While in Queenstown I learned at least a couple things.
(1. Electrical outlets have switches. To get the electricity, you have to flip the switch.
Image from nzpocketguide.com
I found this out the hard way when I tried to recharge my cell phone overnight. I had purchased a new adapter and thought the problem was with it. No. I didn’t flip the switch. Which I learned from the pharmacy clerk, called “the chemist.” He was kind enough to recharge my cell phone while I walked around town for an hour. He offered to do it, and so, it was yet another example of Kiwi hospitality.
(2. Elevators are called “lifts.” And the ground floor is not considered the first floor. The next floor up from ground level is the second floor.
My trip to New Zealand would last a month, and throughout my travels, practically every place I stopped at had public restrooms. Here in Queenstown, they had a large facility near the lake:
No doubt Kiwis do have a sense of humor / humour with their labeling. More on this later.
Friday, March 3, 2023.
To travel by bus in New Zealand, one would ride the InterCity bus. Check their schedule for their times of service, pay for tickets beforehand (which I did at their Queenstown I-SITE location), and show up ahead of departure time. My next destination was Dunedin on the east coast. Their departure time was 8:00 a.m. It would be a five-hour drive.
Prior to that, I needed breakfast. But where? Most of the town’s businesses were closed at 7:00 in the morning. Who would be open at that time? McDonald’s! There was one on Camp Street, close to the bus stop. They were open 24 hours a day.
Sunrise was at 7:24 a.m. on March 3 in Queenstown, so it was still dark. Well, not quite so dark. Downtown, there were plenty of lights around as you can see here:
I still had time to swing by Fergbaker, which had opened at 6:00 a.m., and buy one of their delicious pastries. I then went to the wharf one last time to view the local wildlife. It astonished me that the local ducks, gulls and terns were so tame around humans.
As I was standing around watching, a duck spotted me and waddled close enough to touch.
I had been saving my pastry for later in the trip, but I broke off a corner and fed the duck. I think it made her happy. She stuck around for more.
She was joined by other hungry featherheads.
Before leaving the park, I had to get a couple shots of the Emu statue. Here’s one:
While in Queenstown, I noticed many of the businesses were closed from the Covid pandemic, even though the restrictions had been lifted in NZ. Why? Well, when NZ shut down, restaurants–who were largely dependent on tourist dollars–had to lay off their employees. The former employees found work elsewhere–and at higher wages. So when the Covid restrictions were lifted, restaurants needed their servers back. But those former employees remained with their new higher-paying jobs, so now there’s a labor shortage for restaurants, who offer minimal salaries.
Here’s a shot of some closed downtown businesses. On the mountaintop in the back is the Skyline gondola building.
I made it to the bus stop ahead of time. The driver signed me on, loaded my luggage, and shortly after 8:00, we took off for Dunedin.