Thursday, February 28, 2008

February 27, 2008 - Queenstown

After our sledging adventure yesterday, we decided that a low key day was in order. We drove up the road to Arrowtown, a picturesque gold town with a number of preserved wooden cottages lining its main street. Just on the edge of town, is a well-signed walking tour, detailing the history of the Chinese who came to work in the goldfields. Arrowtown makes the most of its proximity to Queenstown. The buildings are well preserved and a number of them contain galleries, cafes and giftshops.

Exploring the excellent free museum in Alexander and the town of Clyde over the past few days gave us some insight into the fate of most of these gold era structures, particularly those that aren't close to the main tourist tracks.
To save money, we usually make breakfast and dinner at our hostel or motel. But after reading glowing reviews of a local vineyard restaurant in Cuisine, New Zealand's version of Gourmet magazine, and on Chowhound, we decided to make an exception. We put on something other than shorts and t-shirts for the first time in weeks and headed over to the bistro at Amisfield Vineyard, just outside of Queenstown. We put ourselves in the chef's hands and had a really good meal - easily our best dining experience so far in New Zealand. As an added bonus, Amisfield's Lake Hayes Pinot Noir is also one of the best reasonably priced pinots we've tasted.

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