Friday, 29 April 2011

Distance from Queenstown to Skippers Point

We increasingly get asked about the travel distance from Queenstown to Skippers Point. On average, one way into Skippers covers only about 33km.

Skippers Point can only be reached by travelling on Skippers Road through Skippers Canyon. It is true that Skippers Road is a public road and the speed limit on this road is the same as on all other New Zealand public roads.

Skippers Road is a mountain road. It is unsealed and just as wide as it needs to be for 1 single vehicle. Passing maneuvers can only be performed at specific bays along the way.

It is certainly true that travelling on Skippers Road is a real adventure and it is fun. If I where to caution you to travel on your own, I would say the following:
  • only travel on Skippers Road with a 4WD vehicle. This road is unsealed and you want to make sure that you don't slide.
  • Make sure you don't take your Rental Car into the canyon. You will not be insured if you were to have an accident or create any other damage to the vehicle.
  • Don't take your Camper Van into Skippers Canyon - for the 2 very reasons I listed above.
  • Make sure you travel with at least 1 other vehicle - a 4WD vehicle. Just in case you get stuck (let's say you travel in Autumn and you go off-road), you will be glad that someone else is there to tear you out of the ruts.
  • Know the rules on this road: give way to uphill traffic. BUT: use a little common sense when encountering another vehicle. If a passing bay is let's say about 3 meters behind you but you are travelling uphill, be smart and don't insist on having right-away - just reverse those 3 meters to let the other vehicle pass.
  • Most of all, adjust your speed. It is true, Skippers Road is a public road and in theory you would be allowed to travel at 80 kph - but this is not advisable - believe me...
We travel on Skippers Road more or less every day - 365 days a year. We know the road; we love the road and the adventure it creates for our customers. It is true that we charge our customers to join our Queenstown tours but they love this different kind of adventure and they feel safe; they can enjoy the views, take pictures, indulge in the picnic we prepare and simply treasure those couple of hours during which they were taken care of - a true holiday experience.

Travel time and travel speed on Skippers Road
Traffic on this mountain road

See you soon in Skippers Canyon!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Real Gold found in Skippers Canyon Queenstown

Skippers Canyon in the back country of Queenstown, New Zealand is undoubtedly famous for the gold rush that took place in the late 1800s. Thousands of gold miners flocked to this area to find their luck - some succeeded but many were left trying, getting richer only in experience.

Some people might think that the gold rush belongs to the past of Skippers Canyon - those days are over. It is definitely true that there are very few people left who still maintain a claim in Skippers. Which basically means that gold can still be found in Skippers Canyon.

Just recently, we met one of those gold miners in the canyon. While on tour with some customers, we stopped to talk to him. Our customers genuinely appreciated this opportunity and quizzed him about his success in finding gold. He was happy to let us know that he found several little flakes of gold.

I personally don't know much about the hard work of gold panning, but I know that it is a very lengthy process that requires a lot of passion and patience. If you are lucky to find a resourceful claim, you are fortunate in every sense of the word but those claims are not indicated by a sign or something like it and luck still plays an important role. This suspicion was confirmed by the gold miner.

After a while, we had to continue our encounter with the historical places in Skippers Canyon. But before we left, we bought some of those gold flakes. For us, those flakes are a timeless remainder that Skippers Canyon is a true gold mine. It is very precious to the gold miners who still try and in fact do find their luck, for us as a sightseeing tour operator who loves to share this remarkable area with our visitors and for you people out there who wish to experience something different.

And who knows, maybe you will meet a gold miner in Skippers Canyon while travelling with us and you might be able to buy a very special souvenir.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Your 4 L Queenstown Attraction: experience LIFE in Skippers Canyon

Skippers Canyon in Queenstown's backcountry is without a doubt famous for its gold rush history. Gold was found in sheer abundance and thousands of fortune seekers flocked to this beautiful area. They learned how to live with this rough teacher called nature and flourished. They erected schools and small towns in the middle of nowhere which we call today Skippers Point.

Today, we still can observe this legacy that was brought to us by the gold miners. Queenstown - which they said is 'worth a Queen', hence the name Queenstown - flourished on the back of the gold rush and Skippers Canyon became one of the most popular Queenstown tourist Queenstown tourist attractions. Visitors to our stunning area can literally tap into this life that the gold miners had. Today, on our unforgettable Skippers Canyon tour, you can visit the restored Homestead, imagine how the women cooked the meal, how cold it must have been in winter and read how children experienced their life in Skippers Point.

Life changed this area. One very good example are the trees that cover this rugged area. Some of our visitors joined our tour a couple of years ago and are amazed by the change. Some of our guests tell us that they visited Skippers Point as a child and they can hardly believe how this area has changed.

Skippers Canyon is very much alive. It is a goldmine of life experiences which wait for you to be explored.

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Queenstown, Otago, New Zealand
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