Seizing Possibilities

Seizing Possibilities
Seizing Possibilities

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New Zealand: to Queenstown and Beyond #Blog4NZ


Weathered
The Old Car







Our first stop on our way from Christchurch was the Tin Shed, a treasure trove of fine New Zealand wool and some fun reminders of days gone by; quite definitely it is also a fine place for photographs!  



Packing our treasures we traveled further toward Queenstown, our lunch stop was at Lake Tekapo, what a glorious day, clear and brilliant, the lake surrounded by mountains reflected in the water with the afternoon sun, just dip a toe, after all it is still winter here!  The scenery is purely dazzling, brilliant, stunning, impressive, striking!
Open Spaces

Reflections












I wondered what would be around the next bend.  As a photographer it was all eye-candy to me and it was all simply delicious! 
Fall Reflections

Muted Pathway
Setting Sun Rays


Arriving late into Queenstown at our hotel we took our usual first day walking tour of the city.  9pm and the city was still bustling with people and activity.  I wondered if it ever slept!  After a little late night exploration we headed back to the hotel along the pathway  near the water, tomorrow was another adventure.  Rising early to catch the sunrise was the first order of business for me and I was grateful I made the right decision; the sunrise encapsulated the beauty of the surrounding mountain and lake with glorious colors and calm. I watched the city begin to wake and begin the activities of the day.  
Queenstown Sunrise

Invitation

Remarkable Colors

Pretty in Pink
The Spinner
Walter's Peak
It was a day we were to travel by steam to Walter’s Peak Sheep Farm!  We walked to town early to see what shops and restaurants offered.  On the harbor we stopped to get some real Belgium hot dark chocolate!  Don’t miss this treat; it comes highly recommended from someone who does not usually drink hot chocolate!  Near the boat dock there was an outdoor market where I picked up a handmade merino wool ear muff band to keep my ears warm and watched a spinner spinning her yarn.


Who Me?

Shakin' the Dags-or not!
What a glorious day!  On the dock waiting to board was a lovely princess who was celebrating her birthday with a trip to Walter’s Peak Sheep Farm, what a lovely little tea party they had too! 
The trip to the farm was punctuated with beautiful mountains surrounding us and a lovely reflection to greet us.  Learning the sheep shearer’s life and settling for some tea and treats was all part of a learning experience and a wonderful day.
Garden Path
To bed early, for tomorrow was the “not to be missed” adventure long anticipated.  We arose well before dawn to board our bus and make the journey to Milford Sound, the area of the Hobbits.  Well, I didn’t notice any Hobbits but my breath was taken away with the magnificence of the journey.  It was a gray day at the start, cold and rainy.  We traveled through beautiful country and the clouds would break on occasion giving us hope for a beautiful day on the Sound.  One of our stops that day was at Mirror Lake, even without a glassy surface but speckled with droplets of rain, it reflected the surrounding beauty. 
Through the Window
Snow and the Winding Way
We were asked to hurry on; we didn’t quite understand the extent of it till we continued our ascent and found the rain had changed to snow! I was elated to experience snow in both hemispheres and to my delight this was a beautiful presentation of the mountains as we made our decent to the sound.   It was a wonderland and certainly made me question what could possibly top all this!  But then as we boarded our vessel to journey Milford Sound under the low clouds, I was prepared for disappointment.    
The boat wound its way through the mist as we headed toward the sea and as we broke around the first fiords we were met with sunshine and yes…rainbows!  Indeed this must be the land of the song “Somewhere over the Rainbow”.
Somewhere

Sound Beauty
Divergent paths
Thunderous Mist
We were informed there were more waterfalls this year than usual and were given some incredible amount I did not write down, but certainly saw everything from a trickle to a thunderous roaring waterfall; multiples and singles, some joining others creating a puzzle of water across the fiords.    





The only visible wildlife today were the seals as they sunbathed on a rock with the sun playing peek-a-boo in the clouds.  
Sunbathers

Left with our thoughts to contemplate a day full of experiences the travel home was serene while we watched the wonder continue as a glorious setting sun and the changing colors of the sky brought our day to a close.
Cloud Brilliance

Moonrise
Mysterious Cloud


Evening's Close

As always you can view more photographs of the drive from Christchurch to Queenstown on flickr and facebook
and Queenstown and Walter's Peak on flickr and facebook and Milford Sound on flicker and facebook.

In tomorrow's post we go to Auckland and visit the Maori.