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Friday, June 4, 2010

Driving to Queenstown

After our ride to check out the glaciers on Lake Tasman, we set off for the Adventure Capital of the World- Queenstown. We stopped for lunch at Wrinkly Rams in Omarama & to check out the sheep.

Really life gets no better- warm sun, blue skies, cool glass of wine, surrounded by mountains with my hubby.

So we went to check out the sheep they had in pens, but didn't get to stay for the sheering show. We'd already seen tens of thousands on our few days of travels, but none up close.

They are very interesting animals- their wool is very thick and dirty while they are still wearing it :)

Some of them had some really cool horns.

They had a few in pens and several different types of sheep.

There was about a 2 mile stretch of roadway near the Lindiss Pass area that had thousands of these tiny rock art sculptures littering the side of the road.

Next, we passed through the quaint town of Cromwell, in Central Otagao, and we were in the heart of one of the great wine regions of New Zealand.

We started seeing our first big vineyards and were dying to stop, but were also so excited to get to Queenstown. On our way out of QT, we'd head up this road to the right on to Wanaka and along the west coast.

There were some beautiful vineyards in this area surrounded by mountains and on the back of the river & I really wished we'd had more time to stop and taste.

Just outside of town, we ran into the Kawarau Gorge & river.

The water in the river was an extraordinary shade of blue.

These were some mighty rivers- lots of deep, fast running water surrounded by some steep rock walls.

This is also the area where all the bungee jumping occurs just outside of Queenstown at AJ Hackett.

We debated and teased each other back and forth about going bungee jumping. We'd tentatively decided to do it since we were there & was the *thing* to do. However, we drove by the shop too quickly too stop and were too lazy to turn around. We kept thinking we'd come back by it, but we never did.

There is something so soothing and peaceful about watching a roaring river- I could have stayed here all day.

The final part of our trip was through the Gibbston Valley- a placed called the Valley of Wines. This is probably the only place in New Zealand that had vineyard and wineries that were as beautiful as those I've seen in California & South Africa. This little valley, surrounded by the mountians and with a stunning river running through it, provided a beautiful backdrop. Unfortunately, it was late in the afternoon & we were anxious to get to Queenstown and didn't stop, but a day here would be on my list of places to stop if I re-wrote our itinerary.

I wanted to include a route map- mostly for just just to remember where we went & what we did.

GOOD NEWS OF THE DAY: San Diego is a really cool little town- might have to put it on my list of places to come back and visit.

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