Queenstown and Glenorchy

I have mixed feelings about Queenstown. On the one hand it is a spectacularly gorgeous little town. On the other, it is crawling with tourists and activities catered to them. I find that I enjoyed it when I stuck to the less populated parts. Getting really good coffee didn’t suck either.

I had heard its reputation for gouging food prices so I did the sensible thing and steered clear of the restaurants. Instead, I headed to the local supermarket and bought an entire roast chicken with some bread, mixed greens, and fresh fruit. That was enough to provide me all my meals during my three days of stay there. The upside of staying in a hostel is access to a full kitchen with a fridge to store your food and plates and silverware to eat off of. Oh, and access to a laundry was great too. I finally got to wash the few clothes I had brought with me.

The most memorable part of the day was the mindblowing ride to Glenorchy and back. It was a mere 27 mile ride but such glorious twisties and outstanding views of Lake Wakitapu!! This was the first day that I started to truly feel happy on the bike and remember exactly why I ride! :D


The little village of Glenorchy


LOTR geek, you say? Why yes, I am!


I was here.


Stopped by Lake Wakitapu


That evening I got to meet intrepid British rider Fern Hume in Queenstown. She’s the first “stranger” I’ve met off of Facebook. We had only exchanged a few messages before we met for drinks at the Red Rock bar in town but we had a great conversation. Fern rode solo a few years ago from the UK to India on a DRZ 400. It’s always fabulous to meet real life women who do awesome things! We also had dinner the next night with some friends of hers who had overlanded across the Americas on a motorcycle. I got to see some great photos, a few of which made me relive my Alaska and Lower 48 North America riding adventures.

Overall Queenstown was great but I was also happy to leave it. :)

Small bike update – my headlamp burned out the morning after I arrived. Thank heavens I had thought to ask for a spare! I replaced it quite easily – a little bit impressed at the design. Memories of taking the headlamp bracket out of the SV to replace its bulb came to mind. For the BMW, I just had to take off the rear of the bracket, use a screwdriver to unfasten a clip and pop in the new bulb.