From Franz Josef we had planned to spend a few days in Queenstown, however our plans were scuppered when we discovered the town’s accommodation to be fully booked for weeks (unless you fancied chancing it, turning up and hoping for the best- which I did not). We eventually decided to scour the surrounding region for vacancies and we stumbled upon an Airbnb listing in Cromwell, Central Otago, about 45 minutes away from Queenstown. This turned out to be a great option for us as we ended up with a lovely big room, lovely big beds and most importantly; the family we stayed with had a DOG.
Another great factor to our Airbnb find was the flippin’ swimming pool in the garden. Needless to say we had a lazy few days in Cromwell, doing little other than loiter around the pool eating an outrageous amount of ice cream.
On one of the less lazy days, we ventured down the road to explore Old Cromwell. This is a pretty interesting sight to see when you know he history around it. Basically, the water you see below now hides the original Main Street of Cromwell as it was flooded upon completion of a nearby dam in the nineties. Some of the original buildings dated back to the 1860’s, the gold rush era, and so they were relocated to higher ground.
My favourite part of the old town was the half buried dance hall, seemingly not significant enough to warrant relocation. I like it in it’s current state all the same.
After exploring the ruins of the old town we mooched by the lake for a while. It looked so tempting, we could’ve jumped right in. Instead we headed in search of burgers (and the biggest serving of chips I have ever seen) Our bellies full, we headed hback to our swimming pool, lazed in the sun and spent the afternoon DRINKING. Wellllll, what else are you going to do on such a lovely, sunny day?! Besides, I hadn’t had one single rum since I got here and that’s just not on. Okay well, technically that’s true… I had a double rum in Wellington…
The next day we decided upon a round of mini golf, the loser of which would have to treat the others to slushies… I am terrible at all games and all sports so I obviously lost. What can I say, I can’t hit in a straight line.. maybe it was the effects of the rum from the day before? (It definitely wasn’t). I’m not a sore loser, luckily, so it was slushies all round and then back to the pool. Cromwell is in the middle of nowhere and believe me it got really hot there during the day, so we were relived that the pool gave us an excuse to just lay around for days.
That evening, we went along to the Kawarau river with Paul, a really lovely American guy and fellow guest at the house, for a bit of a swim. At the foot of the road bridge I happily sat in the warm river water; well as happily as I could despite my passive vertigo as I watched the three guys clamber under the rafters and launch themselves into the water. Didn’t you fancy jumping, Laura? No, I bloody well didn’t. #NoRegrets
The next day we decided to venture into Queenstown, which you can read about separately, after which we returned to our lovely big room to spend our last night in eachother’s company, in front of our lovely big TV of course… (we’ve spent weeks watching films huddled around a tiny laptop screen, don’t you dare judge us)
The next day would see us set out on our final adventure as a threesome, as we took a road trip to Christchurch.