We had big plans for the day, but our rafting trip was canceled. Instead, we drove into town for lunch and a bit of souvenir shopping. Something I really like about New Zealand is all the outdoor dining. I think almost every eatery we’ve been to from roadside cafe to brewery to fine dining has had both indoor and outdoor seating. When it rains, people either come inside or get closer to the umbrella. The outdoor wood furniture is made of local woods in rich red tones and is very heavy. After doing a bit of shopping (a few of you are hard to buy for), we went to Atlas Beer Cafe on the recommendation of the girl at the bungy jumping gift shop. You’ve gotta get the inside info from the locals (which she probably wasn’t). Shawn opted for lunch, while I had breakfast because I couldn’t pass up the last chance for smoked salmon.

Seagull taking a break on the giant kiwi sculpture


Pork belly sandwich with Chimichurri sauce and jalapenos

Poached eggs over smoked salmon, kumara fritters, and spinach

After lunch, we walked through the open air market to see the local crafts. Lots of jade, bone and paua shell (abalone) jewelry. As you might imagine, wool products are prolific too. I found a woman who makes pendants from sand and microscopic rocks. She collects the sand and rocks from a specific beach when the conditions are just right and then she sorts the grains and rocks into sizes and colors. She arranges the sand and rocks in patterns in the pendants with tweezers then seals them in resin. It was hard to choose one, but I ended up picking one that she had pulled back because it was imperfect as one of the stones had moved when she sealed it.

The largest selection of gelato that we have seen in NZ

In the afternoon, we hung about on our balcony enjoying the cool breeze and the view of the lake. Transitioning back to work will be rough. For dinner, we went back into town, but this time we walked. There is a path from our hotel along the lake. It was about a 40-minute walk, so maybe two miles. There were some cool houses along the lake. The views are so spectacular that most houses have a lot of glass. Something we’ve noticed they don’t have: screens. We thought it was odd considering all the bugs.

Once again on the advice of Miss Bungy, we went to Smith’s Craft Beer House. Miss Bungy has been much more reliable than Yelp. They had 18 local brews on tap with the majority being Epic. We tried a flight of six and settled on the Epic Armageddon IPA and Groundup Midnight Lightning. Restaurant service is a bit different than we’re used to. In cafes and pubs, you typically order and pay at the bar. In nicer restaurants, they will seat you and take your order, but you still pay at the bar; they don’t bring your check to you. Tap water is usually available in large chilled bottles. You either grab it yourself or they bring it to your table.

Pulled pork sandwich, loaded fries, venison pot pie

Since it’s near the end of summer here, the days are still long and the sun doesn’t set until after 8:30. We strolled through the Queenstown Garden which included a Frisbee golf course, rose garden, English garden, and forest. Then it was back along the river to our villa. Not a bad way to end our day.


Fern sculpture in Queenstown Garden

Daily Ratings:
Atlas Beer Cafe – 4 Kiwis
Smith’s Craft Beer House – 5 Kiwis
Open air market – 4 Kiwis
Villa Del Logo Hotel – 5 Kiwis

Last gelato flavor: Marscapone, fig, and roasted almonds
Steps taken = 14,002