Tiffanie is the most wonderful, amazing, caring travel partner and partner in general. She woke up early and I hadn’t been able to fall asleep until late, so she let me snooze in the back as she drove into Queenstown. When I awoke, we were surrounded by an overpriced, bourgeoise city filled to the brim with Americans. I felt like I was in Leavenworth, without the german-style chalets. Maybe, just maybe, this place would be cool in the off-season in a cheap hostel, but it’s a stretch of the imagination. Don’t let me dash your hopes of a great time in Queenstown–with a good deal of money and a desire for the adrenaline thrills, I’m sure it’s fantastic. Given our budget and trip goals, it just wasn’t our cup of tea.
On the way out of town, we stopped for a quick cup of coffee at Kawaru bridge. While our long darks–that’s what they call them here–were being made, we watched a few people bungee jump off the bridge. After milling about for a few more minutes, Tiffanie ended up doing her first bungee jump off of the first ever bungee jumping bridge and I was more than happy to document from solid ground. Her assessment of the experience? “Well, that was pretty lame, I didn’t even get to touch the water, but I’m glad I did it.”
Our next stop was an Airbnb in Dunedin for some much needed post-hike pampering: hot shower, laundry, endless amounts of wifi and a cozy bed. Duh-nee-den. Dun-eee-dan. Doon-eye-din. I still can’t pronounce it like the locals, which by the way, were the nicest people in all of New Zealand. It’s immediately apparent that the area was settled by Scotsman: austere stone buildings around the square, narrow streets with funny names and loads of sheep. Highly recommend, we may move here.
Our hosts, Graeme and Cathy, were amazing. Their bungalow has a great view of the harbor and all the creature comforts. Highly recommend. After some waffling, we decided to have dinner at Mac’s on the Square, also highly recommend. Decent prices, good beer and over forty different lampshades on their ceiling. We probably loved it a little extra because our waitress, Molly, was off the hook! Super friendly and loads of fun. Again, getting old, so after some live music at the Irish pub a few doors down from Mac’s, it was time to go sleep in an amazing, sandfly-free, actual bed.