Our journey south and west from Cromwell was pretty uneventful; it’s a sad fact that we’re now so completely accustomed to the fantastic scenery that we take it for granted – worse than that, we actually expect it and have the temerity to complain to each other when the views are anything less than jaw-dropping.
First stop was Arrowtown where, after the daily routine of coffee and cake, we wandered through the picturesque high street and then took a turn around what remains (or has been recreated) of the dwellings of some of the 10,000 Chinese workers who arrived in the 1860s to work the new gold fields. With the prospect of picking up roughly ten times what they could hope to earn in their homeland most stayed for a few years before moving on or returning home. By all accounts those who stayed didn’t have much of a life and were given a pretty tough time by the European settlers who needed their labour but were fairly intolerant when it came to ‘foreigners’.
Queenstown is buzzing. Much bigger than we expected and packed to the rafters with horribly healthy looking ‘kids’ between the ages of 18 and 38 it’s easy to see why it’s regarded as a mecca for those who worship the great outdoors and appreciate a good party. After a wander through the beautiful botanic gardens, taking in the stunning backdrop of the Remarkables, we moved swiftly on ………… it must be an age thing.