We started heading north from Te Anau to head to Queenstown. We didn’t really have any solid plans of what to do there, but we knew we wanted to get there at some point. Steve also wanted to try and find a nice place to eat because he had mentioned to me somewhat morbidly that since we were seeing so many sheep all over the place, he was getting a craving for lamb. So off to Queenstown it was. We started passing a small town called Kingston just before we reached a really large lake called Lake Wakatipu which was gorgeously crystal clear blue. You could see way in the distance at the far end of the lake a few small towns. We guess they were Queenstown and Frankton, based on our map.
So we started driving along the lake which was a beautiful drive. We saw a picnic rest area off the side of the road and decide to stop and see if maybe it had an entrance to the lake. It just so happened to have just that! There was a cute little peddle beach next to the clearest lake water I have ever seen. The water was cold, but felt refreshing since the sun was out and it was quite warm mid day. Steve was the first one in. I was chicken at first because it was so cold, but after Steve stayed in for a bit and then went up and grabbed his snorkeling gear, I caved and got in after him with my gear too.
While I was still debating the water temperature, Steve managed to easily find an assortment of bones at the bottom of the lake near the shore. About 10ft or so down there were bones and he started tossing them onto the shore to collect them. He also found an unopened bottle of beer, a street reflector, and a camera holder/case thing. After I hopped in I found a few more bones as well to add to the collection. So random! We thought they could only be sheep bones. They must have washed down into the lake somehow. It was so awesome to be able to see so clearly under the water. The visibility was great, but there wasn’t a whole lot to see. But bone hunting was fun!
We spent a good couple hours snorkeling and laying around on the beach. Then we got back on the road to Queenstown. We got to a holiday park and set up camp. Then we walked into the city center to check out the shops and find a bite to eat. The city itself was small compared to back home, but the biggest city we came to so far in the south island. It was like a cute beach town (even though it was on a lake). There were lots of small shops and artsy stuff. We ended up at a pub/restaurant that served flights of beer as well as lamb, had our fill, then went back to camp and tried to figure out what we wanted to do the next morning in Queenstown before we headed north. We wanted to do some diving or some zip lining through the rain forest, but most of the activities would take up too much of our day and we needed to get up to Frans Joseph for our next adventure. So we didn’t get to do anything in Queenstown, but we did get to enjoy a mini beach snorkeling adventure :)