Our honeymoon: part 2. Queenstown, Milford Sound, Wanaka

The second part of our honeymoon

Our tour of the northern part of New Zealand had ended and the experiences and wonders we had seen (and photographed) were already many. Now, we were waiting for a short plane transfer and we would meet in the south of the island, even more pristine, wild and full of breathtaking landscapes.

After taking a plane to Rotorua and landed in Wellington, we waited a couple of hours at the airport before leaving for Queenstown. Well what to say, Wellington airport has few references to the Lord of the rings!

I only tell you that Gandalf was life-size!

Road to Queenstown

We were flying and as we approached Queenstown, we were flying closer and closer to the mountains. I was so curious to visit this part of New Zealand and the impression that I had once landed at the airport was already great! And yes, I was also very curious to see the hotel where we would have stayed for a couple of days because the pictures on the brochure seemed amazing.

A huge window covered an entire wall of the room, allowing us to see the landscape in front of us … it was like having a giant picture in the room, which changed colors continuously. From there, early in the morning we could even see the sunrise … a good morning so do not forget!

Queenstown remains one of my favorite cities in New Zealand. The landscape, the human-sized center overlooking a lake and surrounded by these mountains still a little snowy, the energy of people as we walked along the shores of the lake, but never the feeling of chaos of the metropolis. A place to live. My judgment may have been slightly overshadowed by the hotel’s wonderful breakfasts? Yes it may be, but every time I think of this stage of the journey, the memories that come back again make me goosebumps.

Do you also find that there is a certain resemblance?

Queenstown reminded me a little Trieste … for its steep climbs and stairways!

After walking for a bit in the center, we decided to take the cable car that led to the top of the nearest mountain to observe the city from a raised and panoramic point. We already had the wow effect halfway through our cable car ride. Once we arrived at their destination, we were entranced by the sight that was there and after having savored it with our eyes, we started to take many (many) photographs. That afternoon we stayed up there, exploring the surrounding area waiting for the sunset.

Frodo, Lord of the Beans … they all think!

… and we had fun doing even less serious photos (for those who were wondering, probably this will be the twentieth photo of an endless series of attempts).

We were closer to the North Pole than Italy … incredible, isn’t it?

The sun was starting to set and the light was already giving us fabulous colors.

That sunset has kept us glued to the sky for several tens of minutes … we had done well to stay up there to admire it. As time passed, the clouds began to color with an increasingly intense pink. As a first day in Queenstown, my expectations had already been amply fulfilled!

The next day we took the car to explore some scenic spots nearby, views only seen on some Instagram page or on some site.
This picture below is the hall of the hotel … how much would you like to have a room like that?

And here we are there in the breakfast room … I was I enjoying the morning sun waiting for the delicacies that would fill (maybe too much) the table. That day, when we left, a Japanese man sitting at the next table looked at me (after looking at the pile of plates on the table) with a certain admiration (or at least I think so … he was upset anyway). How to be recognized!

This view was simply beautiful … the south island of NZ was giving us unforgettable glimpses!

The destination of that day was Glenorchy, a tiny town an hour’s drive from Queenstown, as small as it was impressive. There was not much to see, apart from the red house and a pier, but the walks around there have made us immerse in a special atmosphere. Nearby, they filmed some scenes from the film “The Lord of the Rings” and seeing the landscapes, the memories of some scenes of the film immediately resurfaced!

You must know that in NZ you can find yourself on a dirt road very quickly as soon as you decide to take a small detour … and that was what we had done that day. Intrigued by the landscape, we went along one of these streets until we found this sign. Maybe it was time to make a reversal and go back!

On the way back, there was another lake in a wonderful setting. I had seen it on Instagram, so why not go there since it was on the street? In that place (reachable through a dirt road … of course!), There were only us, so many sheep, horses and some tourists. The landscape seemed surreal and it was so beautiful that we decided to wait for the sunset there.

Ok, it was worth it!

Ah yes, I forgot! There were also ducks, rather harsh I dare say! They wanted at all costs to get into the car of these tourists!

The light diminished again and the sky was filled with stars … lots of stars. We could see them reflected in the lake and the Milky Way was very visible. We had goose bumps.

Road to Milford Sound

It was time to reach the destination that most intrigued me about the whole trip: Milford Sound.

Reading of this fjord on our guide (and having opened the eyes of so much beauty) one of the first things they were talking about was the weather not so favorable, because in this place it rains about 320 days a year. Ok, we were already resigned because we were still in spring, the weather was uncertain and we would have stopped there one afternoon, the night and one morning. We did not expect the sun here, given the odds (despite my prevailing optimism!). We gasoline in the last city before taking the road that would take us there and the weather seemed to promise well!

At the beginning of the path that leads to Milford Sound there is a sign warning us that we would have driven two hours by car, without gas stations on the route and with the indications of the positions of the telephone booths along the way … yes because we do not he took the field!

And this is the only house we saw in those two hours. I think this inhabitant does not love the company very much!

After traveling three completely different landscapes from each other, we arrived and … it was sunny! An opportunity like this was unrepeatable and we had to exploit it to the end. The fjord was immense, magnificent and we could not wait to embark on the boat on which we would sleep that night, to be able to admire other areas of that place.

A light like that is unforgettable. Our happiness and disbelief was so great and we admired the countless waterfalls that descended along the walls of the fjord. The sun was coming down and was slowly giving us more and more incredible light. My experience in this place already at that moment could be said to be the best of the whole trip, but I still did not know what would have been expected later.

This waterfall is a hundred meters high and the colors of that rainbow were very intense … luck on luck!

We were heading towards the outside of the fjord, where it opens out to the ocean.

And here is the first sighting! A Royal penguin!

The captain of the ship stopped a little at this point and told us some anecdotes. In this stretch, for example, the sea is rarely so calm and flat, so much so that, the white lighthouse you see in the left part of the photo below, has been swept away by the waves three times already! It was very much that the ship could not get to this point because the sea conditions did not allow it, so this was already another great gift from nature.

It was time for dinner, so we went back to the ship to take a seat. I had put the first piece of meat on when I heard someone shouting from across the hall: “Dolphins! Dolphins!” We left everything that was on the table and we slammed outside. They were there, a dozen dolphins were returning to the bay. The captain had seen them and had reversed the ship’s course. Now they played with the waves we were creating.

We had the sunset in the background and the dolphins were playing five meters away from us. This was the most exciting moment of the whole trip and in telling it to me I get goosebumps again.

As I told you before, a calm sea situation like the one we had on that day was really rare, so the captain took the opportunity to have us dine in the open sea, with the bow facing Australia, surrounded only by wonders. The sky was a little overcast, but all of a sudden a powerful ray of sunshine came out and illuminated the shores of the fjord with a golden and intense light.

We were incredulous thinking of the experience we were experiencing.

And when the sunset ended, an albatross passed in front of us, as if to announce that for that day, the show was over.

Day 2 in the fjord. Clouds covered the top of the mountains. That morning the tour included some stops that would allow us to see other animals in freedom, including seals and penguins.

And here they are the seals! Can you distinguish them? They blend perfectly!

A very special lady!

Our journey into the fjord had ended and we could not be happier! We had witnessed an unforgettable sunset, we had seen the dolphins play with the waves of the ship, seen flying an albatross at sunset and the seals dive into the water. We were full of energy to reach the next destination! But first I wanted to stop in a pitch that I had seen on the way down the road, but we had not had time to stop. Here it was, it was there, but all those people? We approached and saw a whole bus of Japanese around a car. What were they watching? They had decided to visit us the only species in the world of Alpine Parrots and were posing for the photos (hoping to receive some culinary reward).

Gps at the hand and away.

Road to Wanaka Lake

The road that led us to Wanaka definitely did not make us fall asleep! From what we had read, Wanaka was an obligatory stop, but where we did not stay long.

A few meters from the shore of the lake there is a tree, half immersed in water, very photogenic and photographed in every way: we had to see it!

And here it is! Well yes, it was very photogenic … and no, I’m not the girl on the tree: P

Ok, now I’m more credible! A couple of minutes of relaxation before leaving to explore the surroundings of the lake. On the other hand, a window like this in the house is my dream and I enjoy that moment.

Unexpected guests!We returned to photograph the tree at sunset, at the end of our walk, after having sipped beer in the local winner of the Beer Festival 2016 (it was very good!)

The next day we left again … Tekapo Lake was waiting for us, but before leaving Wanaka we absolutely had to try the Puzzling World, a park full of optical illusions and puzzles, complete with a labyrinth!

Me and my perplexed face … let’s say I would not like to have a room like that at home!

Contrary to what you may think, these masks are hollow. Moving left and right you had the impression that they rotated in our direction … as strong as disturbing!

And here is the labyrinth. At first sight it seemed simple … let’s say that after spending an hour and a half we had changed our mind, but the important thing is to be able to get out of it!

this is me that I delight with a few puzzles before starting again. If you’re wondering, I managed to solve it, but do not ask me how!

And with this embarrassing photo (resisting the temptation was impossible), I greet you and I’ll meet you at the next chapter of the trip!

Have a nice day,

Ilaria

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