The closest town is 90 minutes away in Te Anau which is two hours away from Queenstown. We flew from Abel Tasman to Queenstown and drove to Te Anau where we stayed one night before moving onto Milford Sound (The Fjordlands). Te Anau sits on a lake and has a population similar to Manson, WA. Small population in the winter and busy in the summer as there are lots of summer homes located along the lake. It was pretty, but in comparison to the rest of New Zealand, it was kind of unremarkable.
On our way from Te Anau to Milford Sounds we stopped to hike the Key Summit (a section from one of the great walks.). It was a moderate hike in difficulty, but exceptional in beauty. About 15 minutes into our hike, in between breaths, I told Ryan “Hey Speed Racer! Dial it back a notch. I’m not going for speed here!”
I'm not sure what made me more breathless, the non stop uphill climb at a the pace of a wanna be marine, or this view of his behind the entire time :)
The views at the top were STUNNING! Alpine lakes, mountains, beautiful foliage and nice little German teens who took our picture but failed to make me look thinner like I had asked.
After dinner that night (in the one and only bar/café) Ryan schooled me at Cricket. Ahem…. I beat him TWICE at 301. But who’s keeping track?
As it was, it was beautiful scenery and I got my share of a few waterfalls here and there.
One last thing before I end this post….3/4 of the visitors in Te Anau are Chinese who are driven in by chartered busses. There was one Chinese restaurant across the street from the supermarket. Both nights Ryan and I were in Te Anau the restaurant was packed. This was the road sign posted across the street from the restaurant. Does this not seem a little bit racist to anyone else??