We woke early after our night of serenity at Deer Flat. Washing our faces in the frigid water of a nearby stream (a glacial facial, you’re welcome) taking in our incredible surroundings, we had one of those ‘what is life’ moments where you just can’t believe what you’re doing. The morning fog wasn’t as thick as the day before and the snow-capped mountains that were hidden last night were showing off in all their glory. The air was so fresh; you could feel yourself come alive with every breath you take. I could have stayed and revelled in this feeling all day, but we were hungry and had places to be.
We drove Mimi a huge 10 minutes down the road to Mirror Lake where we parked up and set up for brekkie. Mirror Lakes pretty much live up their name – the series of small lakes give a perfect reflection of the Earl Mountains.
The viewing deck gave a perfect view of the lakes reflecting the mountain and we thought it would be an excellent spot to have breakfast. It was only about 7:30am so we figured we could cook breakfast and eat it on the viewing deck before anyone came along and told us off. B and I were in charge of setting up the table and chairs while S and K cooked up a feast in the van. We all settled in with our eggs on toast and cups of tea, enjoying the beautiful views of Mirror Lake, when we heard the familiar sound of human voices interrupting our quiet time. We turned and looked to see a busload of mostly Asian tourists coming towards us.
I’m not sure who found it funnier, the other tourists or us. After many photos and some orders for breakfast, the bus load of tourists left us behind to enjoy the serenity once more. It was just so pleasant, we found it hard to move but as always, time was getting away on us, so we packed up and got back on the road towards Queenstown. Several (read: many) stops later, we made it back to Te Anu. The drive back to Queenstown seemed so much prettier than the way over, I guess because you are greeted with Lake Te Anu and Lake Wakapitu. The clearer day might have had something to do with it too :p
We stopped in at Walker Creek to re-do the “It’s a big ad” Carlton Draught beer ad. I’m sort of getting used to feeling minuscule next to the huge mountains, and I’m also sort of waiting for Frodo to come along.
We stopped for coffee at Te Anu, where we made a veeeery gracious entrance outside of the Mac Cafe in front of a group of good looking boys. I don’t think they were impressed. We, however were impressed with the coffee at the Mac Cafe – much needed after all our photo taking.
We fuelled up and continued on towards Queenstown, stopping for more photos on the way. The only incentive to get a move on was the thought of lunch at Fergburger, something the four of us had been dreaming about since we booked the trip.
We parked in at Lakeview Caravan Park, which I might add is exorbitantly priced for a powered site. We quickly showered (much appreciated after two days!) and headed down the hill to explore the little resort town.
I wasn’t sure what I expected of Queenstown, but it certainly wasn’t how I imagined it. Very touristy but very picturesque, I couldn’t quite decide whether I liked it or not. There didn’t seem to be a single New Zealander in sight. You couldn’t deny that it wasn’t the prettiest town in New Zealand though, that lake! Those mountains! We made a beeline for Fergburger which was very handily situated at the base of the hill. The funky looking burger joint was choc-a-block full of people and the atmosphere was buzzing. I’d heard so much about this place so I was being heavily critical, but Fergburger did not disappoint. Ordering with our eyes, not our stomachs, we got four burgers, chips and onion rings to share. The Bombay Chicken burger was a stand out, Southern Swine was pretty unbeatable and the wasabi mayo for the onion rings were delish! You did it Fergburger, you got me good 🙂
We staggered out of Fergburger and tried to digest while we wandered the streets of Queenstown. The sun had disappeared behind the Remarkables and twilight left the little town sparkling in the reflection of the lake.
We decided to skip the touristy pub crawls and create our own. Starting at Pier 19 for a cider, we worked our way through the town and got a taste for Queenstown nightlife. Being May, it was relatively quiet – I could imagine how hectic and fun it would be in peak season! My favourite bars were 1876 and the Bungalow. Funky, cool and really good music. We finished off the night with a couple of delicious pies from the Fergburger bakery before stumbling up the hill for a solid sleep in Mimi. Tomorrow we are doing something super, dooper exciting! I’m so excited, I just literally cannot even! J. x