Top Row L-R: View of Lake County, Lakefront Queenstown, Kat hugging a Kiwi, Bumble Bee
Second Row L-R: View from Crown Terrace, Lake Wanaka, Lake Wakatipu, Bridge in Queenstown Gardens
Third Row L-R: Silverfern sculpture in Queenstown Gardens, Panorama of Arrow Valley from Crown Terrace, Earnslaw Steamer, Peonies
Fourth Row L-R: Arrow Valley, Crown Range Road, Remarkables, Fruit stand in Arrowtown
Starting Point: Wanaka
Ending Point: Queenstown
Kilometers traveled: 88
Today we drove from Wanaka to Queenstown via the Crown Range Road, which is known as one of the most memorable drives in NZ. The Crown Range Road is the highest main road in New Zealand, reaching an altitude of 1100 meters.
Setting out from Wanaka, we drove through Cardrona, which used to be a gold mining town but is now a ski town. We passed a huge sheep station by the name of Robrosa Station, and then started climbing and winding our way through the valley between two mountain ranges, the Criffle and Crown Ranges. It was stressful, demanding driving on a narrow and winding road. But when we got to Crown Terrace Lookout at the top we were treated to views of the Arrow Valley and across to the Remarkables Mountain Range and then on to Lake Wakatipu & Queenstown. It was windy and bitter cold this morning, but we couldn’t help ourselves…we stopped at every single scenic lookout and pullover spot along the way and got out to check out the views and take pictures. Such a beautiful scene, with a valley decked out in spring colors, with snow-capped mountains and crystal blue glacial lakes in the background. Spectacular!
From there we dropped down into the Arrow valley. Since it was early we decided to pop into Arrowtown and check it out. Such a cute little old gold-mining town, that is now a bedroom community for Queenstown. Their mainstreet was packed full of fun little shops and restaurants. We stopped off at the Arrowtown Bakery and Cafe for an Elevensies snack. We tried their steak, bacon & cheese pies. So delicious! Although I confess that I cannot eat a meatpie without thinking of the Sweeney Todd. 🙂
Once our snacks were done, we wandered around a bit and bought some cherries from the Dam Good Fruit stall on the street. Yay for spring! Then we kept on going into Queenstown and on to our holiday park. We’re in a huge one tonight….almost 300 camping spaces. Pretty full too.
Once we got settled in, we did a bit of grocery shopping and then headed down to the city center to wander a bit. We walked along the wharf and then took a stroll along the lakefront. We even ran into a new friend, who we had met on our glacier hike in Franz Josef earlier this week. It was great to run into her as she was loads of fun on the hike and I was a bit sad that we hadn’t exchanged email addresses that day. (Hi, Caroline! Hope you have fun at Milford tomorrow!)
Then we wandered around in the Queenstown Gardens, which were absolutely stunning. And it’s even still mid-spring here, so it’s not even all in bloom yet. They had the largest peonies we have ever seen. Some of the blooms were as big as our heads! Peonies are one of my favorite flowers and it took every ounce of willpower to keep from taking some home with me.
After wandering around a bit more in the city center, we headed for home and had an early dinner. Now we’re tucked in, feasting on cherries and shortbread cookies. It’s supposed to be a cold night (down to 3 degrees celsius). We’re staying here tomorrow night as well but we have no idea what we’re doing tomorrow. Perhaps we’ll head to the bungy bridge for a bit of crazy people watching. No jumping for us! Cheers!