Thursday, July 8, 2010

Honeymoon Day 11

On our third full day in New Zealand, we decided to go tramping (the NZ word for hiking).  There are lots and lots of gorgeous hikes around Queenstown (especially if you are looking for a multi-day hike).  However, we were looking for a day hike in the 6 - 8 hour range.  Our lovely hotel Blanket Bay packed a lovely lunch for us in a small backpack, recommended the perfect hike (the Routeburn Track), and sent us on our way.

There were lots of little suspension bridges.

The many little bridges crossed water was a vaguely opaque icy blue (glacial dust makes it look opaque).  I know this picture is out of focus, but the color was so cool. 

We went through areas that looked very prehistoric - ferns and large plants.  We took a few photos pretending to be dinosaurs in the jungle, but I am not going to post those here... 

Gorgeous rocky streams and views.  The day was a little clouded in, which worked in our favor because it never got too hot.

We stopped here to have our picnic.  It was this golden field that sort of came out of nowhere after we had been going uphill for a few hours.  It reminded me a lot of Lord of the Rings, but I don't know the movies well enough to know if there was anything actually filmed here.

This was our turning around point.  You can see the golden field below where we had eaten lunch an hour or so before.  We had to turn around because otherwise we would have been hiking home in the dark (not something I was excited to do). 

Overall it was a really peaceful, fun day - we had the track mostly to ourselves.   I think we passed one other couple and that was it.  As it was the start of fall in NZ, I think that the high season for hiking this route had passed (permits were required for those planning to overnight on the trail).  Also, the serious hikers probably started a few hours before we got there.  It was great - I highly recommend it.

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