Wellington Airport Security
For our short 1 hour flight to Queenstown, it felt like we had overpacked. With all our food supplies, our big duffels had slightly exceeded the 23 kg checked bag limit. We hurriedly moved some things around and just barely eeked our bags through the bag drop. Hayden’s bag got labeled as Oversize and had to go to a special conveyor belt.
Finding airport security was our next challenge. Where was it?? Was there security here at all?? We followed signs towards our gate, getting closer and closer without reaching security. Lots of gates were just hanging out in the open, no security required. It turned out that some really short flights didn’t require security at all. I don’t get it. Our flight did, however, require security, and we finally reached the line after walking past many free floating gates.
There was no food at our gate, but I had packed myself leftover spaghetti from the night before. Hayden had to leave our gate to get food and then come back through security. Our gate did have a Pokemon gym that we took over.
The flight was short and uneventful. We passed under the radar with our overweight and oversize baggage. As the plane began its final descent, we could see Queenstown out the window and it was beautiful.
Queenstown Airport is really small, too, and everyone walked onto the tarmac to exit the aircraft. I was stunned at all the hills and mountains surrounding us. The weather was great and the view was spectacular. Oh, how I’d forgotten.
Our rental car was from the same company, About New Zealand, but things went much more smoothly this time. We got an ugly, slightly beat Nissan Tiida (how 2 pronounce?) and went on our merry way.
We stopped in Queenstown to get food at the market and camp fuel from an outdoors store. I also insisted that we both get short massages, with the primary reason being poor Hayden’s back and the hidden reason being my love for massages. This turned out to be a challenge, as it seemed that all the massage places in Queenstown, big or small, were booked solid all day. We miraculously found one, Massage Clinic QT, that had availability to do a 30 minute massage for each of us. The lady seemed like more of a masseuse meets physical therapist and was able to help Hayden’s back. I just got a massage. 🙂
After loving Glenorchy during the one day we’d spent there two years ago, we had decided to spend the next six days there. The drive to Glenorchy was 45 minutes and filled with winding roads and great views.
There aren’t many places to stay in Glenorchy. Just a couple motels and an overpriced lodge, and nothing that’s very highly rated. I chose the cheapest option, which ended up being probably the lamest accommodation we’ve had this entire trip. Sorry to spoil the Hall Report for you.
Anyway, here we were, at the Glenorchy Hotel. No cooking facilities, just a motel bed and an overpriced pub restaurant. We did get upgraded from a non-ensuite room to an ensuite room due to the hotel writing down our reservation wrong. It was a bright start to a mediocre stay. We rearranged the furniture and made a staging area for all our food. There was a communal mini-fridge in the hallway that we took over.
I was not about to pay $70+ per day just to eat, so we found a park bench near the hotel parking lot and set up the Jetboil. “It would be a shame NOT to use the bench,” Hayden remarked about the abandoned park bench. We had ravioli and red sauce for dinner and it was yum and so, so cheap. It was a pretty nice environment on our little bench.
In the morning, Hayden had a phone interview for an internship. After that, we made a late breakfast of eggs with salami on the Jetboil.
Glenorchy doesn’t have many buildings to explore, so we explored all of them in one afternoon. There is no grocery store in Glenorchy, just Ms. Wooly’s General Store, which is basically a nonprofit supporting the township of Glenorchy. What IS a township? We bought homemade blueberry jam from Ms. Wooly’s and (homemade?) muscle relief cream for Hayden’s back. Hayden also got a chai latte and hated it.
Ms. Wooly’s has a campground that includes cooking facilities and the option to rent (admittedly expensive) glamping tents. I later thought of this towards the end of our stay at Glenorchy Hotel. We could have glamped. Airbnb > Ms. Wooly’s Glamp Tent > Glenorchy Hotel.
Hayden and I had lunch at Glenorchy Cafe, which is not affiliated with our hotel. We shared an almond and jelly muffin, a smoothie, and french fries. I’m not sure why, but our table number was a small model Statue of Liberty. The food was okay.
Pokemon Go took us from a Machamp raid at Glenorchy Cafe to an Ivysaur raid at Glenorchy waterfront. We sat around in the sun at the waterfront after defeating the Ivysaur and Hayden called his parents.
For dinner, all we needed was the water heater in the room, because we were having one of the freeze dried meals leftover from Tongariro. Those things were not cheap, so I insisted that we eat them. That night we had Lamb Fettucine. It was okay.
Finally, after a day in Glenorchy, we embarked upon an actual activity. Glenorchy Walkway is a short 2 hour walking loop which starts just a few minutes’ walk from the Glenorchy Hotel. I took some photos with my phone, if you want a summary:
Hayden took a bunch of DSLR photos of me and some other things that I just didn’t bother to capture:
I caught a lot of Pokemon on our walk.
Unfortunately, there were no Pokemon raids that day! I was disappointed. I need me some Charmeleons. Well, no one really wants a Charmeleon. They all want the Charizards that come after the awkward teenage Charmeleon phase. Everyone loves Charmander. Char! Charman!
After the walk, Hayden took a nap while I ate Oreos and milk and applied for jobs. Dinner was a canned ravioli heated up on the Jetboil. The ravioli actually tasted pretty good. Much native wildlife surrounded our park bench:
The next morning, we’d be going on a horse trek with High Country Horses. Horse trekking in Glenorchy had been the highlight of our entire trip two years ago, so we were excited to go again.