After a short 3 hour trip, we were in Queenstown, New Zealand where the weather was drastically different from what we experienced in Australia. While it was in the 80s and 90s in Port Douglas and the Daintree Rainforest in Australia, it was barely 40 degrees when we got to Queenstown. But despite the frigid weather (and me having a cold during this part of the trip), we were awed by the majestic beauty of Queenstown.
All photos personal unless otherwise noted.
|View from in front of our hotel|
|The Remarkables--famous mountain range in Queenstown|
What We Did
- Scenic Cruise of the Milford Sound
|Entering the fjords; huge waterfalls|
|Clearly it was cold!|
|Mr. M filling our water bottle with delicious stream water|
|Mr. M is king of the world; I kept holding cups of hot water to warm my hands|
|More sights from the Sound, including some seals|
- Lord of the Rings Safari of the Scenes Tour
|Beautiful forest where several battles scenes from LOTR were filmed|
|Hotel lobby / Image via New Zealand|
We also had some truly excellent meals in Queenstown, particularly at Botswana Butchery (excellent steakhouse), the infamous Fergburger (amazing burgers), Fergbaker (AMAZING meat pies--we had the venison & mushom pie which was to die for) and dessert at Patagonia chocolates (where we had the famous hokey pokey ice cream).
|At Patagonia Chocolates for a Hokey Pokey ice cream|
For this portion of our trip, we had a car and it was very interesting trying to get used to driving on the right side of the road. Luckily Mr. M is a driving pro and despite it being his first time driving on the right, he mastered it and got us safely to each stop along the way from Hawke's Bay to Auckland, driving nearly 350 miles in total (spread out over 3 days).
|Mr. M driving like a pro on the other side of the road|
- Self-Guided Bike Tour
|Beautiful day for a bike ride through wine country|
Where We Stayed & Ate
|Beautiful sunset sky from our living room at Millar Road|
We had some pretty amazing meals while we were here, most notably at Craggy Range winery for dinner, Black Barn Bistro for lunch, Vidal winery, Pipi's (yummy pizza), Indigo (Indian) and Rush Monro's for more hokey pokey ice cream. After days of lazing around, having incredible wine, and a few spa treatments, it was time to move on.
We drove east to spend a night in Taupo, then drove further east to get to our last excursion in New Zealand--the Waitomo (aka Glowworms) Caves.
What We Did
- Black Water Rafting in the Waitomo Caves
|Just to give you an idea of what the glowworms look like / Image via New Zealand|
|We were taught how to abseil right outside the cave entrance|
|You can't tell by my face, but I was absolutely terrified to abseil 100 feet into this cave!|
|Jumping about 10 feet into freezing water; taking a ride down a mini water slide|
|This adventure was definitely not for anyone who was claustrophobic|
|We attempted to spell "Waitomo" with our headlights and colored cups, but it didn't quite work out lol|
|Everyone in our group looking shell-shocked when we were finally done. Talk about an adrenaline rush!!|