Saturday 29th December – Monday 31st December: Braemer/Queenstown
Having very sadly said goodbye to my parents who were visiting from the UK for Christmas we headed to our next accommodation – which was along a long gravel road alongside Lake Pukaki (the opposite side to Mount Cook) to a place called Braemer. We had hired a cottage here thinking it would be brilliant to be in the middle of nowhere overlooking our favourite New Zealand lake. Yet slightly worried that as the place was a bargain it might be a little scary. The journey there was firstly quite a trek (including fording a thankfully shallow river, in our little Yaris!) and on arrival our fears were realised. The setting of the house was clearly stunning, but inside the property was a different story altogether. The house gave a new meaning to the word ‘rustic’! It was very old fashioned, and pretty smelly! We discovered mouse traps (thankfully empty) and various oddities about the house which made it very difficult to live in. We were also very very isolated, and still feeling sad from saying goodbye to my parents this perhaps wasn’t the best place to be. We were about an hour’s drive from any kind of civilisation.
We did take a short walk down to a beautiful beach just a short walk from the house. But to make things worse the weather turned on us, with torrential rain and crazy howling winds. With the location and build of the house it didn’t seem well built to cope and I was kept awake all night listening to the extreme weather and worrying about blowing away!We actually made a decision that evening to look for somewhere else to stay, as just felt this adventure was one step too far. We found a lovely room last minute at the Heritage hotel in Queenstown.
So we awoke early on Sunday – to more crazy rain – and worrying about having to ford the river to get back to the main road made a quick getaway heading for Queenstown.
We enjoyed the drive back, stopping at Omarama for food, and at Roaring Meg close to Queenstown. On checking in at the Heritage Hotel we were kindly upgraded to a lovely suite, with a gorgeous lakefront location and view! We were very lucky and felt much happier here and got a good night’s sleep. The next morning we awoke and headed to the airport excited to fly up to the middle of middle-earth (Wellington) for New Years.