Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Scenic Drive - Franz Josef to Queenstown

On the third day of our road trip around the South Island of New Zealand, we drove from Franz Josef Glacier to Queenstown. We figured it would take us about five hours, but we (Peter) drove for the better part of the day, stopping quite a few times for photos and various scenic turnoffs. As I mentioned in my last post, I'm glad we allocated plenty of time to drive slowly and explore. The scenery, especially along the west coast, is unbelievable and I would have been disappointed if we had to rush through this portion of the drive.

Franz Josef Glacier to Queenstown:



Our first turn-off led to this extremely blue river. I swear every stream, lake, and creek we saw in New Zealand was crystal clear. None of that gross can't-see-the-bottom lake water, which is how I like it. Fun fact: one of my greatest fears in life is stepping on an unidentified object in a cloudy lake. 
We drove by Lake Wanaka, just briefly, and while the lake is known for its vibrant color, the cloudy weather didn't allow for a very good picture. Luckily, we spent a night in Wanaka near the end of our trip, so you'll get to see it in all its glory in a future post. Try to contain your excitement. 
As we got closer to Queenstown, we passed a couple of lakes and obviously had to break out the selfie stick. If we were sending a Christmas card this year (do people still do those?) it would probably be this picture, but we're not organized enough to actually do that, so just pretend we did.
Lake Hawea with the GoPro.
My attempt at an artistic flower photo. I'm actually quite proud of this one.
Greenery and palm trees on the ground with a backdrop of snow-capped mountains made for a pretty amazing view.
We pulled into Queenstown right before dinner and found our hotel. There was a nice lobby attached to half of the guest rooms and then there was a row of hostel-type rooms across the parking lot that looked considerably dodgier. We had a moment of panic when I thought I might have accidentally booked the latter, but luckily we were in the main building and actually ended up getting a room upgrade. This was by far our most luxurious accommodation on this trip, and we spent a bit of time each morning and evening on the patio overlooking Lake Wakatipu. We could have stayed here a lot longer than two days and been perfectly content!
We went to the information center, scheduled our activities for the next couple of days, and then got a quick dinner. We headed to a little pizza place on the main street and had the largest pizza I've ever seen. I don't know if I should admit this, but we only brought two pieces back to the hotel.

Stay tuned for a recap of our Queenstown adventures in the next couple days!


Linking up with Lauren and Courtney for Travel Tuesday!!




More New Zealand adventures:

18 comments:

  1. Definitely seems like a roadtrip I'd want to you with beautiful sceneries everywhere you look!!

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    1. I highly recommend it if you ever get the chance!!

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  2. As always, fabulous pictures and commentary. I feel like I am traveling the world with your travel blog. Will miss having you two home for Christmas. Yes, Laura we still send Christmas cards. I mailed yours today. Merry Christmas.

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    1. Eagerly awaiting the arrival of your card! We don't get too much mail over here ;).

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  3. Excited to read your journey from Franz Josef Glaciers to Queenstown. A friend and I are trying to coordinate where to visit in southern New Zealand, and this might be a fun itinerary to explore! Can't wait to read more about your adventures.

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    1. Ahh you will love it!! The South Island is probably the most beautiful place I've ever been. I high recommend Queenstown, Milford Sound, and Mount Cook (I'll post on all those in the next week or so!).

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  4. Great place to do a road trip! I like to allocate plenty of time to stop and explore too. Thanks for the ideas. Hope to do something similar in the future.

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    1. Yes, I highly recommend a road trip on the South Island...we could have spent even more time just exploring and driving around! Definitely want to go back.

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  5. It is a goal of mine to do this exact South Island roadtrip! I will be following along with you. And the pizza- yum!

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    1. It was amazing!! The only thing I wish we could have done differently is more time! Two to three weeks would have been ideal.

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  6. More absolutely amazing pictures and commentary! I feel like I am seeing new things through your eyes!! Exciting to read about your adventures.

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    1. Thanks, Mom! There's still time for you to meet us in New Zealand next year ;).

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  7. Gorgeous photographs! I love the South Island but I haven't been in years - lovely to revisit again through your blog :)

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    1. Thank you! The South Island is so beautiful!

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  8. What beautiful scenery !! I love the pictures of the palm trees with the snowy mountains in the background. Looks like a great road trip!

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    1. It was an awesome road trip! I don't know that I've ever seen scenery quite like it before.

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  9. MAIL ME THAT PIZZA

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  10. I prefer to read this kind of stuff. The quality of content is fine and the conclusion is good. Thanks for the post

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About


Welcome! I started Laura and Peter Down Under in July 2014 when my husband and I moved from the States to Melbourne, Australia for his job. I blog about expat life, our travels, food, and whatever else comes to mind. Follow along on our adventures Down Under!

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