Tuesday, May 1, 2007

South Island Picture Time- Part VI (Queenstown-Christchurch)

Covered in... actually, I think I skipped this part earlier. This is basically what Queenstown looks like and the drive to Christchurch (which is six hours away from Queenstown, but very pretty... as usual).
The view of downtown Queenstown. It sort of has the feel of a ski town out west with good reason- the ski fields open soon, in July, and there were a few snow flurries when we were there.

Queenstown was also the center of LOTR filming, for those keeping track, and the bars favored by the actors and crew still like to remind you of this fact.
You know how mountain ranges often have names that don't actually tell you much about the mountains themselves? Well the mountain range in Queenstown is known simply as "The Remarkables," thus proving that New Zealanders were one of the few people in the world capable of naming something in a way that describes what they actually look like.

There's actually a little gondola right in town that you can ride up the side of one of the mountains (the ski fields are a little further off), complete with resteraunt and obligatory bungy jump, but the weather wasn't that great by way of views so we didn't end up doing it.

Look, a moa! I found a moa! Linda, come quick, we'll be rich and famous!

Seriously though, you know how I mentioned at some point that humans haven't explored all of New Zealand yet? There's a small-but-not-zero chance that one of the New Zealand birds thought to be extinct still exists out there for this very reason- they've rediscovered a few of them not too long ago, even, like the kakapo. Ok, a moa's probably a little too big to escape detection, but you never know...
A pretty-but-typical lakeside view. Hope you guys aren't getting tired of these, as I'm not...
A stark view of what most of the lower lands are like in this part of the world- I'd show you more, including the place where they filmed that big LOTR III battle, except this is the place where my camera decided to run out of juice, so no more pictures until Christchurch.


Linda said...

Did I tell you that my old prof from Swarthmore just spent 6+ months studying the kakapo. She's like the leading world's expert. She just got back from NZ and the only island where the kakapo are found. She's studying the honey-lavender scent that these 8lb parrots make. Just a fun fact.