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!


Wanaka to Queenstown

Today was a very short riding day. Only an hour’s worth riding the 100 km from Wanaka to Queenstown. It was also a little hair raising though because I took the Crown Range road which is the highest driving road in NZ. My fear of heights really kicked in at the huge drop below and the steeply descending road and I slowed to a crawl. It is quite maddening how this works. Those same roads on solid ground I would ride fast through in a heartbeat. Add some elevation and exposed sections and I’m riding like an ass.

There were seven hairpin turns at the end which I also managed to botch up spectacularly. I remember flying down roads like that in the Alps five years before. I guess my skills have gotten quite a bit rusty since then.

Oh well, I’m in Queenstown and my hostel – Bumbler’s  Backpackers – has an epic view.


Dorm room with an incredible view at Bumbler’s Backpackers in Queenstown, NZ