Having just been to Milford Sound I thought nothing could match the breathtaking views of the fjords. And I was wrong. Glenorchy route is considered one of the most scenic in the World. I seriously wonder how many “one of the most” does New Zealand have? Luckily I took another million photos to prove that what I saw was very idyllic. Still rough, cold, but as beautiful as it can get on this planet. Crystal clear lakes against green hills and snow-capped mountains. I mean… you have to see it for yourself to truly understand how beautiful that place is. The amazing weather helped tons as well. If you need inspiration, here it is. It started off very innocently, the sky was cloudy, but it wasn’t raining. I thought it was a nice place for a day trip. And then…
Low hanging clouds were very mystical. The mountains in the background reminded me a bit of Norway and the Lofoten.
It did not take long for the weather to clear. It made a massive difference. Lake Wakatipu’s waters become clearer, bluer and all that just with a bit of help from the Sun.
If it wasn’t for the fairly cold weather and long drive ahead of me I would have jumped in!
And that was just the beginning. It seemed like every turn brought more and more beautiful views…
The lake was so blue and clear from the glaciers that I just wanted to site there and stare…
I would call the below a road to Heaven…
The road lead to Glenorchy, pretty much a dead end for cars, but was a starting point for many trekking routes.
The lake can’t decide whether it wants to be blue or green? Or gray?
I could swear I have seen this place in one of my Windows screensavers!
As we turn the car around the weather got a bit upset… by the way I love the empty roads. And I mean the roads are a joy to drive in New Zealand. Great surface quality and minimal traffic. If you are scared to rent a car there – don’t be!
It cleared once again as we head out north of Queenstown and towards Wanaka.
We got to Wanaka about 2 hours after visiting Glenorchy. Wanaka Lake is another glacier lake with crystal clear waters and snow-capped mountains in the background. And a world famous tree growing out in the lake. That Wanaka Tree! Yes, it’s called that. “That-Wanaka-Tree”!
You can just briefly see the roots. They get exposed occasionally when there is little rain and the lake levels drop. On the other hand the branches get underwater in a rainy season. This does not stop the tree to grow beautifully!
We head out further north and west and another heaven! I think what makes all these places special is the colour of the water – it’s not your typical kinda blue-brown water. It’s just different shades of blue and matches the sky…
Add yellow blooming flowers to it and you have a perfect postcard colours.
We will follow the road which then turns right to expose an absolutely gorgeous cove.
Surprise palm trees got in the way!
Isn’t this short of amazing?
Misty clouds descend from the mountains. It’s an interesting combination too.
Very nostalgic and again, Lofoten-like.
We are heading North-West to the Blue Pools, which is essentially a glacier-fed river. This is where it’s getting its colours from as well. It’s only a short trek from the main road through the woods. Well worth it!
A view from the bridge to the right.
Another river forming the famous Blue Pools.
The bridge over Blue Pools.
You can technically jump from the bridge into the pools. There is no sign forbidding that. However as one can expect the water being fed from the glaciers is terrifyingly cold so I strongly suggest not doing so as one can get hypothermia. Not fun. Luckily the weather turned into a small downpour so I was nowhere near the temptation to jump in. Hell to the no!
Where the two rivers meet.
It’s amazing how you can see through the water surface and admire the whole rock formation as it sinks to the bottom. That will be 4-5 meters deep if not more.
Some neighbor waterfalls.
Back on the road towards North West and 2 most accessible glaciers in the world. Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier.
We have made it to the coast!
The coast is to the left. If you look at the trees to the right and how exposed they are on the ocean-side you will appreciate this place must be very rough and windy…
Thanks for checking!