Today we’re off on the “Million Dollar Cruise” of Lake Wakatipu. Our hotel lies across the lake from Queenstown on the Frankton arm, near where the lakes drains into the Kawarau River. We catch the water taxi at the hotel dock to the Queenstown waterfront. There is no market today and with less crowds there is more time to enjoy the waterfront itself. We linger for a bit enjoying the sites and some found poetry.
The Queenstown area is home to all sorts of adventure tourism including the Queenstown gondola ride up to the high peak for exciting views both during and after the ride, para-gliding and power boats. For those who prefer to keep their feet on the ground there is the Fear Factory escape rooms, the Floating Bar and too many other sites and adventures to mention. It is a hot spot of adventure tourism.
We leave that behind as we depart on our leisurely cruise. The landscape changes to rolling green hills, private beaches and boat docks and, of course, the million dollar neighborhood for which the cruise is named. The median cost of a home in this area is $1 million NZ 1.
Our guide and driver, Wayne, if a veritable fountain of knowledge and we learn a lot about the lake and the neighboring shorelines. Wakatipu is New Zealand’s third largest lake at 50 miles in length and 112 square miles of lake. Wakatipu is uncommonly deep and it’s floor lies 1,250 feet below the surface which takes it below sea level 2. The water is uncommonly clear and, according to our guide, so pure that it will not conduct electricity 3. Not a theory I’m personally willing to test so we’ll take your word for it Wayne.
The lake is drained by the Kawarau River4 near our hotel about 5 miles from Queenstown. The tips of The Remarkables disappear into an ethereal bank of clouds as we make our turn back to the docks where other adventures await.
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Till next time ~Peace ~JPP
2 Wayne, guide and driver for Million Dollar Cruise, Queenstown, NZ
3Wayne, guide and driver for Million Dollar Cruise, Queenstown, NZ