In October 2006 we did a trip to New Zealand starting with a few days in the North Island covering Aukland and Rotorua. From Rotorua we flew to Blenheim in the South Island via Wellington.The bulk of the trip covered the South Island starting from Blenheim and driving around the island anti-clockwise visiting Picton, Nelson, Punakaiki, Hokitika, Franz Josef Glacier, Fox Glacier, Lake Matheson, Haast, Queenstown, Te Anua, Milford Sound, Dunedin, Moeraki, Oamaru, Mount Cook and finishing in Christchurch.
From Fox Glacier we headed south towards Queenstown. It was a stunningly beautiful drive particularly after Haast when we headed inland and through some spectacular valleys.
We stopped on the road south to see the beautiful Blue Pools which was a short walk down to the river and across a suspension bridge.
We passed by the stunning Lake Wanaka prior to arriving into Queenstown. The lake is New Zealand’s fourth largest lake, estimated to be more than 300 m deep. Its name is Māori, a corruption of Oanaka. The town near the foot of the lake is also called Wanaka.
We arrived into Queenstown which is a beautiful town by the side of Lake Wakatipu. Our accommodation had a view out over the town and towards the lake and the mountains behind.
The next day we took a trip up on the Skyline cable car to the peak where we got incredible views out over the town and the lake.
There are many exciting activities to do in and around Queenstown and we decided to do the jet boat trip on the Shotover River. This was really a thrilling experience moving up and down the river at breakneck speed and even more so as on the return trip it started to hail and the force of the hailstones on our faces was really painful.
Queenstown had many restaurants and bars so it was easy in the evening to find somewhere to eat and relax.
We took a lovely boat trip from Queenstown on the SS Earnslaw to Walter Peak, a small farming community further down the lake.
The setting at Walter Peak was beautiful with a group of beautiful houses right by the lake surrounded by colourful rhododendron flowers. We got the obligatory sheep dog demonstration and sheep shearing demonstration which we had also seen earlier on in Rotorua.
A lot of The Lord of The Rings movie was shot in New Zealand and we took a short drive to visit some of the sites which were located close to Queenstown. It was amazing to see how a very small part of the hillside could be transformed into an epic battle site for the movie.
From the hillside here we got a wonderful panoramic view down Lake Wakatipu with The mountains known as The Remarkables in the background. Looking back we also got a great view of Queenstown.
Passionate Photographer …. Lost in Asia
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