Geographers Take On Queenstown
It was a busy three days for all concerned. Day 1 saw an enjoyable bus ride to Queenstown where we saw a picture-perfect Central Otago on route (cue: 6th Mr Howell selfie/Snapchat for the day) and listen to Bob the bus-driver’s enlightening commentary from Glaciers to Cars and Salmon. Once settled into our amazing accommodation – what a view, we all ventured into the CBD for our orientation. Some ventured to the world famous Fergburger, where Patrick Rodger failed in his bid to finish the ‘Big Al’ burger.
The next day saw an early start so that we could make the most of skiing and boarding on Coronet Peak. This started with a quick lesson and then they unleashed us on the mountain. Mr Howell managed home base whilst Mr Skinner ventured onto the difficult learners' slopes for his first ever go at skiing – only casualty being a very well-mannered Jake Simpson.
After the fun of Coronet Peak, work was calling. We had two sessions back in the CBD. First stop was the Queenstown Lakes District Council where Alana, the Resource Consents Manager took us through the planning and decision-making process for the annual Winter Festival. Then down to Earnslaw Park to meet Lisa, the Event Manager who explained the importance of the Festival and the way she organises this. We then had to survey a local business about the impact of the Festival. Some of us decided to ‘survey’ the local Cookie Time shop workers, where Caroline and Candy were very accommodating.
Later that night, we were required to write up our findings. Some of us based ourselves at the Frankton Burger King, others at the Frankton McDonalds and some stayed at the Motor Camp.
The final day saw an awesome chat with Chris the ex-CEO of Queenstown International Airport. He invited us to sit on the conveyor belt on the International arrival terminal. He said we were allowed as we were responsible Shirley Men, as opposed to some others who couldn’t be trusted near!!
Then we went up the Gondola and had a few luge rides down the hill. This was another cool experience, where we posed for our last Mr Howell selfie.