On the high road between Queenstown and Wanaka over the Crown Range is the small settlement of Cardrona. To reach Cardrona from Queenstown one has to drive through two sets of switchbacks to reach the summit before descending through the Cardrona Valley to the village. For first-time drivers on this section of road, it is quite an experience. There are several lookout points along the road that give great views back towards Queenstown and Lake Whakatipu, and across the valley to the Remarkables (a jagged mountain range that is a feature of the evening view from Bob’s Peak in Queenstown).
Cardrona has a pub that is a mecca for skiers after a hard day at the nearby Cardrona Ski Resort. Established in 1863 and still bearing its original wooden facade, this character pub once featured in a TV commercial for a well-known Southland beer. While some gather in the bar to drink their apres ski beers, many migrate to the garden to sit at picnic tables or huddle around the outdoor open fireplace to recount their day and enjoy a gluhwein or two.
On the far side of the garden an old blue Model T Ford truck rests at home in a tumble-down shed. It looks the part in these surroundings, which are rather laid-back. It all adds to the character of what a visit to the Cardrona Pub is all about.
Its a four hour drive from Queenstown in the Southern Lakes District of Central Otago to Dunedin. The road from Queenstown passes Lake Hayes on the way to the Cromwell Gorge and Lake Dunstan. After the events of the day before (see yesterday’s post) it was necessary to leave the lakes and mountains to travel to Dunedin Hospital to visit my wife and plan the journey home to Auckland.
The morning was beautiful, just like the one the previous day. Lake Hayes was unruffled by any breezes and I just had to stop to take some photographs. I was uncertain as to when we would visit the area again. After nearly four months of rest and physiotherapy since the accident Valerie is now walking – albeit slowly – and we plan to travel back to Wanaka and Queenstown in early February to complete our holiday, and hopefully see reflections like this again.
TSS Earnslaw – Lady of the Lake
For 99 years this steam-driven “Lady of the Lake” has played a significant part in the lives of people who live around the shores of Lake Whakatipu. She was named after the dominant Mt Earnslaw at the head of the lake. These days TSS Earnslaw is run as a lake cruise venture by Queenstown based tourist company Real Journeys, but she started her life as part of the New Zealand Railways network, transporting sheep, cattle and passengers to the surrounding high country stations. The Lake nearly lost its “Lady” in 1968 when New Zealand Railways decided to discontinue the service. Local tourism venture Fiordland Travel (now Real Journeys) came to the rescue allowing the “Lady of the Lake” to live on.
People watching is interesting. You notice all kinds of things when you wait and watch. During a recent visit to Queenstown I noticed this girl sitting nearby taking photographs of people who were walking along the boardwalk at the lake’s edge. I thought that I would capture some images of my own to show some of the people who visit this famous New Zealand holiday spot. This made a change from taking the usual holiday views that I might otherwise have photographed.