I give fair warning now, this post has more photo's than what I normally post. (and this isn't even half of what I took!) If you prefer to check back in, in a day or two, the blog will be back to all things quilty. But for those curious or brave, read on.......
Our trip to NZ had us based in Queenstown, with day trips out to local attractions. Okay maybe Milford Fjord (not Sound, and I'll get to that later) not so local, but an attraction all the same. This is the view from the shoreline at Queenstown Bay.
On our first day we went to Arrowtown, which was in fact a short drive from Queenstown. This is a very old township, with real estate prices at an absolute premium. Gold was found around the Queenstown area back in the 1800's. The views are a million dollars, hence probably the reason the hefty price tag on local property. Snow capped mountains dot the skyline.
Main shopping precinct in Arrowtown. Original buildings, gently restored. One thing this shopping strip did have though was a quilt shop! (Us quilters can sniff them out anywhere!!)
The next day we headed to Milford Fjord for a cruise. Now we had explained the difference between a Fjord and a Sound. Apparently, (and I'm no expert on this) a Fjord is carved by a glacier, a Sound is carved by water. And Milford, was carved by a glacier. I personally think though, Milford Sound, sounds better!
There were several waterfalls into the Fjord. This one called Bowen falls, is the biggest. It drops 161 metres.
Our boat captain was very brave, getting right up close underneath many waterfalls so we could get a good look. This one, (I think) is called Fairy falls. Despite the fact there appears to be plenty of water cascading down the rock face, without rain, it will dry up in a day or two.
No technical name given to this spot, but the boat captain did tell us that the crack you see in the mountain, is in fact a fault line crack. My understanding of that is, deep deep down in the earth, this point is where two of earths plates meet. Irrespective of the information given, I was pretty impressed with that.
We continued on, did a U-turn in the Tasman sea and then headed back into the Fjord. The captain mentioned, the best photo's of Milford are taken in black and white, so I thought, why not. This pic is on our return into the Fjord.
Stirling falls on the way back, gave another opportunity to take some photo's
At 155 metres, it's a little shorter than Bowen falls, but equally as impressive.
Jut about ready to dock our boat and disembark. Goodbye Milford, it was nice visiting you again.
Short walk back to the car park, but oh so peaceful. If it wasn't for the fact we had to make it out before the tunnel closed, we would have enjoyed these surrounds a little longer. (If you've made it this far through this post, well done. Not much more to go.)
Isn't he/she just gorgeous!!! This is a Kea bird. A native parrot to New Zealand, found mainly in the cooler mountain areas. Being parrots, they are HIGHLY intelligent, but these guys are almost a bit naughty with it. We had to stop the car, while we waited for our turn to go through the tunnel. It is a single lane tunnel, carved right into the mountain. (rock mountain, not dirt mountain). While waiting, this Kea came along. They have developed a notorious reputation for being highly destructive, wrecking wiper blades and rubber components on cars. This one was extremely bold, coming up even closer than what you see pictured. While I wanted a closer look, I didn't want it to cost me my excess $$ from the car rental company due to damage inflicted by a Kea, so no free feeds where going to be offered by us.
Day three of sight seeing, lead us here. It almost looks fake, eh? Well, it's not. This is the view from the top of a mountain, that you catch a Gondola ride up to the top. Sorry, don't know the name of the mountain, but it's the only one with the Gondola ride. The mountain range you see, is called the Remarkables. And yes, they are even more remarkable to look at with the naked eye than through a camera lens.
And lastly, the view coming back down the Gondola ride. It's very steep and very deceptive to how far and high you have actually come. That pretty much covers the main highlights of my short break away. Now I have to get back into the quilting side of things.
Until next time, happy holidaying/ quilting or whatever you may be doing!-Julie.