Monday, March 24, 2008
Arrived in Queenstown, New Zealand
This was the last picture I took from the balcony of Hotel SO in Christchurch. It was a beautiful morning and you could see the full moon pretty clearly in the daylight. All airport stuff went just fine and my luggage passed it's weekly weigh in. It was actually the first flight where no one on the plane had to go through security (a law in New Zealand that says that any plane with under 99 passengers isn't required to have them go through the security check). We just checked our bags and walked to a side area....then when the plane pulled up, they took our boarding passes and we boarded. It was great. But I was told that law may be changing soon. Hopefully not for the next couple of weeks...
It was a beautiful flight into Queenstown. We got to see some pretty amazing views of the various lakes that flow through mountain areas. The Queenstown airport was kind of like Burbank airport, but when it was new...and quiet...and the mountains nearby could actually be seen clearly.
While waiting for the next plane to land (I was the only guy waiting at the time), the shuttle guy and I chatted for a few minutes. He said "Do you know who Peter Jackson is?" and I said "I sure do." and he said "Check this out..." and we walked around the side of the terminal and he pointed towards the back of it. "There is his Gulf Stream jet.".
It sure was purty. I guess he flies down here once in a while from Wellington (my next destination) and takes it out and about. So, that was pretty cool. Wouldn't find that tidbit on any of the travel brochures. A few more people showed up and off we went. The drive to the hotel was beautiful...it was a perfectly clear day and you could see one of the lakes as we headed into town.
All went well at the hotel (they upgraded me to a larger room, which was nice) and I was hoping that I'd be up high enough to see a bit of the lake/mountains that I saw as we drove up. I opened the door to my 3rd floor room and this is what I saw through the sliding glass doors at the other end...
I dropped my luggage and immediately went out onto the balcony and took these pictures:
These mountains are called "The Remarkables" and, well...they pretty much are.