Queenstown Gardens

Because we had come back from Milford Sound by plane, we were back in Queenstown relatively early. I had to charge my camera first since it had died on the plane back, so while it was doing that we went to the convenience store to pick up something to drink then made use of the free wi-fi in the hotel lobby (note to anyone considering staying at Novotel – you get 1 hour of free wi-fi per day in the lobby; wi-fi in the rooms has to be paid for! Remind me which century we’re in?!). We weren’t ready for dinner yet having bought quite a bit of food in Te Anau to eat on the Sound cruise, so we decided to go for a walk and ended up in Queenstown Gardens. What follows will include many pictures of plants! I couldn’t help it – so many of them were so different to what I’m used to!

I spent way too long trying to get a decent picture of these birds, which I’m fairly sure are Paradise Shelducks. They just didn’t want to stand still!

The one with the white head is female and the male has a black head. Shelducks form long-term pair bonds, often life-long (aww!) and tend to hang around as couples. Driving around, we would often see a male and a female Shelduck standing in a field somewhere!

In the rose garden, I took far too many photos, mainly because I was trying to play with my camera’s macro setting. Here are a few:

I love the kind of multi-coloured pink/orange ones! They looked so pretty.

The gardens are on a little peninsula, so once we got round to the other side we had a view of a different part of the lake – a part without lots of boats on it (the side where we had entered from is where all the touristy boats are moored). The view there was stunning, especially with the way the evening sun was hitting the mountains.

Back round the other side, a few more photos had to be taken before we finally decided to head off and find something for tea.

There was also a Disc/Frisbee Golf course in the gardens, so we decided to come back and play on our final afternoon in Queenstown. We hired our discs from a place in town for $5 for five hours, but the Internet tells me you can also hire them from the ice rink, which is in the park.

If you have any idea what any of the plants in this post are (other than roses – I can recognise them!) please let me know in the comments.

New Zealand was my March trip for 2016’s redo of Take 12 Trips.

Also linking up for Monday Escapes:

Packing my Suitcase

Travel theme: Sweet

I’m jumping on to this week’s travel theme just in time! Until the end of today, Ailsa at Where’s my Backpack is asking people to share their travel photos on the topic of sweet.

We’ll start with the obvious, shall we? What could be sweeter than cake! I had this one in Salisbury on my 27th birthday…

Mmm!
Mmm!

It was exactly as rich as it looks and extremely satisfying!

We all know what Shakespeare said about roses, and this one in the rose garden at Kilkenny Castle is a particularly pretty example:

A rose by any other name...
A rose by any other name…

And finally, how sweet is this little duckling?

duckling

We spied it on a day trip to Strasbourg with Jan’s parents back in 2008. The poor thing had apparantly lots its mummy and was running up and down on the pavement by the river looking rather lost… hence the blurriness of the photo. You try getting a good picture of a duckling that won’t stand still! (And the crowd of people watching it didn’t make things any easier… we moved on after I’d managed to grab my snapshot).

If you’re very quick, you too could join in with the “Sweet” travel theme… the deadline is today. But if you don’t have time now, not to worry. There will be a new travel theme for you to try your hand at tomorrow. In the meantime, go here to see how other people have interpreted the sweet theme.

Half a decade

The boyfriend and I have been together 5 years today. Five whole years. I can hardly believe it!  OK, it might not sound like much to some of you, but to me it’s ages. It’s a fifth of my life you know. And we have now reached the point in our relationship where we’ve actually spent more time living in the same country than separate ones. Only just mind, but it’s a start.
So in honour of our ‘anniversary’ (I always feel a bit odd calling it that… I mean, it’s not like we’re married. But I know of no other word) Jan had flowers delivered to me at work today. Madness! I wasn’t sure whether to be incredibly embarrassed or ridiculously pleased, so I settled for grinning like a maniac while blushing the deepest shate of red imaginable. The flowers then spent the rest of the afternoon sitting in a tupperware tub (we had no other containers) before being dragged all the way home on the tram with me. Poor things! Currently they are sitting on my desk in a glass salad bowl full of water, which is slightly better but still no vase (I do not own one ok!) I must say they’re rather nice. There are 5 red roses – one for each year – then some other red flowers, some white flowers, some greenery… I think maybe it would be best to just uplaod one of the crap pictures I took of them for posterity…

For those that are interesting in the flat situation it looks like I may be in with a chance of getting the last one after all, but that’s a topic for another blog post. Today’s is dedicated to my one and only boyfriend and a bunch of flowers.
It’s on days like these that I believe we are in with a chance of making it after all.

And in case anyone was wondering, yes I did use half a decade in the title to make it sound like even longer than it really is. You totally would have too, I know it! 😉