Queenstown is a wonderful place to use as a base station for further adventures. There are tons of restaurants, shops, and beautiful scenery. From Queenstown, you can pick any adrenaline producing sport that NZ allows. We opted for none of that. We spent the morning walking along the coast of Lake Takawapui. The lake is beautiful and town extends right to its edge. There is even a coal powered steamer that ferries tourists around for most of the year.
From there, we regrouped and headed to the local ski resort. During the summer the slopes are usually open to hikers. However, the road, which rises almost 1200 meters, was closed for off season repairs and major construction on the lodge. Not deterred, we had lunch at a vista overlooking town before heading to another trail.
We did a 10k loop that included a historic gold mining area. We found a restored shack that was used by a miner during NZ’s depression era (1930s). The man who built it continued to live in Queenstown (he stopped mining due to WW2), but would visit his shack occasionally. We didn’t find any gold but we had a great hike. The trail was stepper than expected, but we found some stunning views at the top of the trail. We made it back to Queenstown exhausted and ready for dinner. Pictures of the day are here.