Sunday, November 1, 2009

Queenstown NZ October 2009

We went to Queenstown 17-24 October 2009. The raison d'etre was for Gary Tilsley's 60th birthday celebrations. He had decided that his 60th would be in the form of a golf tournament on his birthday (Tuesday 20 October) and that only couples who played golf would be invited. Fifteen couples made the trip which meant a full on week. We played golf five times and every night was viewed through a wine glass of Central Otago pinot noir.

Wishing to use up my frequent flyer points, Vivienne and I flew to Christchurch and drove down to Queenstown. The drive is regarded as one of the great drives in the world and lives up to its reputation.

Once you get up from the Cantebury Plain you start seeing some wonderful scenery starting at the turquoise Lakes Tekapo and Pukaki. The Southern Alps dominated by Mount Cook are spectacular. You then drive over the Lindis Pass followed by a spectacular run through the Kawarau gorge to Lake Wakatipu and Queenstown.

My wife and I really enjoyed it but I must admit that doing it twice in one week reminded me of the Japanese saying about Mount Fuji. If you don't climb it once you are a fool but if you climb it twice you are an even bigger one.

We played five rounds of golf: Kelvin Heights, Jacks Point (very good course but very exposed and can be bleak if the west wind is blowing down the lake), Arrowtown (where the Tilsley Tournament was held), Kelvin Heights again (this time with a cart) finishing with Millbrook which normally costs $140 but because of introductions it was only $40. Millbrook is probably the most forgiving.

The one day off from golf was Wednesday when Vivienne and I drove up beside Lake Wakatipu to Glenorchy. You can see how bleak the weather was it was from the photos.
However again the scenery is spectacular.

We only had four meals out. Two were at Gary's local restaurant V-Know which is very good. We started with a curry as Nadia's which according to the taxi-driver was alway full with Indians. It was the night we were there but even though it had the best recommendations of the Indian restaurants in Queenstown I would not put it top of my list. The other meal we had was at the Botswana Butchery which was pretty good.

Queenstown is spectacularly beautiful but is on latitude 45 degrees south, about 3 degrees south of Hobart. It can be cold so rug up if you go.

Chris Golis
Australia's expert on practical emotional intelligence
mobile: +61-418-222219

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