Day 4: Te Anau/Queenstown

July 11, 2016

After a couple of days of setting early alarms, today brought us the pleasure of sleeping in! We enjoyed Gill’s delicious breakfast for the last time, packed up the car, and hit the road.

Bella Rosa Breakfast menu

Bella Rosa Breakfast menu


Our hosts Gilly and CoCo (the dog)

Our wonderful Bella Rosa hosts Gilly and CoCo (the dog)

Before saying goodbye to Te Anau, we made another detour thru the Town Center and checked out a couple of shops, as well as the Fiordland National Park visitor center.

This town ain't big enough for the both of us

This town ain’t big enough for the both of us!

Back on Highway 94 from Te Anau (toward Queenstown), the views were even more stunning than our first pass (thanks to the weather). Based on the three radio stations we could pick up, this part of New Zealand really likes American 90s music, Christian rock and EDM.

Just driving through postcards

Just driving through postcards


Now I can advance to the next level of Zelda!

Now I can open all the doors in Zelda!

Highway 94 eventually passes through Mossburn, which is the southernmost point of our trip (by land) where we turned left and headed back north to Queenstown on highways 97 and 6.

Lake Wakitipu facing north from Devil's Staircase lookout

Lake Wakitipu facing north from Devil’s Staircase lookout


Lake Wakatipu late afternoon

Lake Wakatipu late afternoon

Near Queenstown with a little extra daylight to spare, we ventured off the highway and started up the road to the Remarkables Ski area. I was too nervous to take many pictures, but got a few. Eventually we turned around when our fuel low alert turned on and it seemed prudent to go down the side of the mountain and find a gas station.

All the skiers leaving the Remarkables

All the skiers leaving the Remarkables


Switchback caravan high above Queenstown (in distance)

Switchback caravan high above Queenstown (in distance)

After surviving Queenstown’s rush-hour ski traffic (not sure the roundabouts were helping much) and surprisingly steep grade city roads, we made it to Browns Botique Hotel. We had worried that no place could beat the Bella Rosa, but after a quick introduction, Browns looks like it will be pretty nice.

For dinner, we walked five minutes down the hill to the famous Fergburger and hit up the Queenstown liquor store. If we had just worn some ski/snowboarding gear, we would have fit in perfectly.

I assume this line is five blacks long in the summer

I assume this line is five blocks long in the summer

Tomorrow we’ll return to using the alarm clocks, but until then, happy dreaming of roundabouts and stoats!

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