The Home Stretch

Having conquered the Routeburn Track, it was time to head north toward Christchurch – but not before enjoying a day of relaxation in Queenstown and a couple more scenic stopovers along the way.

Derek and I chose to unwind from the trek in rather opposite fashions:  he with a jump off the Shotover River via the Canyon Swing and I with a spa day at the Millbrook Resort.  Afterward, we indulged in local favorite, Fergburger, and wet our whistles at the Pig and Whistle.

Our next stop was Mount Cook, which is approached via a drive along Lake Pukaki.  The lake is nothing short of majestic.  The aqua blue water rivals that of the Caribbean.  We pulled to the side of the road and just sat there, soaking it in, for the longest time.

Thankfully, we were able to enjoy these views before an afternoon storm rolled in.  Unfortunately, the storm prevented us from exploring Mount Cook as we would have liked.  We squeezed in a brief hike near the mountain the next morning before setting off for Lake Tekapo.

In the lead up to the trip, Lake Tekapo was one of the destinations about which I was most excited.  I was enthralled with the idea of having a hot cocoa at the Astro Café overlooking the lake.  We did visit the café, and the view was lovely, but as with so many things we build up in our minds, it didn’t quite reach the heights for which I had hoped.  The lake is beautiful, and we enjoyed our holiday camp located right along its bank.  I believe my letdown, if it can be called such, stemmed from how taken I was with Lake Pukaki.

From Lake Tekapo, we returned to Christchurch and concluded our two-week journey into Middle Earth.  We loved this stunning country and hope you enjoyed reading about our adventures.  I hope my notes and tips are helpful as you plan your own trip, and please let me know if I can answer any questions along the way.


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