Splendid panoramic views with dramatic mountains, fresh water lakes, unique flora and fauna, curvy cliffs; and rivers hustling in the background defines New Zealand. The beautiful country is a natural wonderland with jaw-dropping vista of un-imaginable landscapes.
I just came back from New Zealand after a 2 weeks long trip and there is so much to share about this trip. While I am still in the midst of summarizing my thoughts, I couldn’t stop myself to consolidate the pictures of road landscapes and share these postcards with you as we drove from one town to the other. I hope you enjoy them and these pictures spark some excitement for your next road trip!
1. Lake Hawea – Albert Town Road
Naked mountains sharing territories with snow capped mountains was a beautiful sight as we started our drive from Wanaka to Mt. Cook. This picture is far away from reality and cannot do justice to the grandeur of the route and what I experienced in person.
2. Glenorchy – Queenstown Road
This world famous 45 Kms drive has panoramic alpine views with the road running parallel to lake Wakatipu and the snow-capped southern Alps. The riveting turns of the mountains as you drive along animates the landscape in different shades.
3. Terrace Road, Mt. Cook Village
The pupil of my eyes elated with excitement when I saw these imposing snow clad mountains and snow around sparkling like diamonds. Driving through this stretch and entering into Mt. Cook village was by far the most exhilarating experience.
4. Buckland Road, Hobbiton
The views in North Island are more greener than South Island in winters. Being “Lord of the Rings” fan I have to put this one here. The drive out of Hobbiton to Auckland is through countryside with fairly large grasslands and farms. What you will see are those adorable farm animals: sheep, horses and cattle lazying around and munching all the time.
5. Mount Cook Road
Driving into these ferocious mountains towards evening gave me goosebumps. Get acquainted with these contrasting landscapes and wonderful variety of native wildlife. Road trip from Queenstown to Mt. Cook and Mt. Cook itself cannot be forgotten for years. I kept turning my head around to see what I was leaving behind.
6. Mt. Cook Road
The magic happens when Mt. Cook road meets Lake Pukaki as you drive from Mt. Cook to Christchurch. The drive is an absolute eye candy. There are over 100 Kms of walking and cycling trails as well made around this lake for you to have quintessential experience.
7. Lindis Pass
This dramatic pass lies between the valleys of the Lindis and Ahuriri Rivers. The scintillating mountains look perfectly carved by an artist. This scenic drive through the Pass is about 60 kms. This was the first time when I literally drove in the valley with the mountains less than few meters away.
8. Lake Pukaki, Mt. Cook Road
As we drove along, for the first time I saw frozen fractions of the lake. 30% of this lake was frozen which seamlessly transitioned into still blue waters. The view is simply spectacular at dawn with the sun comes up, bathing the mountains in golden light.
9. State Highway 94
The beauty about New Zealand is that the same place can very different on any given 2 different days. This view was captured 20 minutes out of Te Anau en route Queenstown and it looked extremely different when we came in a day earlier. The trees and farms were shielded with ice crystals as though it was protecting them. I couldn’t resist but to stop and feel the fresh air on my face and touch these crystals on the wild grass.
10. Cardrona Valley Road
In winters, Arrowtown to Wanaka can be a tough drive given the curvy nature of the roads but the views are electrifying as you move from one mountain to the other. Taking some time to stop at shoulders on the road to just absorb this ocean of natural beauty has to be a given.
It’s very rare that you get presented with so many unique experiences on a road trip in 1 country over a very short period of time. Hope you enjoyed the sharing and I will come back with more stories on our New Zealand adventure!
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