The Last Bit of New Zealand

Thursday, August 08, 2013

I realized I never posted the last leg of my New Zealand journey--Queenstown.
After trekking through the glacier, I stopped off at a hot spring. It was included in the glacier heli-hike package, and it couldn't have come at a more opportune time. I'd been living out of a mini van for 3 days now, and hadn't showered. Ha! So I LOVED IT. Don't worry, I showered before going into the pools ;).

Feeling refreshed, I made my way to Queenstown by way of Wanaka.

I stopped to hike and explore the blue pools.

I wandered through the small town of Wanaka, took another scenic hike, and bumped into some friends I met on the cruise from Wellington to Picton.

Feeling a bit pooped from driving, I wandered Queenstown on foot. I heard from other travelers that Queenstown was their favorite city and immediately I understood the why. It, like the rest of New Zealand, is gorgeous. A medium sized town tucked in the middle of mountains and lakes. I explored my options for exploring Milford Sound and signed up for a fancy tourist bus. Though I did kayak like I originally intended, I had a great time sitting back and letting someone else do the driving for a change. Also, the bus had a glass ceiling and gigantic windows so it was perfect for viewing the scenery.
Welcome to the land of Lord of the Rings! 
We made various stops along the way including Mirror Lake and a river where we were allowed to drink the water. So tasty.
After 4 hours of winding roads and stunning scenery, we entered Milford sound and boarded our boat. The weather was gloomy and rainy but the rain created hundreds of mini waterfalls so it was a win. Our boat also went a bit underneath one of the waterfalls and I got SOAAAKED. Wet butt for the rest of the day.
We got back to Queenstown later in the evening and I drove back to a nearby campsite. The moon guided my way.
The next morning, I wandered the city one last time, grabbed an insanely delicious burger, picked up a bottle of Pinor Noir to take home, and drove about 6 hours to Christchurch to return the car and fly back to the Philippines.
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