We’re in Queenstown for the weekend, Millbrook to be precise, Malaghans Road, which is closer to Arrowtown than Queenstown, for the New Zealand Bar Association conference. So while CCQC confers, DC gets to play.
I don’t care much for Queenstown town, but I’d forgotten how beautiful are the surrounds, especially out here.
I came to Millbrook in the early 1990s, shortly after it was built, but not fully completed, on a journalists’ junket, when I was working fulltime for North & South magazine. It was still hitting its straps, and I wasn’t that impressed. My how things have changed. I often grizzle about New Zealand service, but so far I haven’t been able to fault this place. We’re in a villa and it is lovely – very large, with a big bathroom, large bath, lots of space, two big-screen televisions, very nicely decorated, warm with underfloor heating. I’m watching Anderson Cooper on CNN as I blog.
The garden outside is landscaped with pond and streams like gold tailings, and when we checked in, two Mallard ducks waddled up to our door to check us out, willing us to give them some food. They’re still sleeping on the lawn.
The grounds are fabulous at this time of the year, with crocuses poking their cheery flowers through, and true snowdrops under the trees lining the avenue, especially pretty with the afternoon sunlight lighting them up.
Today was a glorious day, so I hired a bicycle and headed off to Arrowtown – a cute little protected place about six kilometres away. Thoughtfully (because you do have to take the main highway between Wanaka and Queenstown) there’s a walking/cycling track. I love old churches in these places. The Catholic Church was the grandest, but I think they’ve pretty much munted the trees out front.
The Anglican Church was sweeter, especially this rose climbing around the front door, its pink flowers toning perfectly with the green of the facings.
I found a nice little cafe in a restored cottage, bought a coffee and a sticky bun and enjoyed the spring sun.
And then it was home to Millbrook, a big cycle around the Lake Hayes track, and this afternoon I’ve booked in for a much-needed shoulder and neck massage at the well-appointed spa before the black tie dinner this evening.
As I walked my weary body back to the villa, I noticed these great drain covers: