During our travels, we've spoken to dozens of fellow travellers about where they've been and what they've done and ALL of them have said that New Zealand is the most beautiful country they have ever seen. Not a single person has said otherwise. Having had a clear bird's-eye-view of the terrain from the airplane, before landing in Queenstown, and walked around Lake Wakatipu, I think I agree with them too!
Upon arrival, I had to throw away my "contraband" Blue Mountain honey as Customs was X-raying bags. Needless to say, they are very strict about food being brought into the country.
We picked up our small hire car and drove off to Queenstown, a small Alpine town nestled amongst towering, snow-capped mountains.
The first thing we did after we checked in to our hostel was go shopping for warm clothes because it's very very very cold! In fact, the meteorologists have overestimated the temperatures - daytime was a mind-numbing 9 degrees, whilst the thermometer plunged to -2 degrees! After 11 weeks ranging from 20-40 degrees, this has come as a complete shock to the system.
Our first night was magical: the "supermoon" rising over the mountains and reflected on the lake below, a delicious dinner of New Zealand lamb cooked to perfection at Finz restaurant by the waterfront and drinks by the quirky Wharf Pub. We are now in scenic/gastronomic heaven!
Spent the whole of the next day (Monday) walking along Lake Wakatipu. Originally, I'd hired a mountain bike for the day but found it more of a hindrance than a help, so I tied it to a lamp post and walked the 6km or more to Frankton. I was mesmerised by the reflections of the surrounding circle of majestic mountain peaks on the mirror-smooth surface of the lake and the fiery autumnal leaves shimmering in the cool breeze. What better way to spend a sunny day in May than walking in the countryside!
Dinner consisted of delicious seafood dishes at a Thai restaurant followed by drinks and a live acoustic gig performed by a musician called Tahnz at Wharf Pub.