walk around the lake back to our hotel room, we found yet more examples of that sense of fun loving innocence I so love. The Lilliput Library, a decorated cabinet at the edge of someone’s driveway offers books to take or leave and of course, there is also cozy housing for the resident Lilliputians or perhaps fairies.
When visiting Queenstown, NZ make sure you take many an idle wander, there are so many tiny details that are remarkable in and of themselves.
Word count 443
Til next time ~Peace ~JPP