Landing in ZQU is a nerve-wracking affair, dropping into a small bowl surrounded by snow-capped mountains. From the air, the impression is that spring has not yet arrived because the native vegetation is a tussock grass that doesn’t really green up. The tree-line is quite low and the margins of the valleys are yellow-gold from gorse planted by the settlers and gone wild. Due to the cloud cover on the flight down, we don’t see Mt. Cook or much of the southern alps, but it breaks up just as we reach Queenstown.