Eventually we left Queenstown and headed towards the west coast of the Southern Island. Our first stop was still close to Queenstown in the little village of Arrowtown:
The town was founded in the 1860’s following the discovery of gold in Arrow River. Today the town retains more than 60 of its original buildings and is a popular tourist destination:
We did not manage to find out the meaning of this photo shooting in front of a “Homemade Fudge” store, but thought it exhilarating 🙂
As we continued on we had a look back down a pass. Queenstown was already hidden behind the mountain ranges:
And it was extremely windy up here, as you can see in Andy’s hair:
We continued towards Wanaka:
Somewhere along the road we made a strange discovery: Hundreds of bras were attached to a fence right next to the road. We didn’t know the meaning of this custom or how long they have already been hanging there. But it looked very funny and worthwhile a picture.
Later on, with a bit of research, we found out that the “Cardrona Bra Fence” has its own Wiki-page, with some background information.
A bit down the road a guy seemed to adopt the bra-idea with a brief, but hasn’t found any imitators so far. Perhaps guys are more sensible…? 🙂
In the afternoon we arrived at Lake Wanaka. The town of Wanaka is located at the southern end of the lake:
We stayed at a nice hostel located directly at the lake with a nice lake-view from the dining room. We enjoyed a chilled ginger beer while cooking:
And after preparing, a delicious Udon noodle dish with a Nelson Riesling:
Next morning we left Wanaka and drove along the beautiful lakeside:
We stopped at lake Hawea lookout:
And a bit later the street led us back to Lake Wanaka, where we stopped at a lookout that offered a great view:
After some more driving we stopped for a short walk to the Blue Pools. The pools derive their name from the distinctive blue of the water. The color is a result of light refraction on the clear, snow-fed, ice-cold water:
We continued along the Haast Highway and stopped near Fantail Falls for a picnic lunch at the river side:
Shortly after passing the town of Haast, we arrived at the western coast of New Zealands southern island. From here we had a great view of the Tasman Sea and took a short walk along the beach at Ship Creek:
Although it looks warm on the pictures, there was a strong and cold wind blowing from the sea. That’s why Tini was wearing her down jacket 🙂
At Knights Point, another stop along the way:
The south-western coastline is part of the New Zealand World Heritage Area; the whole region is also one of the great wilderness areas of the Southern Hemisphere. Snow-capped mountains, rivers of ice, deep lakes, unbroken forests and tussock grasslands produce a landscape of exceptional beauty. In this setting some of the animals and plants once found on the ancient super-continent Gondwana can still be found.
The most astonishing part for us was how within only a few hours of driving the landscape had entirely changed from an alpine landscape setting to a tropical jungle wilderness.