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Journey to Wiapara

Still on the Farm

Grapes & Wine


Stewart Island


Picton & Wellington

Home Again

~ Queenstown ~

The next four photos are taken in Queenstown, the busiest tourist town on the South Isle of New Zealand. Gauging from the brick streets lined with ethnically varied restaurants and the proliferation of posh bars and night clubs, it is fairly apparent that many of the well-to-do New Zealanders and vacationers flock to this central part of the island to relax and indulge.

As you can see from the mountain ranges in the background, the town is located within a fiord. Between the fresh water lake and an abundance of craggy peaks, Queenstown has become a haven for both extreme sports and adventure touring. Since my wallet had become considerably thinner since my arrival, I chose to watch the procedings rather than participate. Amongst the turmoil, the biggest attractions seemed to be jet boating, parafoiling, bunji jumping, and rock climbing. Here I might add that most of these sports originated in New Zealand - or so the locals like to say.

During the week that I was there, two Hollywood movies were being filmed; The Vertical Limit, and Lord of the Rings - the very same J. R. R. Tolkien classic that I should hope every fantasy enthusiast grew up with. Although there was a whole lot of talk about the prospect of becoming an extra, I never did. Actually, my first day in town, I walked into a glitzy looking cafe and inquired about the possibility of getting a job on the set. Although the folks inside couldn't tell me what my chances were, they did identify a party of four very slickly dressed men and women exiting a black ranger rover across the street, one of whom was allegedly working as a stunt double.

Twice a day, this finely crafted steamboat would chug its way out of the harbour, emitting a long, sonorous toot. In the foreground is a yellow jetboat tied to the dock.

I spent three days and nights in this park reading books. This pond spanned the entire length of the park (nearly a quarter mile). The weather was beautiful during the day and at night, although the park staff disapproved, I would find a nice patch of grass to lay my sleeping bag upon. As I was reading to myself one morning, three representatives from Fanta, an international soft drink company, approached me and asked if I would let them interview me for a commercial. They took a polaroid, asked me some questions as I filled out their form, and told me they would send me an e-mail in two days time if I was right for the part. I wasn't. Maybe I should have told them I was an expert skateboarder.

Cromwell, the fruit capital of New Zealand, is only a few miles from Queenstown. Although I never did manage to acquire a visa, I could have made money working as a fruit picker. Farms such as this hire young travellers like myself for $10/hr. The rumor was, if Immigration Services caught you working under the table, they'd deport you perminently. Given my financial standing, I was tempted to considered the possibility of a free ride home.