Our time on the South Island’s come to an end today. We’re currently sipping coffee in the “Fat Lamb” cafe in central Queenstown before heading out to the airport ready for our Air New Zealand flight to Auckland this afternoon. I have to admit, there’s hardly anything I recognise about the town since my last visit in 1999. The place has grown and changed that much! As well as being a magnet for adrenaline junkies thanks to all the extreme sports activities based here, it’s also a magnet for a lot of young English people who’ve found jobs. Last night we were sat outside the 1876 bar having a drink and watching all the tradesmen (carpenters, builders etc) having a drink at the end of the working week. The range of regional British accents was quite entertaining! They mingled with others of their generation who were working in the hospitality industry. Tourism obviously generates a lot of money here – not to mention traffic jams! This is the only place we’ve seen on the whole of our trip where traffic is queuing to get in/out of town…
Now we’re sat at the airport, all ready to go. For an ‘international’ airport it’s a small place where you hang around in the terminal to eat/drink/shop rather than doing so airside.
Last time I flew from here the turbulence was so bad the plane was like a bucking bronco, which meant the staff weren’t allowed to serve any hot drinks due to the risks. Hopefully today will be a little calmer when our Airbus A320 takes to the skies…
UPDATE (31st January).
Here’s a couple of camera-phone video’s for your entertainment. The first is taking off from Queenstown and heading for Auckland.
The second video is approaching and landing at Auckland on the same flight.