The Remarkables

New Zealand: Day 8 – Exploring the Queenstown Area

The Remarkables
The Remarkables As Seen When We First Arrived

The cloud bank over the mountain range to the right lifted in the night. The fresh snow is beautiful. This place is remarkably, no, shockingly beautiful.

After breakfast we hiked down to the dock and walked along the lake’s coastline. The views of the sun-drenched mountain were definitely picture-worthy. I shot a time lapse of the shadows changing on the mountain as the sun rose in the sky. Spectacular.


After a lazy morning soaked in staggering views, we made our way to Arrowtown—an old mining village that retained its quaint downtown business district. I took photos of many of the old residences, the post and telegram, the tiny library, et. al.

The Chop Shop

We knew we wanted to eat lunch at the The Chop Shop, as per our hotel’s recommendation. This place is a treat, and I highly recommend the dumplings appetizer. Go ahead and order 3 servings of them, and eat them as a meal! This dish is divine!! I put it right up there with the best meal I’ve ever eaten at the French restaurant in Hanoi, Vietnam! The dumplings are light, fresh, and astoundingly tasty!

The proprietress is a blast, too. I love the accent, and she’s funny and outgoing. This is a popular place. We were lucky: we didn’t have to wait.


I asked in an antique shop where I might find a stuffed kiwi bird. I was most puzzled by the horrified look of alarm on the clerk’s face. She became very flustered and highly animated as she exclaimed that the Kiwi is endangered and therefore a highly protected species. She said she didn’t think I would find what I was looking for anywhere in New Zealand… and continued to exclaim on in a bit of a panic.

I then realized that she thought I was searching for a real Kiwi bird that had been shot, killed and taxidermied. I quickly responded, “No, no, no. I’m not looking for a real Kiwi that has been stuffed. I’m looking for a fuzzy toy replica of a Kiwi.” It took a second for this to register through her shock at what she thought I had asked. “Ooooooh!” She exclaimed with a huge sigh of relief. And we both laughed heartily.

She then pointed me to a shop that had every shape and size of plush you can imagine, including numerous variety of Kiwi. We told that shop keeper of our adventure. She was highly amused as well as she took us around the store showing us all of her toy Kiwi. She then started telling us about how the pregnant Kiwi’s egg is almost the full size of the bird’s body before she lays the egg. The other shop keeper listened in horror as she spoke of the X rays she had seen of real birds.

Suffice it to say, I learned more than I needed to know about Kiwi today!

The area, firmly in the mountains, gets dark early because the sunlight is hidden by all of the surrounding high mountain ranges. The sunset tonight was gorgeous. Time now to head out for dinner. The chef has heard Steve loves blue cheese and has something special for him. There are no secrets in this place. Everyone calls us by name and knew where we had planned to spend the day. “How was Arrowtown?” It’s rather amazing attention to detail! I highly, highly recommend The Matakauri Lodge! This is the nicest place I’ve ever stayed!