If you are travelling in the southerly direction from the Glaciers towards Queenstown it is a very long remote drive through the Haast Pass. We double checked the weather forecast for this drive as in the winter a canadian couple travelling got caught in a really bad storm and were swept off of the road and died. We were really fortunate with the weather and we had lovely sunshine. We drove by snowcapped mountains, meandering bright blue rivers and crossed many one lane bridges. We stopped on the way at the Blue pools - crystal clear cold blue lakes. Then we reached the northern tip of Lake Wanaka which is pretty big! Here the scenery was just amazing. The sky was a deep blue and the lake was sparkling surrounded by handsome brown mountains. It looked like no one else was around for miles. We kept stopping and going down to the shoreline and looking at how clear the water was. I think it was one of the hilights of the trip. We finally ended up at the town of Wanaka.
On our last visit we only passed through Wanaka and wished we could have stayed there as it looked really nice. We ended up staying three days. We spent our time doing a few short walks, one up Mt Iron which overlooked the town and walked around a bit of the sparkling lake at sunset. The town had such a laid back holiday feel - we really enjoyed it!
We then made our way - only just over an hours drive away to Queenstown via Cromwell. Cromwell wasn't too interesting for us. We got to Queenstown and checked into the creeksyde holiday park which is right in the town. It started to cloud over and the rest of the day it rained really heavily! We had much better weather for our next few days. Queenstown is such a picturesque town surrounded by the Remarkables mountain range. It is also very very touristy, and every person who worked in a shop seemed to be English! One of the days we celebrated Kams birthday and decided to spend a bit more money than usual so we had a very tasty breakfast in the Vudu cafe, then we went on the skyline gondola where you get a perfect view over the town. For lunch we had an amazing vanilla slice and custard pie from Fergbaker and in the evening we had a Fergburger - which are very famous in Queenstown, there are always queues outside. We both had a southern swine burger which was really good - one of the best burgers we have had. So Kams birthday mostly involved stuffing our faces. One of the days we drove to Glenorchy and Paradise where we had spectacular NZ scenery and saw where a few scenes from LOTR were filmed. This area was really remote, we found two irish guys who got their van stuck in a mudddy ford, we tried to help them out but they were really stuck - luckily a farmer helped them! We stopped for a while at Glenorchy where it was really cold and we met a crazy dog! The dog had a collar on but no owner present, the dog would bark at anyone that would pay attention to throw a stick at it, we fell for him and played for a while but once we put the stick down he would look at you in the eyes and bark - like 'why aren't you playing with me anymore!' we suspect the owner is a local who thinks they can get their dog exercised by soppy tourists!!
We visited a small town called Arrowtown a short drive away which is quite historical by NZ standards, there was an old Chinese settlement which was quite interesting.
We spent quite a bit of money in Queenstown, it is a bit of a tourist trap but we had a great time. We had the most amazing steak pie from Fergbaker, it had huge tasty chunks of steak in - yumbo.
Time to loose some weight.........