Sunday, October 16, 2011

New Zealand Day 11 : Short Visit to Cromwell

Day 11 : 16 September 2011

We had a relaxing early morning that day, partly because our motel was back facing the Lake Wakatipu, so we were enjoying the morning breeze while having our breakfast. Breakfast that day was simple, just white bread, with fried bull-eye eggs, some sliced cucumber and onion caramalized with some chili sauce - all combined to form a complete sandwich.

Our plan that day was to take a short drive to Cromwell, as we didn't go through that route from Wanaka. It is located only around 50km from Queenstown, and we passed through Kawarau River where the famous 43m Kawarau Bridge bungy jump is located. I thought.. oh.. this one is not so bad as it is the lowest bungy jump among all.. so I jokingly asked Mr D whether I can jump. But Mr D gave me 'that' look so all I can do is watch those bunch of crazy people having fun jumping around *envy mode*.

We reached Cromwell quite early and head straight to The Mall area, where the town centre is. This is also where i-Site is located. The town is small, with some shops we can wander around. The famous fruit sculpture is also located nearby. We took some time to wander around the town before heading towards Lake Dunstan direction.

Our next destination was Juice Cafe located somewhere along State Highway 8B. This is where we can get that famous real fruit ice cream, where the vanilla ice cream block is blended together with the frozen fruits to form an ice cream. There are a number of fruits we can choose from, and we chose mixed berries ice cream. Yummy! Apart from the ice cream, we can also find some fresh fruits, dried fruits, honey and chutney here. Cromwell is the furthest town from sea in South Island, that provides suitability for its famous fruits orchards and vineyards. It was early spring when we were there, otherwise fruit picking can be an attraction.

We bought some cheap golden kiwis, Manuka honey and chutney and kept that in our car, before walking across the road towards Dunstan View, overlooking Lake Dunstan. It was nice sitting by the edge of the lake enjoying the scenery, while eating the ice cream amidst the cold weather. Lake Dunstan is a man-made lake, which was formed very recently in 1992-1993 after the construction of Clyde Dam.

It is at the bottom of this Lake Dunstan where the original Cromwell's business district lies. Some of the original historic buildings were moved to a higher location before Lake Dunstan was formed, but some are gone with the creation of the lake.

That's when the restoration of the Old Cromwell Town was started. The historic old buildings moved from its original location are restored here, and some which are gone are reconstructed. Out of curiosity we went to visit Old Cromwell Town, and can still see the reconstruction activities going on there.

It was quite amazing to think that some of the buildings seen there are the original buildings which were moved from its original location. That's how passionate they are towards preserving their historic sites. If, and only if, we Malaysians are as passionate in terms of preserving our beautiful culture.

It was already almost 2pm by the time we finished wandering around Old Cromwell Town. We were scheduled to return our rented car to Avis at 5pm in Queenstown, so we had to start our journey back to Queenstown.

On our way back to Queenstown, we dropped by at Jones' Fruit Stall. Mrs Jones' fruit farm is famous for its fruit picking activities. Too bad it was early spring, otherwise we might be able to do fruit picking. At Jones' Fruit Stall, it sells the fresh and dried fruits, bottled chutneys and honey. We bought some dried fruits, which is cheaper than what we can get in Malaysia.

Back in Queenstown, we had another couple of hours before we were due to return the car. We then had lunch at Nando's, where I had my usual quarter meal with corn. Only this time I didn't order extra hot. From my experience in Hamilton the other day, their extra hot somehow hotter than what we can get in Malaysia. Either it is really hotter, or my tongue adjusted its ability.

We then head to the city centre for another souvenir shopping activity. We head straight to DF Souvenirs to buy some small items like bag tags, key chains and other gift items for my staffs in office. I also bought some t-shirts for my son and nephews. I noticed the price of the adidas All Black jersey here is slightly more expensive than the one we bought in Taupo, so glad we bought that in Taupo.

We then head back to our motel to keep all the things we bought and perform jama' prayers, before returning our car. The procedure to return the car, again, was so simple. We just parked our rented car, return the contract and key, done! Then we walk around the city centre again, just observing the life in Queenstown.

As we didn't have our car anymore, we had to walk back to our motel, which is about 1km from the city centre. It wasn't far, but because we had to go through quite a steep hill, it's kind of challenging. Back in our motel, I did a round of laundry, and then prepared my 20-minutes meal which comprises of microwaved rice, prawn sambal and some raw salad. I purposely cooked extra rice, with the intention to cook nasi goreng the next morning for our 'bento' as we will have full day journey Queenstown-Milford Sound-Queenstown tomorrow.

Next : Enjoying the 8th wonder of the world.


  1. how do u make the microwave rice eh? do u use the normal rice or required a special rice? btw, love reading your blog!

  2. Hi Maharani.. thanks for visiting.

    Masak rice dlm microwave, boleh guna any beras. Boleh guna any beras, tapi paling senang guna basmati. Some rice kena soak dulu dalam 30 minit sebelum masak, some tak perlu. I used basmati tak payah soak. 1 cup beras, kena letak 2 cups air. Cover bekas, then masuk microwave, guna power high. 1/2 cup rice = 9 mins, 1 cup rice = about 16 minutes. Lepas dah masak, jgn keluarkan dulu dari microwave, just let it be there for another 5 minutes or so.