What to do on the last day of my new favorite place?? I woke up so bummed knowing it was my last full day in beautiful Queenstown so I did my best to make the most of it. Kate, Anna and I headed over to Fergburger so I could get my Ferg fix. Holy crap is that place worth the hype! Amazing burgers- I thought the best part was the buns that they make next door at Fergbakery. I had the Southern Swine with beef, BLT, avacado, aioli and tomato relish...yum. Anyone going to Queenstown MUST have a Ferg fix...totally worth the hype (and if you go at an 'off' time there is no wait).
Best day ever. Pretty big statement right there...maybe it should be 'best day in NZ'? Whatever, the point is that my entire trip was fantastic but there were three days in particular that stood out and this was one of them. It stood out so much that this day gets its own blog post- also I took a crap ton of pictures so the post is long enough already.
Early in the morning, we were picked up and driven along beautiful Lake Wakatipu to the little town of Glenorchy. Along the way, our driver stopped to show us Lord of the Rings filming locations- I haven't seen the movies but was still impressed by the beautiful scenery. Our driver also talked about what it was like to be an extra in the movie. You had to get up at 5, get you and your horse ready, get into hair and makeup, then finally get into your heavy (and hot) armor costume for filming. It involved long days of filming and he told us that during one scene he fell asleep (on his horse) and woke up startled in the middle of the scene...yea that one needed to be reshot.
Franz Joseph is known for its beautiful glacier which I'm sure is very cool. However, to get to the glacier you have to take a helicopter making the trip a couple hundred dollars. You can walk to a lookout point but that isn't close to the glacier since the end is so unstable (you can't walk onto it because its unsafe). Knowing all the fun things I wanted to do in Queenstown, I decided I would save some dollas and pass on the glacier heli hike. Instead I slept in (yayayayaya!!!!), did laundry and wandered around the town. I ended up at the South Island Wildlife Centre which had great kiwi and glacier exhibits. There are five kinds of kiwi birds and all of them are endangered! The centre is working on helping grow the population and had three baby Rowi chicks on display. The kiwis are nocturnal birds so you had to go into a very dark room (only a couple red lights were on and absolutely no pictures allowed) and be super quiet. After a bunch of loud tourists left disappointed that they didnt' see anything, I sat down and waited. Soon enough I heard the snuffling and rustling of little baby kiwis! They were so cute and walked right in front of the glass where I was sitting- such odd looking birds with their thick legs, round bodies and long noses/beaks.