A Photo Tour of New Zealand, Part II
Driving from Dunedin to Queenstown proved to be similar to driving down the East coast in that the landscape constantly changed every hour or so. This route took us inland from the East coast to the West and although a little less spectacular, it was still stunning. We hiked up a hill to an amazing 360 view and came upon this terribly profound sign. What a disturbing thought!
Even inland there are plenty of lakes providing wonderful views with unique combinations of color and texture. More overcast skies but still plenty of eye candy.
With its British heritage one drives on the left side in New Zealand. In our case that seemed to be an advantage on our route as I had the best view out the passenger side window.
I had no idea what to expect from Queenstown and with Christmas Day quickly approaching, we knew this year’s holiday would be unique to say the least.
Queenstown sits on Queenstown Bay, an inlet on Lake Wakatipu. The setting at the base of several mountains is breathtaking.
On Christmas Day, everyone was in celebration mode.
Most of the country has a ban on selling alcohol from Christmas Day through New Year’s Day. I can only guess why this law exists but I can say that the locals prepare in advance. Restaurants are allowed to serve but all bars and liquor stores are closed. Alcohol sales were banned for both the recent Justin Bieber concert and all 3 dates of Adele’s concerts.
Everyone seemed to be having fun and behaving rather well considering the photo above.
In the water or out, the young people in Queenstown spent the day partying in the lake, on the lake and along the lake. By sundown the crowds had quietly dispersed.
The following day we took a cruise round the gorgeous lake watching para-sailers and hang-gliders.
We rode the gondola to the top of the mountain to see the view from above.
Near the top of the mountain is a bungee jumping platform. Bungee jumping was invented in New Zealand.
Another amazing view of Queenstown from atop the mountain.
There is even a luge run on top of the mountain for the kids.
Later we took a helicopter tour of the mountains and landed on a glacier to take in the view.
The mountains, lakes and glaciers were spectacular.
Although I have been in several helicopter in the past, this was just stunning.
This is Milford Sound, “Inner Earth” from the Lord of the Rings movies.
It’s no wonder they chose this location to film the movie as it was otherworldly.
We were only there for a few minutes since we were on a helicopter tour.
As in most of New Zealand, the sky changed quickly which made photography tricky.
Imagine a world with no water.
The gnats were intense near the water but the tour was so worth the hefty price.