day 5 started with a great breakfast in town and some time exploring queenstown before heading off on our short drive to te anau. the place we are staying is a large campgroundy place with something for everyone. there are camp sites for tents or campers, several hostel buildings with shared and private rooms, a common kitchen, dining area, lounge & internet and more traditional motel efficiencies. we’re staying a simple unit that has a separate bedroom and then a small kitchen & lounge with a pull-out bed.
one of the more notable guests is das rollende hotel run by a german tour company. this is large trailer/motel on wheels that provides accommodation for 34 as they travel around new zealand. travel during the day is done in the traditional bus. when they arrive at their destination the rollende hotel is parked, the awnings are pulled out, the kitchen is opened and a small dining area is setup. breakfast and dinner are provided by the tour cook. seemed like a great way to travel cheaply and not have to keep packing/unpacking every day.
day 6 (aka day 1 of abandonment) was a early start to drop off jackie and john at the department of conservation centre to catch their shuttle to the milford track boat dock.
quinton mckinnon (on the right) probably wasn’t able to catch a shuttle to the trail head when he was exploring the region and finding the first predicable overland route to milford sound.
with john and the jboss on their trek i shifted to a different hotel that was frozen in the 50’s. what makes the small hotels especially enjoyable is they all have on-site owner operators. they really do make you feel like you’re staying at their place. when i was checking in the owner of this hotel asked about my plans and travels and each time i saw him after that it was something like “morning antony. you’re off to doubtful sound today right? do you need anything for your trip that i can help with? i’m heading to the grocery store later today so if you need anything just put in on the list in the office and we can settle up when you get back. the weather looks great today – you should have a great trip” i don’t think i’ll get that experience at the red roof.