Sunday, 26 June 2022

Travelling South…Yet Again

The original plan was to get away last weekend for our wedding anniversary on Sunday and my birthday on Tuesday, but since a key member of my team was on leave for those days, we displaced the break until this weekend, which by chance is a long weekend (disadvantageous for us because the car rental price jumps up horribly on holiday weekends). We headed South again to Queenstown, taking three nights at the fabulous Gibbston Valley Lodge and Spa, about 25 kms east of the town.

A map of our “Zone of Adventure” with the lodge location marked by the blue dot)

Thursday was a gorgeous day for flying with clear skies all the way and great views of the snow capped Southern Alps, but it made for a chilly -4C arrival in Queenstown and the daytime temperature never got above +3 for the rest of the day.

The final approach into Queenstown

After a pleasant lunch we headed to the lodge. What a great place! There are 24 villas each 20m x 5m with a spacious lounge with fireplace and comfortable chair and setee, going back into a generous bedroom and further back to an ample bathroom. The only thing they lack is a kitchen…but who needs that when there is  a restaurant 50 metres away!




From the front porch the view is across a small frozen stream, the vines and the breadth of the Gibbston Valley to the Crown Range beyond.

Prior to dinner we had a wine tasting in the lodge cellar where they hold bottles from every vintage back to their first in 1987.

I could become accustomed to this.

A frosty view across the vines and up the valley greeted us on Friday morning, but the day promised to be fine and sunny.

Soon afterwards we took a drive out to Glenorchy with a seemingly never ending array of stunning views along the way, especially at the serenely beautiful Wilson’s Bay (below).

I actually got the stone to skip!

Sadly Glenorchy itself was shrouded in fog, so we returned to Queenstown for a bite of lunch before returning to the lodge where we spent much of the afternoon on the porch in the sun reading, then going back into Queenstown for dinner.

No frost over Friday night made for a warmer start to a Saturday that was a lazy day for us. We toured the wine cave, took in a wine tasting, bought a few bottles, lunched in Arrowtown, had an afternoon in the lodge hot pool and a sauna before dinner in the restaurant.

The Lodge lounge/bar/restaurant

As I type this I am waiting in the lounge for the flight home to Auckland and the hard reality of a busy working week and the thought that although I am only 361 days from retirement age, the way recent sharemarket drop has affected my retirement funds will probably push actual retirement out another year…dammit!


13 comments:

  1. Oh, this looks serene and relaxing.

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  2. It certainly was, but it doesn’t take long to come down to earth…a mere two and a half hours after posting this we were back in the city (1000 km away) to crowded motorways and into suburbia, doing our weekly food shop, as though we hadn’t missed a step!

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  3. After your Saturdya morning text Mark, I was expecting a portrait of my favourite trainee sommelier, Bindi! :)

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  4. Stunning countryside....and the names are so familiar! Big birthday next year and since we have missed my wife's and our 30th due to lockdowns a trip in your direction may be on the cards. Always nice to see a bit of background as well as Wargaming !

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  5. What a lovely little break Mark…
    “the wine cave”… Oooo!… I want one of those ūüėĀ

    All the best. Aly

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    1. Me too…I mean it holds 400 barrels at 220 litres per barrel…that would last a month or two!

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  6. Looks great Mark. I haven't even bothered looking at my shares as I know it will make depressing reading, and will wait until there is a bit of a bounce before doing so again. Another year isn't the worst, although I can imagine it would be a bit like someone moving the finishing line on another 100 meters at the end of a marathon.

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    1. In truth the last two years have been a real grind and really makes you think that there has to be more to life…like toy soldiers, a nice dinner and a good wine - not whine like I heard for most of today!

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  7. That is such lovely scenery and great to see you both able to get away for a break again. I don't look too closely at my pension statement each year as the monies I could glean from it are not going to allow for anything other than a monastic lifestyle. Oh to have a civil service final salary pension, then that would be a different matter entirely!!!

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    1. It was very nice, but probably going to be the last getaway for a while now.

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