Australian Journal Redux: Day Five/New Zealand Day Six

Finished a terrific workshop, great people, then a massage, then to St. Patrick’s Church, built in 1855. Finally, dinner with Libby at Quay Restaurant, overlooking the harbor.

Next day we flew to Christchurch in New Zealand, but not before the Qantas computer system failed throughout all of Australia. We managed to finally get underway, had a long layover because of a late connection, but arrived in Queenstown barely an hour before the festivities began.

Rob Nixon, one of my Million Dollar Club colleagues who treated us at Doyle’s on the beach a couple of days ago, opened another of his terrific coaching club conferences here high atop a mountain, a gondola required to get you to the meeting. An incredible group of Maori singers and dancers provided a traditional, celebratory greeting, making Rob chief, and forcing him to lead ten “volunteers” in the ensuing dances. I was hiding behind several women.

I’m lodged, thanks to Rob, at Eichardt’s Private Hotel, which has five residences, and is far beyond exquisite. A sensational set of rooms with a view of the lake comprise my digs. There’s a fireplace and little touches such as chocolate and Bailey’s by the bed as a nightcap.

You fly into Queenstown like a drunk, with the 737 taking hairpin turns around mountains to line itself up with the field’s single runway, precipitously diving over the water. The plane barely hits the runway and the pilot is reversing the engines, hitting the brakes, and dropping anchors.

Weather permitting, tomorrow we’re taking a chopper to a glacier.

The Harbor from the Quay Restaurant:

Libby at dinner:

The threatening runway:

The gondola trip:

The Maori dancers:

My place at Eichardt’s:

© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved.

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