Our final destination in New Zealand was Queenstown, rich in Maori and gold rush history and today the Adventure Capital of the World. The city is pretty small considering its big reputation, but the landscape in which it lives makes up for its diminutive size. Queenstown is tucked into the Remarkables Mountains (the most aptly and obviously named mountains in the world) with Lake Wakatipu on its edge. It is full of companies eager to accommodate any adventure activity you can imagine: bungee jumping, skydiving, jetboating, parasailing, and a bunch of other things I’d never heard of.
We had four nights in Queenstown, the longest of any place on the tour. One night, some of us took gondolas up the Skyline for a buffet dinner.
The gondola ride was uneventful, for which I was thankful. AJ, CD, and NS were great at keeping the conversation moving so I hardly noticed we were dangling above the ground. The views out across Queenstown from the top were totally worth the effort, and the dinner was even better.
Have I waxed philosophical about pavlova yet? It’s a meringue dessert named after the ballerina Anna Pavlova. The Australians and New Zealanders have been fighting over its origin since the 1920s when it first appeared, each claiming to have invented the deliciousness. I don’t much care who invented it, but I will be learning to make it myself when I get home in spite of my general dislike of beating egg whites.
Title quote: William Rees, the first European to settle Queenstown