At 8 am we were back on the bus and leaving Franz Josef and going to Queenstown. We continued our travels in the Southern Alps. Peaks of several mountains were snow covered. Tom and I had opted for an optional tour of taking a jet boat for an hour long ride on the Haast River along with about 20 others in our tour group. It was a cool morning with heavy clouds but the boat was enclosed. The boat driver did stop a few times to talk about the river and surrounding area. Toward the end of the boat ride the driver thrilled us with spinning the boat 360 degrees for 5 times. When we arrived at the final docking point the bus was already there for us to board. So we continued on through Haast Pass seeing many waterfalls on the mountains and opaque blue watered rivers. Moving on we saw several beautiful blue lakes.
We stopped for lunch at Makarora, a little community. It was a short stop that allowed us to get a sandwich or bowl of soup before getting back on the road. We then began seeing vineyards, wineries and cherry orchards. A stop was made at a fruit market which also had ice cream. About 5pm we finally got to the Millenium Hotel in Queenstown after a tour of the city. We checked into our room but then at 5:45 pm we were back on the bus for a ride to The Boatshed for dinner. The Boatshed apparently serves private parties as we were the only folks there. We selected from the menu an appetizer, entree and dessert from a choice of 3 is each category. We also had some wine served to us. The meal was very good. Tom had an antipasto, steak and a chocolate dessert. I had a salad along with the steak and chocolate dessert.
We will be in Queenstown for 3 nights which will be good. Tomorrow will be another full day so we plan to get to bed before too late.
CLOUDY DAY TOPPED OFF BY RAIN
2 hours ago