Imaginary scenery and a Qtown B-Day Party
Trip Start Nov 28, 2011
163Trip End Apr 09, 2013
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Twizel? Many of you probably have never heard about this place. Well, most of you do recornize the name of Gondor, the Riders of Rohan and, of course, Helms Deep, from the Lord of the Ring movie triology. Twizel has been used by the film crew for many of those dramatic scenes in the 2nd movie 'the Return of the King'. This area actually is one of the flattest in New Zealand with around 200,000 hectares of alluvial outwash plains formed after the last ice age. Known locally as the Mackenzie Basin, the plains are completely surrounded by the mountains which lead up to the snow capped Southern Alps and Mount Cook, where we just retuned from. The actual site is private ground and can only be visited with a guided ($$$) tour of course
On our way out, we drove aside the canals, with its beautiful cristal blue water from the mountains. These canals eventually stop at a hydrolic power station from where the water pours down through the turbines. Driving along it was time to find our spot for the night. A DOC campsite near Omara will do. Located just a few steps away from a great river, it is again a beautifull scenery and we enjoy the great sunset colours. Tomorrow we will see if we can make it all the way Quenstown.
After a good sleep - we love our little camper! - it is time to freshen up at the riverbed and and enjoy another royal breakfast. Together plan todays route. We will drive on highway 8 and plan to arrive in Queenstown around 4pm. The drive up there is stunning. After some breaks for fresh fruits and local producers we came closer to Qtown but before we arrived, we first made our pre-final stop at the world's first bungee-jump station. New Zealands great invention and one that made it known all over the world: adrenaline country! By the way, it is in the same gorge/river bed where the Lord of the Rings boat and Floating part has been made (the movie part with figures carved in the rocks)
Queenstown here we are! Q sits on the shore of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu among dramatic ranges. The lake and mountain landscape make it suited to all kinds of adventure. There's skiing in the winter and activities such as bungy jumping, sky diving, canyon swinging, jet boating, horse trekking and river rafting all year round. If hardcore adventure isn't your thing, there are plenty of mellow options available. Experience one of the many walking & hiking trails, sightseeing tours or indulge yourself with spa treatments, boutique shopping and excellent food and wine. Sounds like a great spot for celebrating Maria's birthday tomorrow!!!
But first we continue our way to the drama of the Central Otago landscapes. If you’re a Lord of the Rings fan you’ll recognize many of the locations of Middle-earth here. We continued all the way up to Glenorchy and Paradise Valley before heading back to our campsite Twelve Mile Delta. This campsite is situated just on the shores of the Lake Wakatipu and with all the drama of the ranges around you, this really looks like Paradise.
We celebrate a beautiful birthday breakfast with party stuff and another big surprise: Stefanie brought along (that was a conspirancy between Jorgen, Staffi, and Marias family) the birtday gifts from Europe. Many thanks to Steffi who took all the presents in her Luggage and was totally distressed when her luggage appeared to be 'lost' upon arrival in Christchurch.
Hoewever, now we celebrate and Jörgen surprised the ladies by making pancakes! Yummy!
To Maria, all the cards and thoughts from the beloved made it feel like everybody was there! Unfortunately Maria´s Mum´s famous 'Quitten-gelee' did not make it. Customs collected it when checking Steffis bag, must have had a good appetite.
After breakfast and presents, it is time to leave the campsite head towards a campsite in Queenstown for the next night. We spend a beautiful day in Queenstown, book next days trip to Milford Sound which would depart early in the morning. Aww! However, we continued shopping, eating and celebrating and started with fish 'chips at the lake side, joined by the seagulls and then started our little pub crawl and drinks. Cheers!
Somewhere in the middle of the night, may be a little later we were heading back for a short nap. We have to say Queenstown is an absolute great city - and we love it!