Let’s go to Queenstown. Some nice views in the area:
And some great roads on the approach, including this one at Devil’s Staircase:
Found a quiet little beach at the bottom of a steep gravel trail. Quiet for about 60 seconds until a jeep full of Chinese arrived to shout to each other and take a million selfies.
But a bit further along, down a much steeper and narrower track, a perfect view and nobody there to annoy:
Great views, even though the weather is sucky:
And here’s what will now be called “picnic rock”:
Spent a wonderfully other-people-especially-worst-of-all-Chinese-free lunch hour there before heading back to Queenstown, which is tucked into a thin strip by the shore at the foot of the mountains:
Queenstown is the nicest town I’ve been to in NZ, despite the overcast and very windy weather:
But it doesn’t warrant the rave reviews it gets, just like Milford Sound, an extremely poor imitation of the Norwegian fjords, doesn’t warrant being regarded as the best of New Zealand, because it’s actually shit.
Queenstown is really just another collection of hipster coffee shops and vegan restaurants, and good god it’s busy. It’s a permanent traffic jam and there are a million Chinese tourists, all in big groups, shouting and pushing and spitting. The behaviour of Chinese tourists is the absolute worst, and their driving is utterly incompetent and mind-bogglingly stupid.
I’ve learned that it is a bad idea to visit NZ during the first two weeks of February because it’s the Chinese new year holiday period and you’ll see ten disgustingly behaved Chinese people for every one New Zealander.
The best of Queenstown is out of town either on the water or in the surrounding mountains, when the weather is better.
Still, at least the freebie hotel room has a nice view:
And a free beer. When it comes to beer while traveling, always choose local:
Even though you’re worn out from another very long day, sunset isn’t until after 9 so when the beer is done you can take a hotel mountain bike along the lake. No Chinese there:
And then you can find a private jetty, climb over the chain with it’s pathetic little “no entry” sign, and see the sunset without being surrounded by shouting Chinese people: