Tuesday, October 25
To day we set off from Dunedin to Queenstown traveling in a north westerly direction.
Our first stop for lunch was at the small township of Lawrence where gold was first discovered in 1861. The first settlers established large sheep runs but is wasn't until Gabriel Read made a gold discovery that the region blossomed and the township expanded temporarily to over 11,000.
As we journeyed on the scenery changed to reflect more arid features of rugged craggy barren mountain peaks.
It is of interest to learn during the gold maning boom, just as what happened in Australia around the same time, the country became a haven for Chinese immigrants escaping the "Opium Wars " and unrest of their homeland. However their arrival was not welcomed and they suffered at the hands of the local diggers despite only prospecting discarded pickings. Such was the hostility to the Chinese they were forced to erect shelters amongst the rocky outcrops and amongst the boulders so they were difficult to see and access.
We arrived in Queenstown and were immeadiately struck by its beauty, surrounded by the mountains with snow capped peaks and nestled on the shores of the mighty Lake Wakatpu.