Friday, July 24, 2009


Moss-covered tree

On my way to Queenstown from Fox Glacier, we crossed over the Southern Alps. During our descent into the valley and region of Queenstown, I noticed for the first time the distinct "Lord of the Rings" feel permeating the air. Everywhere I looked had a dark, eerie and mysteriously beautiful quality to it.

Upon arriving in Queenstown, I was really unprepared for this bustling town choc-full of people dressed in snow gear carting around skis and snowboards. I felt like a fish out of water. I was probably the only person in the whole town who wasn't there for winter sports.
Most of the tourists were from Australia on a university ski trip. Other tourists were from North America or Europe and had come to New Zealand just for the skiing or snowboarding. It amazed me that they had been there for 2 months and had seen nothing else besides the mountains. To travel across the globe only to slide down a snow-covered mountain for 4 months is beyond my comprehension, but they loved it there, so I can only assume that it's good ski country. For those snow bunnies out there, Queenstown is a prime destination for you!

I stayed at a backpackers above Queenstown, giving us an unobstructed view of the mountains and the lake that dominate Queenstown. Unfortunately I didn't take the video when the weather was clear and you could see the Remarkables (chain of mountains called so because they are the only other chain of mountains besides the Rockies that point directly North/South), but it's still an awesome view.

Below: View from Scallywags Backpackers (I said Queensland instead of Queenstown in the video. Apologies!)

I've been in New Zealand for 11 months now (and time is running out!) and during that time I have never seen a live possum. They are considered very annoying pests here and are hunted and killed. All the possums I've seen have been crushed on the roads so imagine my joy in seeing Ollie, the resident possum at Scallywags (his family has been coming around for a few generations) come out for a feed (kiwiism) one night. He very politely let me take tons of pictures of him with a flash as well as a video (which was unfortunately too dark to post). How cute is he?

Ollie the Possum

Wish I had more pictures of Queenstown but the weather was so awful that I couldn't bring myself to walk out in the pouring cold rain and take pictures in those conditions. I guess laziness caught up with me.

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