I've had an amazing weekend here, I went out on Thursday night with a few people from the hostel and my friend who lives here. Its a bit weird but sometimes the best nights out can be with strangers. I had a lot of fun and with beer at $3 a pint you can't go wrong.
Friday afternoon my friend arrived and we had a quite night. We went to Furgburger (more about that later), then Patagonia which is a desert restaurant and it's amazing. Afterwards we went to the Minus 5 ice bar. Its a very small room where everything is made of ice, the tables, chairs, bar and the glasses. There were ice sculptures inside and it was very cool (get it, ha ha). We had to book in ahead of time, were only allowed in for half and hour and were given long thick coats and glove to wear. It looked really cool and the cocktails were really nice, but we only had time for one. After that we were given a buy one get one free drink in the Boiler Room, which was a lot warmer. There are windows between the two so you get to see the ice sculptures from in the other bar. We had a early night after that as I was tired from the night before and Victoria was tired from the journey.
On Saturday we went on a Jet Boat ride. It went around the lake the up Shotover river and is an extremely fast and maneuverable boat. We got amazing views of the Remarkables, the mountain range next to Queenstown. The boat did a few things like donuts but it wasn't as crazy as I had expected. The worst bit was when we went under a bridge and the driver pretended he was was going to crash in the concrete pillar. It was good fun, but I'm glad it was half price otherwise I think It would have been to much. We then took the gondola up the the top of the mountain to ride the luge. Its a concrete track and you are in little go carts with no engine, you just sit in them and steer. They can go very fast and they make you do the scenic track first for practice before they let you on the advanced track. We bought 6 rides and did the scenic one twice before we felt ready for the advanced. It was so much fun! we were zooming down the hill on our little carts and it was a good laugh. We went to World bar that night and had some teapots. Its basically cocktails served in a teapot, a bit random but I think its a bit of a novelty thing. It was good fun!
Today we went to Arrowtown. Its a small village near Qeenstown which was settled during the gold rush. Its very quaint and touristy, with old buildings. They restored the ruins of the Chinese mining village, which was separate to the main village due to racism and prejudice. They were 'invited but un-welcome' basically by the government to stop population decline in the area. They seemed to have hard, sad lives. When the gold dried up a lot of them turned to vegetable farming, which is funny because most cheap vegetable markets over here are run by the Chinese. We went to the visitors center and got a trowel and dish and went panning for gold in the river. We saw lots of gold dust but nothing big enough to actually hold.
We're going mini-golfing tomorrow then Victoria leaves at lunchtime and the job hunt begins! Its been great to spend some time with a friend. Travelling is great but you seem to have the same conversations 'whats your name, where are you from, how long are you travelling', etc. You can meet some interesting people that way, but it was nice to have a conversation about something more substantial, and catch up with the gossip from all my friends in Wellington.