Friday, August 24, 2012

Photos from Queenstown..finally

I'm off on holiday again tomorrow and have an early bus to catch so I'm pulling an all nighter. Because of that I thought I'd take the chance while I'm still at work and doing a bit of unpaid admin, I'd procrastinate a bit by posting pictures.

So here's a quick run down and pictures from when I was down south in June.

I took the bus from Dunedin to Queenstown to meet up with my parents and the first thing we did when I arrived was go to Ferg Burger. Their burgers are AMAZING. There's a lot of hype around them and they totally live up to it - every single mouthful. Here I am eating a venison burger. Mmm. Equally great is Ferg Baker - the best pies I've ever had. I had to buy about 4 to sample all the flavours...

The next morning started with a walk around the Bannockburn countryside, up past where they used to mine gold and past many, many, many rabbits. Despite it being quite foggy I thought the colours were gorgeous - purples, reds and browns...

The walk took us past old miner's cottages - the remains of them anyway. Here I am doing the Che at Machu Picchu pose in a door frame.

Of course we took a wrong turn (my sense of direction failed me) and so we walked the long way around to Bannockburn instead of back to the car park. Some of the old buildings are really sweet.

While Dad walked a few extra ks back to get the car, Mum and I had morning tea in a cute cafe. I had to try a local delicacy - the classic cheese and onion roll. Mmm.

All that walking built up more of an appetite than just for food, after all we were smack in the middle of Central Otago wine country. Pinot, anyone? I should have invoiced my work for visiting one of the wineries that we use. Of course it's not exactly a chore tasting all of these...

After a couple of cellar doors it was time for lunch. Not just any lunch but lunch at Mt Difficulty. Oh my god was it good. I had Mt Cook Salmon with cockles washed down with a glass of riesling. Their riesling is phenomenal.

The view wasn't bad either.

A couple more cellar doors and then to Cromwell to check out the old town, relocated when they built the dam.

Of course no visit to a small New Zealand town is complete without visiting whatever the local tacky statue is. In this case, fruit...

Ah Aurum. This vineyard was definitely a highlight. I took home a bottle of white port but if funds had allowed a bottle of the Mathilde pinot noir wouldn't have gone amiss.

The next day started earlier with a drive out to Glenorchy. Just look at that view!

Horse trekking was first of the agenda. More stunning views and river crossings. Such a awesome way to check out some truely spectacular scenery.

This is Paradise. You might know it as the paddock(s) in which many movies are/were filmed - like Wolverine, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit etc etc.

We'd booked on a jet boat tour up the Dart River. It included a short stroll through the beech forest.

I'm pretty sure this one needs no caption. Just stunning, stunning scenery.

It's kind of hard to take pictures from a moving jet boat but what a way it was to see the sights. The riverbanks were covered in snow. The beech forests, mountain tops, beautiful clear day. I can see why this part of the country is so popular with the tourists.

 On our last day we went out to cutesy Arrowtown for a wander. I could live there.
It would have been rude not to visit a few vineyards a little closer to Queenstown. I loved Brennan Wines. A bottle might have made its way home with me.

The gorge.

Scenic shot of a vineyard. I'd love to visit when it's all lush and green.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Emma Stone in The Amazing Spider Man inspired baby hat

This is what I was working on a couple of weeks ago. I pretty much made it up as I went along with some idea of cables, bobbles and lace in my head. It's knitted in my favourite yarn, the Shearing Shed angora 8 ply and modelled by the gorgeous wee girl I made it for. It's so much fun to knit for babies as they look so darn cute in anything. Thanks to her mum for these photos :-)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Now that festival's over I'm day dreaming...

I can't believe that it's nearly half way through August already. The past couple of weeks have been a bit of a haze - work, sleep, eat and then work some more. Thankfully film festival is now over and I have my leave to look forward to in under a fortnight.

So this evening I sat on the couch with a cup of tea and lap top indulging in one of my favourite guilty pleasures - trip planning.

I got good deals on accommodation in Napier via the Naked Bus website. $15 a night for a dorm room with free pick up from the bus stop is pretty hard to beat. The money I'll save I'll end up spending eating out which beats staying in a private room and skimping on trying all the tasty local produce.

My first afternoon and the Saturday morning will be taken up with classes for Knit August Nights. I got sent through the materials list this week and have to knit four squares some time before then. I'm doing a classes on blocking and finishing projects which will be really useful, and one in which I'll knit a baby hat - the Aviatrix, a pattern I've been eying up for a while now.

I've booked myself on a tour of some wineries for the Saturday afternoon. It was $60 although I'm sure I'll end up spending more on a bottle or two. Apparently we'll visit 4 or 5 which are tailored on the day to the tastes and interests of the people on the tour so I'm looking forward to hopefully trying something different.

Of course it wouldn't be a holiday without indulging myself in some great food. I have a thing for reading menus and deciding what to eat before I even go. I'm eying up a venison starter at this restaurant for dinner followed by god knows which one of their mouth watering selection of desserts. Breakfast at this restaurant overlooking the water sounds like a good idea- I love how their menu really highlights local producers.

Somehow in amongst all this I'd like to fit in a walk or cycle along the coast and snacking on Rush Munro ice cream. That's got to be one of the greatest things to ever come out of Napier.

Then I'm off to Tauranga to see my grandparents and I'm not sure what they'll have planned but I'm hoping I can twist their arm and get them to take me to the cellar door of this winery located down the road in Bethlehem.

After that I'll be back home on the farm. While I'm there I'm hoping to steal the car and visit my old hometown (village) of Waitomo to visit one of the caves that I've never seen before - Aranui. It's supposed to be breathtakingly beautiful. I also haven't visited the new visitor centre built after the old one burnt down. While I'm out there I might have to pop into Huhu for lunch as'd be rude not to.

I'm also lucky enough to repeat last year's one-in-a-life-time opportunity to see Sirocco the Kakapo by seeing him again! He's visiting the Waikato at the same time as me. Perhaps I'll also visit the Kiwi House to see the kiwis being feed in the afternoon. I haven't been there for years and years.

Can you tell I'm just a little bit excited?!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Still alive...

It's been a long time between posts. My lap top has carked it after only a few months and I haven't found the time to take it back to the shop yet (borrowing my flattie's old mac but it's so very very slow). So no photos tonight.

It's a bit of a crazy time right now. We have the film festival on at the moment so I've been working a few more hours and starting much earlier in the morning. Of course this has come at the same time as the Olympics so between the early starts and very late nights watching the Games, I am exhausted and really looking forward to going on holiday in 3 weeks time! I'm limited to watching what's on Prime but I have to say watching canoe slalom is highly addictive.

The Olympics are a good excuse to sit in front of the telly so I've gotten a bit of knitting done and faffed about the internet a whole lot doing some research for my October trip to Sydney. I'll definitely be spending the first three nights in the city centre but after that there's the options of staying put there or heading out to a beach, the Blue Mountains or the Hunter Valley for a couple of nights. Decisions, decisions. First world problems aye.

On the knitting front I finished the baby hat I last blogged about. It turned out very cute. As I was making it up as I went along there are a few things I would change or improve next time. I do need to work on my bobbles. Hopefully I'll get my laptop sorted and some pics up next week.

Continuing with my list of things to knit over the winter, I've cast on a beanie for a xmas present. It's pretty plain, being for a man. It's in black cascade 220 with twisted rib and a rolled brim. Hopefully it will fit.

I had my first full day off work for the last couple of weeks today so got out into the garden. It's been so neglected over the winter. I've pretty much let it do it's own thing. Two Sundays ago we went to the garden centre to buy some plants and I only got around to putting them into the soil today! I planted more kale, New Zealand spinach and replaced some herbs that went missing from the pots on the front porch. Seriously, who nicks other people's pot plants?! So not cool.