Mountains, mountains, lake, mountains.
I have more photos of mountains than I thought possible because every bend in the road around Queenstown bought another stunning vista.
After just two weeks in the job, I was sent with a winemaker on some trade visits in Christchurch, Wanaka and Queenstown. Hard work - tasting wines, eating and drinking. Exhausting stuff. Thanks to a colleague, I also got a day off so I could stay in Queenstown for the weekend. Brilliant move.
I've heard stories about how lovely it is, how relaxed, how pure the environment, how vibrant with its adventure activities and so on. And it is, all of that and more. I stayed with a friend of that previously mentioned colleague, with a use of a car so I could explore the surrounding regions.
Naturally, a visit to come of the cellar doors was in order. Kudos to Chard Farm who build their cellar door on the 'other' side of a river ravine which means a windy drive in with a long drop should you swerve accidently. Greeted by an enthusiastic blue heeler with a tennis ball, the wines were lovely.
I did the Gibbston Valley vineyard and barrel cellar tour, and I think I disgusted the other tourists by spitting out my wine - sorry but I was driving. I actually did well in that all I purchased was a Peregrine reisling, despite trying many, many pinots.
Yes, I did get active. I decided to walk up to the Skyline Gondola (scabby Aussie who wanted to save $17) and the walk was 'challenging'. I have a lovely blister as a memento.
Yes, I did watch the AFL grand final in an Aussie bar called Level 47. As expected there were lots of Aussies. Personally I had no real allegiance to either but only a fool would have cheered for Power, particularly once it was obvious they were going to get a hiding by Geelong.
Queenstown is a must, and I want to go back in Summer and in Winter to see the full range of seasonal affects, and have a go at skiing but a great introduction.