Kingston is set on a lake and there is an old railway station and jetty. We took a walk down to see if the line was still in use. No, it isn’t. There is a plan to restore the steam engine and reinstate the boat service from Queenstown but for now it was a look at some old photos and the beginning of new irritations and itchings from the local sandflies. They’re a friendly bunch and always keen to come and say hello.
Still, a pleasant stroll by the lake had an ice cream at the end of it so all was not lost.
After two nights ‘Glamping’ on what was mainly a building site, we headed off towards Queenstown, tourist central, maggotsville, tourist bus terminus, you get the idea.
Our reason for going to Queenstown wasn’t to join the hoards looking in shops to find thing that they didn’t know existed but now can’t live without, or to join a queue of burger hungry diners. There was a queue, about 100 feet long, to get a Fergburger. Whatever that is, that was the sign above the door, Fergburger! Maybe they’re the best burgers in the world, I’ll never know.
No, our reason for being in Queenstown was twofold. To get to Glenorchy along one of the most stunning roads with amazing scenery. Snow capped mountains, the lake, sweeping curves. It’s a ‘why you ride a motorcycle type road’ and it didn’t disappoint.
The second reason was that to get to what is considered to be New Zealand’s most dangerous road Queenstown had to be risen through first.
Skippers Canyon Road. Carved out of the rocks by gold miners back in the days of the gold rush. 16 miles of mainly single track dirt road without guardrails and long drops to the valley below.
As we survived I guess we’d say it wasn’t dangerous at all. Although I would say there was ample opportunity for those that get it wrong to make serious modifications to both man and machine.
We met just a couple of vehicles coming the other ways. Minibuses that had taken white water rafters to their launching point.
We only went as far as the suspension bridge. Beyond that the track petered out and as it was hot and lunchtime we headed back.
It’s strange how going back always seems shorter and easier.
Back through Queenstown then, along the main road, a quick stop to watch some Bungy jumpers, no thanks, and it was on to our next stop. Cromwell. Another campsite and this time a cabin. A tiny cabin with the worlds worst bed, shared facilities, a digger and a huge dump truck working from 7am until 5pm and a group of about 30 young kids going flat out in the trampoline ballroom thing.......nice.
Being a positive kind of a chap that I am though, no sandflies and the steak we bought cooked a treat on the BBQ.
Two happy people, two happy bikes.