There is a train that crosses the New Zealand Alps and it is a spectacular ride no matter the weather. Enjoy…
New Zealand is a very young land mass, with a long line of mountains formed by two techntonic plates grinding straight into each other. The west side of these peaks are very wet, the east side… less so.
We had a short sleep in Christchurch then boarded a bus down to Queenstown. The stops along the way were also absolutely spectacular. Lakes Tekapo and Pukaki are the most spectacular blue….ever.
It has something to do with glacial water run-off.
Arriving in Queenstown we were met by our wonderful hosts who took us on a “tiki tour” (driving around to see a bit) up to an empty lot on the side of the hill for an overview of the town.
It’s a small town hugging the edge of Lake Wakatipu. You could probably walk from one end of the town to the other (the long way) in 45 minutes or so. And tourists outnumber residents at least two to one. It was the Chinese New Year holiday while we were there so it was probably more like three to one.
Walking around town, there were outdoor adventure rental places everywhere you looked. They have river rafting, water sports, spectacular hiking trails (tramping tracks in kiwi) and mountain biking, and skiing in the winter.
In the evening after a good meal we walked on a lakeside path until we found a lovely spot to watch the sun set.