Page:Picturesque New Zealand, 1913.djvu/323

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207
NEW ZEALAND'S LUCERNE

suggested from Queenstown and its vicinity. They also are less imposing when viewed from high elevations, as from the top of Ben Lomond. They are seen at their best in winter, when they resemble a roughly surfaced slate marked in white with chalk. Then the gray of crumbling débris, the lighter scourings of water courses, and the yellow of the tussock in streaks and patches, are to the eye displaced by snow, the only dark spots visible being those steeps where snow cannot find a resting place.

Facing this sterile magnificence, on a pile of glacial débris, at the head of rectangular Queenstown Bay, is Queenstown, one of the chief tourist resorts of New Zealand. In "the days of old, the days of gold," Queenstown was a city of tents; now it is a town of hotels. Here, as at Rotorua, I was met by a crowd of hotel runners, who offered the glad hand, smiled benignly, and told me where I could get "superior accommodation." Gold is still found in Wakatipu district, but no gold mine there is quite so good as the one possessed by those catering to the thousands of tourists who throng Queenstown in the summer.

"But in the winter, what does this mob of innkeepers do?" I asked my busy landlord.

"We sit down," replied he complacently, "and count the days that will pass before the tourists come again."

Built largely of small blocks of the soft and brittle mica schist, Queenstown reminded me of a Mexican adobe town. Many of the stone buildings were whitewashed or