2017 New Zealand travel blog

Cromwell Gorge

Cromwell Fruit Station

September 28, 2017

Cool, windy but gloriously sunny. Very large Pac n Save where we shopped. We noticed a big difference in variety, prepared foods and even coffees to go!

Unadventurous ride for the most part south on SR 1 and north SR8. Check engine oil light came on so we pulled over to assure ourselves we had oil! Called Britz (again!) and they said it was a common issue and not to worry.

Lots of rather steep terrain, rock strewn terrain, road work and 45 kph turns on the way up SR8. We are not in season but there are lots of stone fruit orchards and small towns in what was gold rush territory. We stopped in Roxburgh for lunch outside Jimmy’s. The Kirkpatrick family started making meat pastries in Invercargill in 1940 and moved to Roxburgh in 1959 where the fourth generation continues to make the pies. Tiny little storefront where we bought a mince, bacon and cheese pie (about 2 inches) . Scrumptious puff like pastry filled with spicy minced meat. Went ot the iSite in town and they were very helpful in getting us info on the Doubtful/Milford Sound fly/cruise options. We didn’t book as we thought we might get a discount booking through Top 10.

The southeastern corner of wine country starts in Alexandra where gold country mining is its past. They have a very interesting clock on the Hill (with the correct time). Not sure what that is about! It was a short 30 minute drive to Cromwell along the picturesque Cromwell Gorge surrounded by the Dunstan Mountains. Cromwell is situated on Lake Dunstan.

We are camped at the Cromwell Top 10. They helped us book our Milton Sound Air/Cruise Nature Cruise through Real Journeys who came highly recommended by several. We have to call at 8:00 on Sat 9/30 morning to see if we will go. There is really a one day window for the next week. We booked Top 10 Queensland for tomorrow night to be ready at 8:00 for our trip. Depending on what happens, we will plan the rest of our trip. We are scheduled for Autour Vineyard Okay 2 Stay in Cromwell on 9/30 so will have to figure out what to so with that tomorrow.

Camp folks suggested we walk to the Heritage Precinct with its pioneer reconstructed buildings about 15 minutes away. Somehow we missed a turn and an hour and a half later we returned to camp. We did see the Heritage District after walking around a college, golf course, strip mall that featured the Big Fruit Sculpture. Bob didn’t like the town but I did. In the distance we saw the resemblance of a vineyard!

The first wine-making grapes were planted buy Frenchman John Desire Feraud who made his fortune in the gold rush of 1862. Feraud’s winery in Clyde exists today although we did not stop to see it! Orchards predominated until the modern commercial production of Central Otago wine in 1987. Today Central Otago boasts 1,750 hectares, 100 wine brands and production of 700,000 cases annually as of 2014. Bob has to figure out where we will visit.

Tonight we are having steak goulash/ onions/ peppers with sour cream/horseradish noodles. 2015 Oyster Bay Pinot. We will have some pinot from Otago!!!!

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