Queenstown, the most popular town in the South Island. Regardless of what the season is, this resort town is always inundated with tourists.
There are two ways to travel up the peak, the first would be the conventional way which is a trek by foot also known as Tiki Trail. The second way to get to the top is by skyline gondola which costs 44$ (You could pay a combo price together with Luge) for an adult. Up from the top, you could see the scenic view of Queenstown with The Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu at the front view.
Scenic view from the top of Bob’s Peak, where you’ll enjoy a spectacular 220-degree panorama with breath-taking views of Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Walter and Cecil Peak and Queenstown.
A lot of people are dying to see the aurora whenever they travel to the northern or southern hemisphere. You might bump into one if you are lucky enough during your visit to the South Island. You can download the “Aurora” app to send you a notification whenever there is a possibility of seeing aurora australis. (*A friendly tip on a safe and comfortable journey to or from Queenstown or Wanaka, try to avoid taking a difficult Crown Range mountainous route if you are not a very skilled driver, as the curvaceous road is treacherous to drive. If you opt for this road you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view.)
We did not see the aurora australis but was rewarded with this starry sky at the top of Coronet Peak.
After an hour -ish of driving, here we are at Lake Wanaka. A lone tree in the lake is one of the famous spots in the south island. Here you will discover a photogenic place regardless what time you will be there. I have totally lost in this serenity view for a moment. Apart from the Lake, there is also a leisure place with bizarre buildings to see, just a few minutes’ drive from Wanaka and the place called “Puzzling World”.
Famous lone tree on the lake Wanaka at blue hours.
From Wanaka, it takes about an hour to reach the Blue Pools. If you are exploring the area, I would suggest you to do an hour of return easy short walk through the beech forest which leads to blue pools. The colour of the pool is depending on the light reflecting off the water, sometimes it looks green rather than blue as shown in the picture below, probably due to gloomy weather during my visit. You can walk along the bridge to have a better view of Makarora River.
Immerse yourself in this photogenic beauty and the glacial water gathered from the mountains.
After the short hike at the Blue Pools Track, continue the journey to the north and stop over at Hokitika to see the sunset and stay a night over a small village named Punakaiki when driving along the west coast up to Piston to catch the ferry back to the North island. If you have spare time during the trip in South Island, and plan to go to Fox Glaciers or Franz Josef, why not stop by Lake Matheson and have a short walk to clear your messy mind?
A mirror image of Lake Matheson. Can you spot Aoraki Mount Cook in the picture?