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15 December 2013 @ 08:53 pm
Advent calendar post - Day 15. Queenstown  
Queenstown was the last stop on our NZ trip. It's in the South Island, inland from the coast, and surrounded by some of the most stunning scenery I've ever seen. A lot of Lord of the Rings was filmed in the area and if you go there you'll see why. It's surrounded by a mountain range known as The Remarkables and they are just that.

Queenstown is a very popular tourist destination and as a result the place is full of eateries and souvenir shops, both of which we enjoyed immensely! I bought myself a belated birthday present in the form of some Lord of The Rings jewellery while in Queenstown, as well as the usual staples - tea towels, magnets, snow globes... I love tacky souvenir shops!

Firstly, our transport. We hired a car from a little car rental agency, and I was really surprised when the customer service assistant explained that we didn't need to worry about any damage, as the car was fully covered under our rental agreement. Once we saw the car I understood her lack of concern - it barely had a straight panel on it already. It was a Nissan Bluebird Sylphy, quickly christened Syphilis because of her poxy appearance. Still, apart from the time we left the parking lights on and flattened the battery (coincidentally the one time we were within walking distance of the rental agency!) she was a good little car and got us where we needed to go.

 photo Sylphy_zps2b5e67a3.jpg

One night we visited the skyline restaurant, which can only be accessed via a gondola that runs almost vertically up the mountain. This was taken when we were about half-way up -

 photo Lookingbackfromthegondola520x390_zps56c5a36e.jpg

Lake Wakatipu foreshores, just down from our hotel -

Late Sunday Q photo LateSundayafternoon_zps09079fc1.jpg

Lake Wakatipu Q photo thelake_zps8895b7aa.jpg

Mountains interrupted by cloud:

Cloud over the mountain photo Cloudoverthemountain520x390_zps82a3785b.jpg
Current Mood: refreshedrefreshed
nerthusnerthus on December 15th, 2013 03:10 pm (UTC)
Wow, beautiful! Since I'll never travel the world (lack of finances and terrible anxiety issues, sigh), I have to see it secondhand through other people. So thanks for the great photos, people who live there sure have some gorgeous scenery to wake up to daily. It is SO ugly here where I live, sigh.
miwahni: Sherlock Xmas Mycroftmiwahni on December 16th, 2013 10:59 am (UTC)
I live in an urban landscape only somewhat redeemed by a large open park behind my house. Otherwise it's nothing to write home about - I have to get out and about to find places of beauty.
moonlightmead on December 15th, 2013 09:11 pm (UTC)
Wow, astonishing. Is all of New Zealand so amazingly beautiful? The gondola sounds exciting! Did it have a glass floor? :)
miwahni: Pros Christmasmiwahni on December 16th, 2013 11:01 am (UTC)
Yes, all of New Zealand IS so amazingly beautiful. In places it reminded me of Snowdonia, which is the most beautiful place I've ever seen.
Funny, at the restaurant that we accessed via gondola (no glass bottom, fortunately; it was scary enough to this little mousey) the wait staff were from all over the world, and the one responsible for our table had a red dragon symbol on her name tag. I asked the obvious question - and yes, she was from North Wales, and terribly homesick!
moonlightmead on December 16th, 2013 12:03 pm (UTC)
Oh wow. Yes, I have seen Snowdonia in good weather and bad, and in the good weather it's just fabulous. I stayed with a friend who lived in the national park area once, and we could look out from their land straight to Snowdon and a mountain they all called 'the Elephant' - never found it called that on the maps, but still!

Aww for the waitress: we get everywhere, apparently :)

I'm really enjoying these posts. *dreams of New Zealand...*
miwahni: Dr Who Snow TARDISmiwahni on December 20th, 2013 11:07 am (UTC)
I've only ever seen Snowdonia in good weather, when driving through on our way to Aberystwyth. It was glorious, though. I would love to come back some day and spend some serious time there.
Last time:
So beautiful!
I've just gone through all of my UK holiday photos, and am overcome by wanderlust. I want to go back!

Edited because I can't html tonight

Edited at 2013-12-20 11:08 am (UTC)
moonlightmead on December 20th, 2013 01:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks for that link! Your photos took me back about twenty-five years. I've left more info there, but, in case you are no longer checking notifications, that fantastic building you wonder about is the Old College, the very first building owned by the University of Wales.
miwahni: Dr Who Snow TARDISmiwahni on December 21st, 2013 11:33 am (UTC)
I appreciated the background you gave me on that other post, thanks for that!
Strike while the irony is hot: [EMATE] CUPPAdraycevixen on January 1st, 2014 05:33 am (UTC)

What a gorgeous place. Thanks for sharing the photos! :D
miwahni: UK fish spankingmiwahni on January 1st, 2014 09:03 am (UTC)
You're welcome. It's just stunning, these photos don't do it justice.