This week has been rough for number of reasons. Sometimes when Josh and I start feeling down, we play this game where we say, “Remember that time we walked along the Seine eating crepes?” or “Remember that time we camped on a Puerto Rican beach?” or “Remember that time we picked wild blueberries in Sweden?” It’s a fun game. We have indeed been very blessed with many excellent adventures together.
Today, for Photo Friday, I want to recall one exquisite day in Queenstown, New Zealand.
It began by waking up in Wanaka, a resort town north of Queenstown. As lovely as Wanaka was, we had to get a move on. We had a strict itinerary on this trip. Before visiting New Zealand, I had never really thought about how big New Zealand actually is, but our journey from Auckland in the north, down to Wellington, across the channel via ferry, down to Milford Sound, and over to Christchurch, ended up totaling a walloping 1,996 miles! And we did it in 16 days in this thing:
Our first stop of the day was a wine tasting at the famous Gibbston Valley vineyard. This was the first vineyard to take off in the south due to the discovery that, while Merlot and Chardonnay fail in the tough Southern ground, Pinot Noir excels to transcendent heights. If you ever get to taste a wine from the Otago Valley of New Zealand, DO IT.
We continued south and found ourselves immersed in idyllic Queenstown. It’s hard to describe how painfully pretty Queenstown looked that glorious Autumn day. The streets, buildings, shops, and sights all enchanted us. But it was the setting of Queenstown that took our breath away. See for yourself.
We parked our camper at the west end of town and walked back east along the edge of Lake Wakatipu (by the way, that’s really fun to say).
We passed by monolithic Sequoia trees and elderly Californians jokingly questioned whether they made a U-turn somewhere.
We couldn’t resist stopping for tea at a cafe and sitting outside to people-watch.
I took this picture of Josh. We quickly dubbed it his “first day of school picture.”
We strolled through what I firmly believe to be the greatest park in the whole world. The park was an entire peninsula that stuck out into the lake with views on all sides. It had everything: hiking trails, tennis courts, giant trees, frisbee golf, and flowers that seemed to go on forever.
Getting a bit weary, we checked into our Holiday Park, rested a bit, and then headed back out to find some dinner. Queenstown at night felt like a fairyland. Perhaps a better way to describe it, for any of you Harry Potter fans, would be to say it is the closest I have ever come to feeling like I was in Hogsmede. It even had a magical candy store with sweets of so many varieties that my inner child did cartwheels inside my head. Just look at Josh’s face:
We eventually found a magnificent meal. Also, New Zealand beer makes me happy.
I wanted to wander forever. But we had some big days ahead of us. The next day we continued our journey to Milford Sound. I will tell you about that glorious day another time.