After our boat trip through Milford Sound this morning, we made our way back to Queenstown in bright sunshine at around 11am.
Table of contents
The Road to Milford Sound
On the 120 km long Road to Milford Sound from Milford Sound to Te Anau, which we drove yesterday into the other way, there are some nice photo stops. Some are located directly on the road, for others you have to make several-hour hikes. We have found a very good overview map here:
The waterfalls “The Chasm”
Ale first (coming from Milford Sound) you reach the stop The Chasm. A beautifully landscaped hiking trail through the forest of the Fiordland National Park to waterfalls that make their way through narrow rocky canyons. The water of the Cledau River has thus created interesting rock formations in some places.
The Homer Tunnel
Next we pass the Homer Tunnel, where we had to wait about 10 minutes for the next passage. The funny thing here is that right in front of the tunnel entrance often Kea mountain parrots waiting for food from the visitors from the cars 🙂 The Kea is one of the few parrot species that live outside the tropics and can also hibernate in snowy regions, but in the winter months, when food is scarce in the mountains, it sometimes drives the birds into the lowlands. The population of the Keas is estimated by the New Zealand Department of Conservation to be between 3000 and 7000 specimens, so unfortunately it is threatened with extinction.
The Mirror Lakes
Next up we held on to The Mirror Lakes. Here, the surrounding mountains of the Earl Mountains are reflected in the small lakes in the windless weather. The Mirror Lakes are crossed by Black Creek, a tributary of the Eglinton River fed by snow and rain.
Arrival in Queenstown
In the afternoon we arrived in the small town of Queenstown. Queenstown is located on Lake Wakatipu and is a relatively small town with a population of just under 11,000. In the city centre, which reminded us a bit of an Austrian ski resort, there are countless tour operators, outdoor shops, cafés, restaurants and bars.
Queenstown is considered the centre of adventure tourism – skiing, bungee jumping, jet boating, mountain biking or paragliding are just some of the activities on offer here. Therefore, it is not surprising that the town is full of tourists and many backpackers.
Our Queenstown Hotel
Until our flight tomorrow to Auckland and then on to Tahiti we have booked a room for one night at the Rydges Lakeland Resort Hotel Queenstown.
We had booked a standard room and got a very old room in the old hotel wing. If you looked out of the room window, you looked at the parking deck – horrible. Especially in the morning, when everyone is leaving. The room looked very old. The furniture had severe scratches, sometimes the paint burst. Definitely not a feel-good room. And not justified at all for the price. Internet was free and worked quite well. The location of the hotel is good. It takes 5 to 10 minutes to get to the center. The lake is at the door. For one night it was ok, but unfortunately not more.
All travelogues from New ZealandFor 11 days we explored New Zealand from north to south by rental car on our own. We started our trip on the North Island in the city of Auckland, we experienced the tremendous underground forces in Wai-O-Tapu and Orakei Korako, we explored the capital Wellington, drove across the New Zealand Alps, did a glacier hike on the Fox Glacier, before we finished with a trip through the UNESCO World Heritage Site Milford Sound. New Zealand is a really beautiful country that we enjoyed incredibly.
North Island: Auckland – Tourist Attractions, Things to Do & Photo spots (New Zealand)
North Island: Waitomo – The Waitomo Glowworm Caves (New Zealand)
North Island: Rotorua & The geothermal area Wai-O-Tapu (New Zealand)
North Island: Orakei Korako – The geothermal region in Taupo (New Zealand)
North Island: The Tongariro Alpine Crossing & the city of Wellington (New Zealand)
North Island / South Island: Picton – The ferry from the North Island to the South Island (New Zealand)
South Island: Abel Tasman National Park – Hiking & Boat tour (New Zealand)
South Island: Pancake Rocks & the Sea Lions at Cape Foulwind (New Zealand)
South Island: The Franz Josef Glacier in Westland National Park (New Zealand)
South Island: Fox Glacier – Heli-Hike, Glacier Walk & Ice Climbing (New Zealand)
South Island: New Zealand Alps – From Franz-Josef to Milford Sound (New Zealand)
South Island: Milford Sound – A boat trip through the fjord (New Zealand)
South Island: Road to Milford Sound & the town of Queenstown (New Zealand)