Settling Down?

Trip Start Aug 24, 2004
Trip End May 09, 2005

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Thursday, September 16, 2004

Hello! I'm in Te Anau. I just arrived yesterday via bus. Last night I laughed as I walked into the room which they booked for me at the Luxmore Hotel where I will be working. This thing had two queen size (I'm guessing) beds. It was just ridiculously huge for me with my two bags and tent. So I threw my stuff down and headed out to the Town Center...which I realized I was already in. Te Anau has a population of roughly 1,700 people compared to Queenstown (7,500). Queenstown is also a large tourist place and Te Anau is more of a stop over on the way to the Sounds or other places.

The last few days in Queenstown were fun. Queenstown flew by because I was having a lot of fun. I climbed Queenstown Hill with Matt. The first hill I had incorrectly labeled Queenstown Hill, but now I believe it's Bob's Peak. Not much of a peak though. Maybe someone more familiar with the area can tell me.

Today I met with managers and other people at the Luxmore and the Te Anau Villas. They're owned by the same person and literally around the corner from each other. I'll be staying at the Te Anau site, but working at the Luxmore. I'll post a few pics of the first room and then the room I am not staying in. Quite a difference (no insulation, part of my window consists of tape!) I'm looking forward to settling down now. I won't start working for a week or so. Now I can go get my own laundry powder and start cooking a little bit better. There isn't much to do in Te Anau at the moment, but to avoid boredom I'm hoping to get a fishing license and do as much of the Kepler as possible. There are Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout in Lake Te Anau, (second largest lake in NZ, largest in the South Island). I believe there are some salmon also. I can't quite remember. Maybe I'll figure out how to fillet. These are BIG "maybe"'s though. Most place in NZ actually don't allow live bait so I'll have to use lures. I was kind of surprised by that. Some areas are fly fishing only. The Kepler track is just around the lake a bit so I might do the beginning part of that. Any tracks with an alpine area are closed during winter so I won't be able to get too far because of snow. There is more snow on the way tonight so I definitely won't be able to get through. The Kepler is one of the Great Walks as outlined by the The Department of Conservation. I hope to do the Kepler, Routeburn, and Milford which are in this area. Milford is known around the world by trampers (hikers) as one of the best walks you can do. I plan on doing some kayaking in Milford Sound and/or Doubtful Sound also. Southland is an amazing area and Fiordland is a World Heritage Site. Basically, there are parts of this area that have never been walked (and documented). A helicopter went down a few months ago and they simply won't find it for many years because that's how thick the brush is here.

After that little helicopter bit, I should tell you that I went to enquire about a helicopter ride today. This will cost me around $300. When I mentioned that I'd be working at the Luxmore, they told me to just have my manager give them a call and I'll get a free flight. Talk about perks. I knew of this practice, but I didn't think they were so open about it. So basically I have fairly decent pay, cheap housing, cheap food (if wanted), and free tourist activities. What more could I ask for? Well...nah, I'm not going to list. hehe.

I think that's it for now. I'll try to get some more pictures up soon too.
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