John & Anne Wiley

2017/07/27

Around Queenstown

With four days (two full days) to relax and explore the Queenstown area, we began our first full day there driving a few miles West along Lake Wakatipu. Here’s a scenery sample.

115335 Lakeshore Drive

115335 Lakeshore Drive

Back in town we walked the beach where a massive, boisterous, yet courteous crowd of mostly NZ teens & twenties had celebrated Christmas Eve. So courteous, they left quietly at 10pm after gathering up every trace of their loud party. Now the beach was mostly quiet tourists like us, taking in the spectacular scenery or boating from the beach.

2648 Beautiful Beach

2648 Beautiful Beach

Did you notice the gondola up to the peak, and the two paragliders in that pic? In contrast with yesterday’s two flights and driving, we enjoyed a leisurely lunch dockside where we continued soaking it all in, and watched this eel patrolling beneath our feet.

171103 Eel Patrol

171103 Eel Patrol

Soon we had ridden that gondola up for a look back down at the beach (bottom-right).

2682 Over Queenstown

2682 Over Queenstown

Then we hiked up the trail beyond, passing flowers where we glanced back on our way for a glimpse beyond.

2725 Trail Garland

2725 Trail Garland

Stretching our legs climbing through dark silent forest was soothing after the stimulating city and noisy gondola bustle. Looking across a ravine to the northwest, we felt deeply invited to hike on into the wild.

2743 Wilderness Invitation

2743 Wilderness Invitation

But yearning for more variety in our dwindling hours we hiked back down to explore the town and area more. The next and last day in this area included a scenic short drive North up Gorge Road to a peaceful moment at the spectacular Shotover River.

2873 Silent Shotover Gorge

2873 Silent Shotover Gorge

The silence was shattered when a roaring jetboat raced crazily past with a load of screaming thrill seekers.

2856 Noisy Shotover Gorge

2856 Noisy Shotover Gorge

The fun they were having as each boat briefly passed, punctuated the quiet between after their echoes faded up and down the turquoise river. Driving back through Queenstown to the airport, we paused to soak in sheep in tall grass beneath ancient carved stone yielding to time and vegetation. This was a nourishing way to cherish our last moments in New Zealand.

2929 Sheep Time

2929 Sheep Time

Advertisements

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: