Tag Archives: Queenstown

Our trip to New Zealand : Milford Sound

While we were in New Zealand, we went to Milford Sound for a day trip.

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Milford Sound is a fiord in the south west of New Zealand’s South Island, within Fiordland National Park, Piopiotahi (Milford Sound) Marine Reserve, and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site. It has been judged the world’s top travel destination and called the eighth Wonder of the World.

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One of the world’s most beautiful fjords, Milford Sound also holds the dubious honour of being the wettest place in New Zealand. On average, there are 186 days each year when rain falls, dumping almost seven metres of the stuff on anyone unlucky enough to time their visit badly. Although there is less rain during the winter months, there are still sixteen days a month of wet weather in any season. I’d read that the high rainfall totals led to spectacular waterfalls, and, when windy, dramatic updrafts of water.

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Milford Sound is more than 3 hours away from Queenstown so we decided to book a tour rather than drive there on our own. It was an exciting journey for us with beautiful scenery ending with an amazing cruise.

Milford Sound (13)The coach that we were on was perfectly suited for sightseeing in a place as dramatic as the Milford Road, with clear glass windows and roof. The bus stopped every once in a while so we could all take every picture possible on the way.

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Our first stop was Te Anau, which is a lovely little village sitting on the edge of Lake Te Anau. At Te Anau we met up with the famous Milford Road, one of the great drives in the world. It’s quite a long lake, whose coast we followed for a while.

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The next stop was Mirror Lakes, to take some great photos of the reflections of the mountains in the lake and we were very lucky that the water was so calm.

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Our cameras were on constant work during the whole trip as all the places we saw were so beautiful that we wanted to capture every one of them.

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Then, we stopped at the Chasm walk next which took us into the woods to a couple of bridges where we saw waterfalls that had done amazing things to the rocks around them—gouging holes and depositing tree trunks in holes in the rocks 20 ft. above the current flow.

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We had a few other stops before we reached Milford Sound.

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The road is quite challenging and I was glad we decided to get the tour rather than drive ourselves. We headed through the Homer Tunnel, a 1.2 km long tunnel linking Milford Sound to Te Anau and Queenstown, by piercing the Darran Mountain range at the Homer Saddle. You could tell it was dug by hand because there were pick marks on the side walls and on the roadway. It was pitch black inside the tunnel and a very different experience. Once we were out on other side, it was downhill with a windy zig zag road that takes you down to Milford Sound.

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Finally, we reached Milford Sound and it was just beautiful and breathtaking. We had a boat waiting or us for the cruise. Arriving at Milford Sound’s boat dock, the sky was a deep blue and we took the opportunity to capture some amazing shots.

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As soon as we boarded, we ate lunch as both of were starving. The sandwich and coffee tasted better with the spectacular view and a hungry tummy 🙂

The cruise started and the pilot informed us about the place and its history. We saw some seals sunning themselves on a rocky outcrop and some beautiful waterfalls along the way.

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A couple of times the pilot ran the boat up very close to a waterfall, so those on the bow got sprayed and AS managed to get some really nice photos.

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After almost 2 hours, our tour wound down and, we got on the bus and headed back to Queenstown happy with how our day went. It was an amazing day with some great memories for life.

Take care everyone,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

P.S: Do not forget to vote your favorite blog . NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2014

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Our trip to New Zealand : Glenorchy

The day we went to Glenorchy was one of our our absolute favourites and truly made us want to stay longer and explore the spectacular south island even further. It felt like another world altogether. Low-lying clouds obscured the peaks of the mountains that rose dramatically from the edge of an impossibly blue lake, pretty wildflowers grew alongside winding roads and there was a photo opportunity at every turn. It really is just the most breathtakingly beautiful place.

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The Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed in the land from Glenorchy north and it was easy to see why. AS being a big fan of the movie, we decided to do a guided tour instead of us driving on our own. We had previously been to Hobbiton on North Island and he loved it.

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Glenorchy is a small town set against a background of lush beech forest and rugged mountain ranges 45 km from Queenstown. It is nestled between the Richardson and Humboltd Mountain Ranges and overlooked by the mighty snow-capped Mount Earnslaw in the North. From Glenorchy you can travel on to the Rees Valley, Paradise and the Dart Valley, Kinloch township, Routeburn Valley and Greenstone/Caples Valleys which boarder both Mount Aspiring and Fiordland National Parks.

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We were picked up in a 4WD vehicle and we went off-roading around the Glenorchy area as our guide pointed out various filming locations for the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit (and the Wolverine film and also Narnia). We left Queenstown early in the morning and drove up along the lake to Glenorchy.

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The road from Queenstown to Glenorchy is considered to be one of the most scenic drives in New Zealand and I absolutely agreed. With majestic mountains and the beautiful waters of Lake Wakatipu, it is no wonder we fell in love with the place every day. We were lucky to have a sunny day with clear blue sky. Wherever you look, you get magnificent mountain views.

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Our guide had good insight and knowledge about the area and the films.

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We stopped at a few lookouts along the way to take it all in. We stopped at Wilson Lake on the way – a filming location for the Lord of the Rings where they filmed the Ithilien camp scenes. The tour guide had an iPad so when we stopped at a location, he would play a few minutes of the clips from the movie shot at the location we were parked at and it was a great idea. For someone like me who does not remember a lot from the movie, good vision to compare with and for someone like AS, it was a treat.

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From there, we went to a place called Paradise and I have to agree that it was. The Glenorchy to Paradise road travels through at patches of red beech forest. These beautiful areas were used as filming locations for Lothlorien in the Lord of the Rings.

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We stopped at the forest where they filmed Boromir’s death (very scary for me) and scenes of Lothlorien. We also saw the trees that inspired Peter Jackson to film scenes here, and looked across to the snowy mountains where they filmed the Misty Mountains scenes.

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Then, we travelled past the location for Hobbiton for the Hobbit film, and also entered a forest they used to film a scene in the new film. Visiting the landscape used for the opening to the Two Towers was also spectacular – as we looked out over the land where Gandalf rides Shadowfax.

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From there, we stopped at Glenorchy Lagoon Walkway and it was a beautiful remote area and we hardly saw anyone else. From time to time, we saw a jet boat but apart from that it was absolutely quite with beautiful snow-capped mountains, nice green hills and us, just spectacular.

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After enjoying the great place, we came back into Glenorchy and it was a little busier with a few people wandering around. We spent time down at the lake and exploring the Glenorchy shed. It was demolished back in 1999 when there was a big flood and the Lord of the Rings crew helped rebuild this after this happened.

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Our guide prepared tea and coffee while we explore and we had tea with sandwich and biscuits with the great view in the background.

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We really didn’t want to leave the area but we had no choice but go back to Queensland as it was almost the end of our tour.

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I highly recommend anyone going to Queenstown, especially those into the Lord of the Rings movies and books to visit Glenorchy as it will bring lots of things from the movie into reality. Even if you are not a fan, you will absolutely love the spectacular view and breathtaking scenery.

Interesting facts about Lord of the Rings

  • The Lord of the Rings franchise is the sixth highest-grossing in movie history behind James Bond, Harry Potter, Shrek, Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean.
  • Peter Jackson began the process of sourcing locations for his cinematic masterpiece his team embarked on a worldwide search to find a beautifully haunting landscape

I will be writing more about our New Zealand trip so come back for more. Till then take care.

M from nepaliaustralian XOXO P.S: Do not forget to nominate  your favorite blog . Nominations open for NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2014

New Zealand Trip: Magical Queenstown

I had been to Queenstown before but still every time I visit New Zealand I get excited. It was AS’s first time to South Island and I was excited to be there with him to enjoy the natural beauty of the country. I would have to say that one of the most spectacular moments is when you are flying in to Queenstown on the plane. The view is absolutely breathtaking and it always reminds me of going to Kathmandu for some reason. Must be seeing the mountains as we come to land at the airport. The flight was only 3+ hours so we entertained ourselves with many episodes of Big Bang Theory and Modern Family. We also had a light snack of chicken sandwich and tea on-board.

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The flight was smooth except for the time when we were close to landing and it got a bit bumpy. The plane fell for a split second and it felt like I was in a roller-coaster ride. Even though I have flown so many times, it always scares me when they announce a thunderstorm for the very reason. I don’t want to be on a plane which loses altitude suddenly.

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When we landed, we realised that it had been raining. We caught a cab to our hotel and it was drizzling all the way. The lady at the reception told us that it was the first rain in 29 days in Queensland and me and AS looked at each other and hoped it would stop and not ruin our trip. We definitely needed days with the sun out so we could enjoy the beautiful place.

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As I mentioned in my previous post, one of the best thing about Queenstown was the view from our hotel room. It was in front of the Lake Wakatipu with the snow-capped mountains in the background.

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Coincidentally, I realised that it was the same hotel I had stayed at when I visited previously as well. Must be the view that was bringing me back again and again to the same hotel.

Since it was already afternoon, we decided to spend the rest of the day exploring the town itself. And honestly, it was worth every minute.

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The people, the view, the environment; everything about Queenstown is just amazing.

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We had already booked a few trips and a car for the next few days so it was nice just walking around the town.

Apart from walking to the town and enjoying the views and shopping round Queenstown Mall, we went to a few other places in Queenstown.

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Skyline Gondola

One of the sunny afternoons, we decided to go on the Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak. The Gondola skyline sits atop the steepest lift in the Southern Hemisphere, with a top terminal reaching half-a-mile high.

Once we were on the top, the view was spectacular.

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The water in the lakes truly is as blue as my photos show as the lake is fed by a glacier.

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We spent a couple of hours on the viewing platform outside the restaurant observing the Luge, Hand-gliding and the 360 degrees of spectacular sights over the Bay and surrounds in the brilliant sunshine. Another hugely memorable highlight of our journey.

There is also a very nice restaurant and some cool gift shops where you get off the gondola and we could not resist the lunch and dessert there. The food was nice and the view priceless.

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I loved this sign at the top and could not resist taking a photo :).

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Eating in Queenstown

We tried different foods while there and here are some of the highlights:

Fergburger

Everyone who has been to Queenstown before constantly talked about the famous Fergburger and for some reason I had missed it the last time so we decided that we had to go there while we were in town. This burger is so amazing and it is only found in Queenstown.

Fergburger

This place is so popular that it is always busy every day. The evening we went was no exception but we got a seat after we ordered. We order Cockadoodle Doo (chicken burger and chips) waited 15 minutes for it to be ready. I have to say it was worth the hype and the money as it was very flavoursome. The burger was almost as big as my face and I couldn’t finish it all.

Finding Momo

It is amazing to meet Nepalese people wherever we travel. As far as I know there were not that many Nepalese people living in Queenstown but we were so delighted to find a Nepalese café in the middle of the town. We had momo there and it was really tasty as well. Made from scratch and very juicy.

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Sake bar

A nice cool Japanese place. AS wanted to have some sake so we tried it out, he loved it. The ambiance was great and we loved the food too. Very cosy and staff were good too.

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Bombay Tandoori

The guy at the information centre recommended this Indian restaurant to us. The restaurant was really busy but we enjoyed our food. Because we ordered the set menu, it was two much food for the two of us but it was very nice.

Tandoori Place

More posts from New Zealand soon.

Take care everyone,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

P.S: Do not forget to nominate  your favorite blog .

Nominations open for NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2014

Back to reality from paradise

Hello everyone,

How are you all doing? Thank you for all the love you been sending me and thank you for wishes for my blog anniversary.

I am back in Sydney after our incredible holiday to New Zealand. I have so many things to share with you all but it will take me a while to get back to reality after such an amazing time we had in New Zealand. Until then I will let you enjoy some of the marvellous photos we captured on our trip.

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I have to say things were on our side as we had good weather and a great time the whole time we were there. One of the highlights for this holiday was the view from our hotel room, which was just breathtaking. Here is a short video I took with my phone from the balcony of our room.

Leaving you with a special kiwi treat, I got for my friends and family :).

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Take care everyone,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO