O U R L A S T few days in New Zealand were pretty chill- we just enjoyed our vacation with rest, sun, and a little travel.
THURSDAY :: we drove to Chris' favorite Southern town, Wanaka. Like Queenstown, it's on a lake (Lake Wanaka) and surrounded by rocky mountain peaks and gorgeous views. Chris likes this town because it's a quiet little "local" town, not crowded with tourists and noise. A lot of backpackers and campers come to visit Wanaka and bring steady business to the cafes and shops in the quaint downtown, but there are no tourist attractions like in Queenstown, so the it feels sleepy and comfortable. While we were there, we visited the local brewery called Wanaka Beerworks. The head brewer toured us around the tiny brew house, and he happened to be from North Carolina! It was fun and interesting to see the workings of such a small brewery- Wanaka Beerworks only sells the the restaurants in Wanaka- truly a local beer!
On the way back to Queenstown, we stopped by Arrowtown (as per my request) to see the New Zealand Open Welcome Party. Arrowtown, as I wrote about in an earlier post, is my favorite little town we visited so of course I was looking for any reason to go back again! The tiny town had blocked traffic on the main street and there were games, vendors, and street food, and live music! We ate at an adorable little place called Fork and Tap. It was SO. GOOD. I ordered the "hot pot"- it was pretty much a rabbit pot pie. The rabbit was so tender and the whole meal was delicious! Chris ordered a burger and the "best fries of his entire life".
FRIDAY :: We didn't do anything at all. And it was fabulous! I think we sat in the apartment with the doors wide open and the fire roaring most of the day. But Friday night, we headed to the little house that Sylvain, Laura, Lisa, and Elisa live in for a home cooked French and Austrian dinner. We have so much fun with our new friends-- it's so sad to say goodbye!!! Sylvain and Laura made something that resembled American pigs in a blanket- just yummy pastry wrapped around little hot dogs. I'm such a huge hot dog fan, so I ate like a whole half of the plate! Then Lisa and Elisa made a traditional Austrian dish (I have no clue what it was called) that consisted of pastry cooked with onions and cheese. It was good too! We stayed late talking and laughing and "learning" each other's languages.
SATURDAY :: So fun! Chris, Andrew and I flew to Milford Sound- a natural fiord- an ocean inlet characterized by steep sea cliffs on either side. It rains 200 days of the year there and we happened to schedule our trip on one of the few days with no clouds in the sky. It was awesome! We chose to take a tiny little flight to get there (the car ride there is 5 hours and the flight was only 30 minutes!) and I'm so glad we did. The view of New Zealand's ice-capped mountains, shaped by years of glacial decay, was absolutely breathtaking to see from above. Crystal clear lakes barely touched by humans scatter the mountain peeks. The sun was setting over the ocean just on the other side of these white peeks on our way home. My pictures don't even come close to doing it justice! While in the sound, we boarded a boat tour to see the whole place. Waterfalls are on both sides, dropping from more than 3200 feet above the ocean. Mitre Peek is the most photographed mountain in the whole country; standing at 1,550 feet above the sea, it's the worlds highest sea cliff!
Sunday was our last full day so we hiked the Queenstown Hill. It was all uphill and it whipped my booty!
We had so much fun visiting New Zealand- a trip we definitely will never forget! Thanks for giving us an excuse to go, Chris!!
Mary Hester Williams
FASHIONABLE FINE ART
I'm a city girl living a small town life with my husband and baby boy. Here are my thoughts in type, my dreams in paint and my life in pictures.