South Island 2014 Wanaka – Te Anau

Everyday we are noticing same people we saw on the ferry, on tracks and in accommodations – looks like, most travelers started explore South Island from West Coast. This morning we woke up one hour earlier than usual, got breakfast and made sandwiches for brunch in completely empty kitchen and moved to Te Anau using alternative road to watch bra valley. I heard that real story is not funny. Oh, yes, bra fence was moved out from road side, they installed billboard and replaced old bras with newer ones.

Landscapes started to change: Otago region is dry and mountain. We saw a few falcons during the day. Before we started our trip, our friends told us there is heaps of cars and slow camper vans on South Island – nothing of the kind!. Really, roads are empty.

Try to see Queenstown airport near lake Wakatipu in top left corner:

Made a few video on serpentine roads. I can only guess when I can post-process it and upload.

During Christmas, people in Arrowtown go into church for a mass. Only tourists hanging around on the streets.

Central part of Arrowtown keeps its original style – you still can walk among old buildings and tiny streets. Due to Christmas, all cafes and restaurants were closed, so we had a feeling we got into museum:

In the beginning of our travel I was counting how many days we have to watch and visit as much places as possible, but now we are started to count how many days left before the end 🙂 Too much emotions, to much have seen, we are getting tired, but anyway, we follow the plan, we haven’t skipped anything from the list and we always in time to check-in for a night in accommodation. Thinking to do this travel again in more relaxed way on a camper. Everyday driving, even if it’s no more than 300km is exhausting. Ideally, you have to take a rest after one day driving and spend next day staying the same place, exploring town, walking around it and so on. Every town we stayed overnight (and this is our common opinion) is worth to spend at least another full day there.

Watched old bridge across the river near Arrowtown. New concrete steel bridge which was build near the old one is cost $1.5 million. Later, in Queenstown I saw advertisement on real estate agency about selling a house for $1.8 million. Where is the logic?

First thing we did in Queenstown was queuing for cable car. It make sense to buy cable car ticket and lunch but in our case there were no seats in restaurant. From height of 790 meters you can see spectacular views to Queenstown, lake Wakatipu and mountains:

After walking on top of the hill we came down to search for a lunch

Forgot to add: no one works during the Christmas, I mean on 25th and 26th December! Almost no one. Supermarkets, most of cafes, shops and even information centers are closed. An exception will cost you 15% subcharge. Queenstown is very beautiful. Everyone who was there say: oh, Queenstown.. 🙂 I made heaps of images worth to be placed in a separate blog post.

I already wrote some time ago, but I repeat: in my opinion celebrating New Year and Christmas in Southern hemisphere is quite ridiculous, especially when the temperature is above +25c: Santa Clauses, pine trees, elks and so on… There is no spirit of winter holiday here! Alcohol sell was prohibited near lake Wakatipu beaches, but people were bringing beer in paper bags, chilling out, grilling sausages and celebrating each other with Christmas and having fun – we could feel alcohol fumes before we entered beach. Anyway, everyone was happy. Nothing to do with Christian event 🙂 I can only guess what people do in Australia! 😮 Make a lots of pictures like this one:

It was hot so I decided to cool down and opened this year’s swimming season in lake Wakatipu. Quite chilly, but Teletsky lake is even colder. Then we moved down south to Te Anau. Tomorrow, we have to visit Fiordland. Some people say they are not so spectacular comparing to Norway fiords, but we have to start with something! 🙂

Stay tuned!

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Ivan Grigoryev's Blog
Living in New Zealand. Blogging about the country, beautiful places, everyday life.
Do a skydive - halfway completed; get 1400 - still working on; reach 300kph - completed by 96.6%