Thursday, January 5, 2017

New Zealand: South Island Picton to Queenstown


The beach at Ship Cove. Lovely driftwood. 

We spent three days traveling from Picton to Queenstown. There are many places to stop along the way as you travel the west coast of South Island. Among the places we visited were: a winery, a lake -  perhaps Kerr Lake - with black swans and eels, Kilkenny Gap, Cape Foulwind, pancake Rocks in  Paparoa National Park, the Franz Josef Glacier, Lake Matheson, the town of Ross with its historic sites, and more.  No doubt you can make the journey more quickly but I think most people would choose to visit the majority of the same places we did. In fact, especially if the weather is good, some places would clearly get extra time. 


I've never seen limestone form stacks like these at Pancake Rocks. I expect you can do much more in Paparoa National Park but make time to walk the circuit that shows off the Rocks, sea caves and flax lined cliffs. 


Franz Josef Glacier is kilometers away but we are st the end of this easy 1.75 mile hike. Easy trail of asfalt and hard packed dirt. Just a little climbing.


If the weather is good, no wind, the reflections off Lake Matheson can be exquisite. The clouds prevented us from getting mountain views but we got the clouds. The water has tannins in it that darken the color and improve reflections. 


Lake Wanaka is one of the largest lakes in New Zealand. It is stunning. The town of Wanaka sits on the shore and is clearly the place to be for summertime outdoor fun. 


Looking down from Bob's Peak on Queenstown. 

And enjoy this video. 

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