We pulled into Queenstown a day early after getting battered by a gale force wind storm while camping near Mt. Cook.
We took refuge in the diner at Mt. Cook and a pilot who flies people in and out of Milford Sound told us to get our butts on the road.
The storm was going to continue pounding the area with heavy rain and strong winds, and our plans of hiking and exploring a glacier were no longer plausible.
Also, none of us exactly relished the idea of spending a second night in our tents in a wind storm given that the first night snapped some of the tent poles and the structural stability of the tents was in question.
So we hopped in the car, chose Queenstown as the destination on our GPS navigator and hit the road.
The drive to Queenstown was gorgeous.
We drove by mountains, valleys and canyons.
But none of them were as magnificent as Queenstown itself.
This funky little town is on the shore of Lake Wakatipu and boasts a remarkable view of The Remarkables, those towering mountains across the lake.
On day one in Queenstown, after settling into our rental apartment and resting a bit, Sean and I took off to explore the lake front.
It was cold, evidenced by the snow on top of The Remarkables.
After buying heavier jackets and a wool hat for me, we wandered along a gravel path beside the lake.
Queenstown definitely wins in my book for the best town in all of New Zealand.
This is mostly due to those gorgeous, slightly mysterious and foreboding mountains looming behind that crystal blue lake.
Warning: what follows is an excessive amount of pictures of mountains + water. But if you've been following this blog for any period of time, that should not surprise you at all.
So what do you think? Queenstown is pretty amazing, huh?