February 5 at 12:15 AM ·
Hello New Zealand! On Tuesday our overland excursion met at 7:15 and our ship was due in Milford Sound by 6am, so I got up at 5:30am (ugh!) to get ready in hopes of seeing some the tall waterfalls & green fjord walls before we left. Unfortunately it was raining and never cleared enough to see any green colors through the mist, almost exactly what I saw in the Norwegian fjords in 2007, so I apologized to everyone for bringing my bad luck! Hopefully someday I can see a pretty postcard fjord view somewhere! 😉After our small ferry from the ship to shore, we drove south from Milford Sound in 2 busses, passing through the magnificent Fiordland National Park, lucky to see a couple peaks of snow-capped mountains in the distance when the clouds allowed, passing through the legendary Homer Tunnel, stopping at lovely Mirror Lakes, and south along the forest-clad Eglington Valley to a buffet lunch in a local hotel at Te Anau on the shores of a gorgeous big lake of the same name.
at Lake Wakatipu.
February 5 at 1:44 AM · Queenstown, New Zealand ·
After lunch in Te Anau we saw more farmland with mountains in the distance all the way the couple hours’ drive to giant Lake Wakatipu...even after our first vista point at Devil’s Staircase, the lake still seemed to go on forever! We checked into our hotel above Queenstown, then the bus took us back into town for some free time before our steamboat cruise to dinner...(we might have tried a couple ciders)...
at Fear Factory Queenstown.
February 5 at 2:04 AM · Queenstown, New Zealand ·
As soon as we got off the bus in Queenstown, New Zealand, the first thing we saw was a haunted house! 😀 Glen & I just had to try it, so George & Ruth left us to go shopping. This haunt had some fun spooky decor as we entered, with appropriately enthusiastic personnel in bloody makeup and goth attire, but inside it was a completely dark maze where we had to keep finding the red point of light to find our way out, and sometimes that red dot didn’t appear until after a scare. I made Glen go first, but that meant I was the main target for the excellent live actors touching my shoulders and ankles...extremely creepy! The actors were made up well and ran their own lighting effects, giving us lots of good jump scares. I really couldn’t see at all and had trouble seeing any depth where the red lights were, so I would have preferred just enough ambient light to see some spooky decor, but we both enjoyed it. The photos they took of us were funny enough for us to buy them. If you ever find yourself in New Zealand, give Fear Factory a try! https://fearfactory.co.nz/
at Walter Peak Station.
February 5 at 3:30 AM · Queenstown, New Zealand ·
Our evening in Queenstown started with boarding the 1912 historic steamship TSS Earnslaw for a cruise across the vivid teal waters of Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Sheep Station, where dinner was a large BBQ buffet in the Colonel's House on the lake with a glass of New Zealand wine. After dinner, we watched a sheepdog demonstration and a large lamb being shorn before we returned to Queenstown on the TSS Earnslaw during a lovely pink sunset.