The itinerary for my trip was to travel from south to north, starting in Queenstown on the south island to Auckland on the north island.
February 28, 2023
Air New Zealand landed me at the Queenstown Airport at 3:20 p.m. The place was surrounded by mountains. None were snow-capped, this being the autumn time of year south of the equator. The city did have a public bus service called Orbus. But it didn’t accept travel credit cards. They required local currency. Luckily, the airport terminal had a “Paper Plus” shop, and the lady-behind-the-counter kindly broke down the NZ currency I carried into smaller manageable bills. It turns out Orbus doesn’t shuttle between the airport and the city all that often. I and other passengers had to wait about an hour for the next one. Once it arrived, there were enough people to jam it full.
I lodged in a hostel close to Lake Wakatipu, which borders Queenstown and provides the locale with lots of fun for boat-riders.
With dinnertime fast approaching, my next order of business was a locally popular hamburger eatery, Fergburger, at 42 Shotover Street and within walking distance of the hostel. I learned about it when researching places to visit in Queenstown. This report from the national broadcaster (!), TVNZ 1News attracted my eyes:
After nine years the report was still true–there was a long line of folks eager to sink their teeth into a Fergburger and its variants: beef, venison, pork, and lamb. They posted their menu outside the door:
Later, I learned that the Fergburger had a sister store, Fergbaker. This is the place that bakes the buns and serves them fresh with the meat. But here’s an open secret: There’s no line at the the bakery. True, they don’t serve the burgers, but you can buy meat pies with delicious, flaky crust, and they serve sandwiches, pastries and bottled drinks as well.
At Fergburger, my first order was “The Fergburger” with genuine NZ beef, and a ginger beer, which you can see in the next photo.
I was seated at a counter at the rear of the restaurant, when lo and behold, a sparrow hopped its way to my chair. I wanted to take a picture, but, off it flew.
Amazing: a bird brave enough to venture this far into a restaurant. It turned out that that’s the way it is in Queenstown–indeed, across New Zealand. The birds were used to humans.
To be continued.