After travelling for almost three months without ever staying at one place longer than a couple of days, we thought it was time for a break and some kind of a new experience. We got lucky and found exactly what we were looking for in Kingston, New Zealand. It is on the south side of Lake Wakatipu, about 40 minutes away from Queenstown by car.
We had the chance to stay at Kimmy’s and John’s Lake’s End Lodge and had the best time ever.
While helping them in the house and the garden in the mornings, we got the afternoons to use all the great facilities like canoes, trampoline, hot tub, sauna or the game room. We went to the lake to relax on the beach or chill on an inflatable island, walked along the nice walking treks or checked out Queenstown and the surrounding mountains. The Lodge itself is an incredible place, because they built everything by themselves and you can find something beautiful or interesting wherever you look.
The evenings we spent mostly chatting with all these international guests, sharing travel experiences and information about life in other countries. We made a lot of new friends and will definitely go and visit some of them in the next years (for example in South Africa or Canada).
We also were invited to spend Christmas and New Year’s Eve with Kimmy and John and had some great parties New Zealand style with funny games and a lot of Long Island Ice Teas.
At the weekends we got the chance to take their van to go camping:
One weekend we drove to famous Milford Sound, but got really unlucky with the weather. Instead of a fabulous mountain view, we just saw a lot of rain and even more fog – the sight wasn’t even 50 meters. We drove all the way down to the coast hoping for better weather, but it was still the same. We spent the night at a DOC campground with a couple of hours mosquito fighting – they somehow managed to come through the tiniest opening into the car.
The next day the weather was still the same and so, unfortunately, we cannot tell you anything about Milford Sound at all – just that every other person total recommends to go there.
But I’m not sure if we are ever again willing to go for a 400 km one-way trip with just the chance to see the mountains, fjords, waterfalls and if you are lucky dolphins and seals.
The other weekend we took the campervan to visit the Catlins. The Catlins are a coastal area not too many tourists go for, because it is in the far south and away from the typical tourist roads. We spent a lot of time driving around the coastal landscape, seeing seals and sea lions on empty beaches, blowholes, waterfalls and cute light houses. We even saw a penguin on Kaka Point’s Roaring Beach viewpoint. But the best was the night at the DOC Purakaunui campsite. It is a beautiful spot on a very nice empty beach and we had the best views while cooking dinner, going to bed and getting up.
We had an amazing three weeks stay and because we liked this so much we were quite sad leaving the Lake’s End Lodge for new adventures. We definitely will come back and can everybody recommend to stay there a couple of nights when visiting New Zealand.