The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 45
is a pretty little township on the banks of Lake Wakatipu, and if the tourist has a few hours to spare before the steamer starts for Queenstown, he may enjoy himself by taking a stroll along the foliage-fringed margin of the broad blue sheet of water that spreads itself in the bosom of the mountains. There are a couple of respectable hotels in Kingston, where comfortable quarters can be obtained by those who have the inclination to tarry there. The Queenstown steamer, however, is generally in waiting for the Invercargill train, and if time is a matter of consequence to the traveller, he should go on board without delay. The distance between Kingston and Queenstown is 20 miles, and the trip occupies about two hours.
The scenery by which the steamer passes is really magnificent. On one side a wild range of rocky terraces known as the Devil's Staircase excites the wonder of the observer, and on the other hand a range of seamed and bush-mantled mountains frown above the waters. Wakatipu is said to be 1400 feet deep at its greatest depth, or 400 feet below page 20 the level of the sea at Invercargill. The Lake is supposed to be the result of glacier action in the distant past, and it is stated, and currently believed by the inhabitants of the district, that any one drowned in its waters never comes to the surface after the first plunge, nor reaches the bottom, as the body becomes frozen when it gets 20 or 30 feet down, so intensely cold is the temperature. Before reaching Queenstown, the gloomy-looking and quaintly- shaped Remarkables rise in solemn majesty above the neighbouring hills, and culminate in a double cone 7,600 feet high. Passing by Halfway Bay, we perceive the river Locky rolling down from the lofty pinnacles of the Eyre Mountains. The tall spires of Bayonet Peak are passed, and skirting a dark promontory we cross Collins' Bay and find ourselves steaming under the mighty shadows of the lofty mountains that look down on the beautifully situated capital of the Wakatipu country, which nestles by the water's edge at their feet.