03.12.2006 20 °C
In April I was off to Queensland for Sean & Michelle’s wedding. Stephen, David and I had to drive from Christchurch to Queenstown given our flight was canceled due to delays. They can not land in the dark in Queenstown, given the airport is wedged between two mountains. The 5 hour + ride was enjoyable as the scenery is beautiful, even under darkness and have Stephan and I a chance to catch up. By the time we arrived in Queenstown the gang was just finishing up dinner but had saved enough for us and the party began.
We had a sleep in to prepare for the wedding the next day, which was wonderful as predicted. It was held at a winery on Lake Hays, just outside QT. The setting was beautiful and the wine was wonderful. The venue was s lovely stone building and church nestled on the side of a mountain, overlooking the lake. We danced and drank into the late hours.
The next day we drove to Arrowtown a small town just outside QT, for some drinks at a little place called the Blue Door with a fireplace, comfy chairs and good NZ Pinot.
And on Monday it was off on a wine tour for even more wine tasting. The region is called Central Otago and is known for its Pinot Noirs. Afterwards we lunched in Wanaka, another charming town outside QT and popular during the ski season. We finished the day off with some pints at the famous Catrona Pub and its outdoor garden area.
The next day the rest of the guys headed back to Sydney and David, Dave and I headed up to the top of the mountain, where they paraglided back down. I took pictures of their flight and met them at the bottom.
On our final two days David and I biked out along the Shotover river, with views of the Remarkables peaks in the distance, and flew in a small place over Mt Aspiring. We had hoped to get to the glacier but the weather on the sound was working against us. It gave us great views of the spectacular cloud formation over the mountains, QT and Lake Hays and the winery where Sean and Michelle were married, and an appreciation of just how much those mountains of the West drive the weather conditions of everything to the East. Although it was too cloudy to get to the glaciers and the sound to the east, each day in QT was sunny and perfect!
We had a wonderful time in QT but I am looking forward to getting back to Sydney with David and seeing how his impressions of the city will change now that he’s not staying in a hostel or living on a backpackers budget.