Arrowtown -> Queenstown -> Te Anau
We woke up in the morning to the stunning backdrop of picturesque mountains, with red and green leaves all over the places. Spent a little time taking photos, before we proceeded to one of the Lord of the Rings (LOTR) filming site.
We just parked our campervan at the main road and then walked down to the bank of Arrow River, past a bush-clad walkways. The location was where Arwen carrying the injured Frodo fleeing from the Black Riders at 'Fort of Bruinen' -
it was a sight to behold and I could still imagine the scene from the movie vividly. This was the only LOTR filming site that we have been too in our entire road trip because the rest of the sites were not located near our journey and we did not have time to do a de-tours.
Anyway, I was pretty pleased that we could visit one of the LOTR sites, it was part of my to-do-list for NZ, but because I could not find any nearby sites in our original itinerary, so when we managed to visit this one, I was estastic considering we only found out about it when we were here in Arrowtown reading about the filming site from a signboard.
We continued west to Queenstown not before we stopped by Lake Hayes
(another unscheduled stop, another bonus, and a real unexpected gem!), a small lake that nestled in between Arrowtown and Queenstown. Personally for me, Lake Hayes has the prettiest sceneries among so many lakes that we have visited during our entire road trip. This is due to its serene 'postcard' landscape - blue skies, mountainous terrain in background, surrounded by trees, and its most beautiful especially when its sunny you get to see reflection from the lake.
After much admiration, we resumed our journey and we a new township called 'Remarkables Park Town Centre
' because it was not in any of the travel guides that we have read. I believed it was just recently built. It's a small township that was home to range of national retailers and boutiqes.
There was a supermarket New World, and we again bought new supplies to restock our food. The highlight of this township was to be able to admire stunning alpine Lake Wakatipu from the top of a sloppy road. We were able to see the snow-capped mountains in the distance, and the vibrant Queenstown on its shore.
By the time we reached Queenstown
, which was like 5mins from Remarkables, it was time for lunch and we had the Queenstown's famous burger - the Fergburger. It was damn good and it was my first time having to taste Bambi meat! We also ordered lamb meat and beef. In fact, among the best burgers, if not the best, I have ever eaten.
You have not visited Queenstown, if you have not tasted it. It's that good. After lunch, my wife and I walked to the Gondola, which took us about 5mins, to take the steepest cable car ride in
the Southern Hemisphere! Whilst waiting for our ride, we saw that there was a separate queue, a long one, for cyclists. This was because there were mountain bike trails at the summit and it was really interesting to see how they attached their bike to the cable car before hopping in. The ride up the gondola was amazing, as we could see
AJ Hackett's ledge bungy, some paragliders, and of course the scenery. After arriving at mountain top, we walked to the observation deck to absorb the panaromic view of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu
and its surrounding mountain ranges and valleys.
After that, we took the thrilling luge ride, (you have to try it to make the cable car worthwhile). If you do that, you get to ride 'ski-lift' to the top of the hill before you luge your way down it! Buy your tickets at least for 3 rounds because 1 round is not enough!
The luge was great fun with spectacular scenery again as a backdrop. After our ride, we headed down again to the town centre where our parents were waiting for us.
It was already late in the evening before we continued our journey to Te Anau
town and by the time we reached there it was already dark at night, and we straight headed to the Te Anau Lakeview Holiday Park. We put up 2 nights there because we wanted set up this as our basecamp to explore the Fiordland (Milford Sound) the next day which would take one full day.