New Zealand – Queenstown

Our drive down from Franz Josef was simply sensational.

It’s just under 5hrs based on distance but we couldn’t help but stop so many times to admire the stunning views enroute.

Ship Creek on the coast has a nice walk along the sand dunes and to the edge of a small lake.

The forest just back from the coast looks primeval!

From Haast you start heading inland to cross the mountains towards Wanaka.

The views of the valleys, the lakes and the mountains are just sumptuous, so I’ve added way too many photographs below to share what we encountered!

Lake Wanaka

Finally the road starts to lead down into Queenstown below.

We stayed in hotel on the bay in Queenstown and it took us a while to figure out where the town actually was!

So we took a walk around the bay into Queenstown itself, it was 1.5hrs (8k) away but a beautiful walk none the less.

Set in the south west of the South Island, Queenstown’s urban population is only around 16,000 and the wider district under 50,000.

The town is set around a bay on Lake Wakatipu and has views of nearby mountains making for a beautiful natural setting.

There are plenty of outdoor excursions here, including skiing in the winter months.

A seagull sits above a statue of a giant Moa bird. Now extinct from over hunting in the 13th century.

Rainbow over Queenstown.

Next we head to Milford Sound before heading north.

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