We have spent a glorious week with Maggie exploring Queenstown and the surrounding areas, doing lots of cycling and some touristy things!
Initially we took some of the Queenstown trails over to Arrowtown, via Lake Hayes. We had a refreshing swim after lunch, and rode the trail all around the lake, before enjoying a relaxing evening with some ice creams and a few ciders in the very picturesque Arrowtown.
From here we took a combination of rolling trails and mostly downhill road to Cronwell. It was beautifully scenic, we crossed suspension bridges, whizzed past vineyards, and tasted cheese at Gibbsons winery. The road followed along the gorge as it wound its way between the hills. After seeing Cronwell, and Maggie losing her purse, we headed up the hill to Bannockburn to enjoy a few pints with an amazing view over the valley, and a lovely campsite.
Next we skirted Lake Dunstan on a trail before having a long main road drag which was pretty rolling. Just before lunch the wind really picked up so we had to battle our way into Wanaka. The headwind was rubbish but the views of the snow topped mountains were pretty good!
We had a day off in Wanaka, cycling round the lake and visiting the Instagram-famous Wanaka Tree. It was boiling hot and very sunny, so we enjoyed a swim in the lake, and a picnic in the woods, before having an evening BBQ.
The next morning we tried to set off early, because we had a long climb ahead. We slowly and gently climbed up the valley to the Crown Range Summit (1075 m). At Cardrona we enjoyed a cafe stop in a historic and beautiful hotel, and checked out Bra-drona. Near the top the road got quite steep but the incredible views down to Queenstown and the lake were worth it. The descent was also great fun, and we spent another night in Arrowtown.
The next morning we nipped back over to Gibbsons winery to pick up Maggie’s lost purse and enjoyed a leisurely morning relaxing on bean bag and having cheese and wine (or in Jim’s case cheese and beer) tasting platters. It was amazing, I felt very posh, and quite tipsy by the end. We then took the trail back to Lake Hayes for another swim, and Jim found a massive rope swing, and had fun showing off by climbing up a tree and swinging off. His arms and abs were not thanking him the next day!
We lazily rode back to Queenstown, via Altitude brewery, and enjoyed a goodbye meal and drinks, where we met up with Matt again. On Sunday it was raining all day (again!) so me and Jim decided on one more night in Queenstown so we could spend the day hanging with Maggie instead of cycling in the rain. We had a huge pizza for lunch, and a potter round town with lots of cafe stops. It was amazing having Maggie with us on tour, she’s great company and was whizzing up the hills despite recently having a knee op. It was also nice to forget the budget and treat ourselves to some touristy activities and alot of good food and drinks. We are missing her now!
Jim’s words – Swim, Winery, Tough, BBQ, Bra, Swing and Pizza.