Queenstown :: Mt Nicholas Station

What a fun experience visiting a working sheep & cattle station!

The boat ride over to the farm, cruises through the most spectacular scenery. The boat’s Captain provides some historic info & interesting facts about Lake Wakatipu. Did you know that, with five rivers feeding the lake and one river exiting, Lake Wakatipu has a tide and can rise & fall over 20cms every hour!

Seating on the boat is warm and comfortable and there are amenities like toilets and a snack/drink bar.

It docks at the one end of the lake, on a beautiful, grey pebbled shore. Our station tour host & guide greet us, and we start with a visit to the wool shed where the knowledgeable Gail explains the sheep’s lifecycle, how & when they are sheared, how wool is graded, the process for sorting, cleaning & treating, and where the wool from the Mt Nicholas Station ends up. It’s very interesting and the smell of the wool shed is definitely unique!

We head over to see a few farm animals, including the most gorgeous, well mannered (retired) dogs Belle (who is on heat) and Khan (who really wants her), some pigs, chickens & sheep. The dogs can’t wait to give us a demo of their former trade; rounding up the sheep. We even get to see a lot of Khan chasing Belle around trying to mount her! It’s all incredible to watch.

Gale takes us on a bus ride to see a tiny bit of the 100,000 acres of the property. It’s the most spectacular scenery and she gives us some great history and knowledge of the current station owners & workers. She is interactive and easy to listen too.

We arrive back where we started for some Ploughman’s Lunch; some homemade soup, meats, cheeses, bread, pickles and sweet treats before the boat arrives to collect us for our return journey.

All up, it was a fun, informative and beautiful hands-on experience, that roughly took about 3 hours in total.

Definitely a recommended activity when you’re in Queenstown.

:: adventure :: New Zealand part 2 :: Queenstown

As I’m inching towards the edge of the 154ft precipice, my ankles tightly bound, my mind is blank with fear & excitement. I no longer remember my mantra “It’s better to look back on life and say: “I can’t believe I did that”, than to look back and say: “I wish I did that.”  I focus on the quick hammering of the heart in my chest, the wind whipping around my face and the stranger’s hand gripping my arm.

I am bungy jumping.

I stick to the pact my husband & I make; “three, two, one” then jump! I see him standing far below, already having taken the soaring plunge himself and waiting for me to join him. I don’t realise it but I scream during the three second free-fall before my scream turns to joyous whoops. The multiple bounce-backs are an amazing, indescribable feeling. I am chained to a life-saving rope, yet I’m free. Then it’s over and I am pulled into the landing boat and taken ashore to climb the 150+ stairs, my legs like jelly from the adrenaline.


 I’m bungy jumping!!! @ AJ Hackett, Queenstown

  Me from the viewing monitors   The view from the Observation Deck; Jay jumping

                                                          Jay jumping!

*****

Queenstown is a place of staggering beauty. Officially the adventure capital of the South Island it has so much to offer.

For 5 days and 4 nights we explore the delights of Queenstown. Apart from bungy jumping we celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary with a ride up the Skyline mountain gondola, a wander & wine tasting at Gibbston Valley Winery and soak in the most luxurious bathing experience at Onsen Hot Pools.

We eat at some amazing restaurants. We revisit Fergburger twice to ensure our fill of NZ’s best burger (it’s pretty damn good!). We eat tender and gamey venison, fresh crayfish, oversized oysters and creamy local cheese.



Fergburger (#drool)

We laugh and scream our lungs raw on the Shotover Jet and walk around the immense Queenstown foreshore.

 Freezing our butts off on the Shotover Jet

********

Our hotel is bliss; part of the Accor Group of hotels, Hotel St Moritiz M Gallery is 5 star luxury.

    

Our room is gorgeous with an incredible view out over Lake Wakatipu. I wrote a review on TripAdvisor which you can find here.

*******


 Onsen Hot Pools   Lunch & tastings at Gibbston Valley Winery

 Steak & seafood at Captain’s Restaurant
 Dinner in The Library at our Hotel St Moritiz 

  More pics from Hotel St Moritiz
 Birdseye view over Queenstown from The Skyline.

*****

A rainy day leads us 2 hours south of the township to the very end of Lake Wakatipu, through Arrowtown, to the remote picturesque shores of Glenorchy and Kinloch.

  Roads like this are meant to be travelled.

 Cabin lakeside

The wildness of this region is consuming; we barely see another soul the further we travel out of Queenstown. The beauty of the mountains and the vastness of the lake merge into one beautiful foggy landscape as the rain settles in and the clouds loom low so even the tops of the mountains can’t be seen.

The townships of Glenorchy and Kinloch are merely a suggestion to gather people close by. Farms are sprawling and teaming with flocks of woolly sheep, lambs fresh from the newness of Spring, herds of blackJersey  cows and studs of horses wander the lush countryside and rocky shoreline.

   
 I manoeuvred myself around a large cow to take this picture! I also managed not to step in any cow paddies!

*****

The sheer beauty and heart pounding adrenaline inspired by Queenstown stays with you long after you leave her stunning shores.

[Read Part 1]

(Note I’ve tagged most of my photos with my Instagram handle @thisismelly…all photos my own)