We then head inland past wineries and orchards to the wild black-sand beaches of the West Coast. Once past the gorge is the excellent winery awards to date and restaurant at Gibbston Valley Wines….
Return to Te Anau the way you came. The city lies on a beautiful lake, actually a flooded volcanic crater - the surrounding hills are the remains of the rim of the giant volcano.
Day 2 Auckland - Rotorua kms Before you depart for Rotorua, you may like to visit a few attractions you missed yesterday. The Giant Jersey has, you guessed it, the largest jersey in the world, plus lots of woolly stuff on sale.
First stop should be the volcanic cone of Mt Eden for a panoramic view of the city and harbours to orientate our bearings before we start the tour. Follow the Loop Road to the main attraction at Wai-o-tapu. Scenic flights either by ski plane or helicopter, guaranteed to be THE trip of your lifetime! For a late afternoon swim in our clean, clear and safe harbour you can wander down the steps to beautiful Cheltenham Beach.
On arrival you can choose from: Possible stops en route or on the way back include Eglington River Valley, Mirror Lake and Knobs Flat before reaching the Divide — the lowest pass over these mountains. After lunch I recommend a walk in the lush bush of the Waitakere Ranges to a secluded waterfall or along a deserted beach, such as the one made famous in Jane Campion's movie The Piano.
The beautiful resort was originally named as 'fit for a Queen'. Join the Christchurch Bike Tour…. Mitre Peak magnetises photographers, as does the cascading Bowen and Stirling Falls.
If you wait until tomorrow morning the spa is less crowded - it is a wonderful way to start the day - relaxing with serene views across the lake. There are 3 self guided walks, the short, the medium and the long — the latter takes about 2 hours past the green lake of Ngakoro, with great casino rim credit en route of the blue lake Whangi-o-terangi, meaning "colour of the sky".
For the imaginative, or for those not wanting to do the LOTR tour, you can picture Hobbiton hollows and Bag End Row in the hills on the right immediately after this intersection. A 'Sound' is a flooded river valley, but these are flooded glacial valleys with sheer sided walls that plunge hundreds of metres under water as well as above - so they are misnamed.
The Kuirau Park will give you your first taste or I should say smell of the volcanic area around here. Day 8 Te Anau - Queenstown If you feel like a short walk, the Nature Walk at the southern end of Lake Gunn is highly recommended it starts from the Cascade Creek parking ….
The town has a bit of a love affair with corrugated iron, there are quite a few other imaginative signs right the way along the main road. Te Anau means rushing water in Maori — so both the lake and the town derived their names from the caves. Springs regularly just appear, resulting in families being forced to move and the land having to be given back to nature. The gorgeaous turquoise-blue lake derives its colour from the fine glacial particles suspended in the water.
Hackett's very first bungee jumping platform - this is where you get to tie a huge elastic band to your ankles and jump out into space over the river if you dare?