Today we drove back along the front of The Remarkables along Lake Wakatipu, heading toward Queenstown. This is such a gorgeous drive. We stopped for a bathroom break at a little roadside shop in the middle of nothing. They had all kinds of artist’s wares in this quaint little café. We also stopped in Kingston again, but this time we didn’t stop at the roadside café. We stopped at an old railroad station along the lakeside and took some photos. It was most windy here!
After driving near Queenstown, we drove over the mountain pass along the Crown Range Road, the highest sealed road in all of New Zealand. The views were amazing, and the road was a bit frosty, to say the least. But Steve did a great job of driving without any slipping or sliding, and we didn’t have to use the tire chains.
We made a brief stop at the historic Cardrona Hotel. It’s a quaint little gold mining city. The hotel/café has a small mine shaft under a clear section in the floor. No! Tim could never mine for gold! I would freak out with claustrophobia in seconds!
We ended our day’s travel by crossing over an active runway, heading onto the Whare Kia (pronounced Fair-a-kia). I have so often used “amazing”, “stunning,” “gorgeous,” “unparalleled” etc. but words just fail to describe what we are seeing. This, too, is another stunning, amazing, gorgeous place.
But to make it even more unbelievable, we are the only people staying here! We have the whole place all to ourselves!
The Whare Kia is known for its outstanding food, by Chef James Stapley and for its chalet high up in the Aspiring Mountains. The chalet is either a 2 day hike in (which has only been done by 2 sets of guests) or a 20 minute helicopter ride. If you book a day or night at the chalet, a host and the chef accompany you. Regrettably, we were unaware of this adventure before arriving! I would love to shoot the night sky from up there, hoping, of course, for a clear night.
After arriving, we took a short walk along the ridge along the lake as the sun set. Simply beautiful. I then caught up on blogging about our trip.
The 5 course dinner (plus canapés) was a taste and texture sensation. Additionally, as we were the only people there, we got to visit with the chef after dinner. A delightful evening.[hr]
I will post numerous photos once I have downloaded them from the camera, post processed them, and uploaded them to the blog.