Queenstown is an amazing town, last year when I went I really only got to see the town itself, spending seven days exploring cafes, bars, restaurants and local attractions.  This year we managed to get out and see a lot of what the surrounding areas of Queenstown have to offer.  The South Island of New Zealand is extremely picturesque and we were fortunate enough to have one of our friends from Christchurch, Aaron, with his car for the week and got a few good day trips in.

On Sunday we went for a morning drive with Aaron and went for a walk around Frankton Arm and Kelvin Heights, just to the south east of Queenstown.  The first thing you notice when walking around areas such as these that have water views is that the ground is rocky rather than sandy due to the volcanic nature of the land in New Zealand.

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The three of us went and met another friend Boh for lunch in Arrowtown, a quaint little nearby town that was prominent in the gold mining days.  We had a wander around and went on about an hour’s walk along the river; apparently people still pan for gold in the area these days.

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Simon and I hired a car for the day on Monday and set off in the morning to explore Glenorchy at the other end of Lake Wakatipu.  The weather was great and we spent the day driving and walking lands that definitely reminded one of Lord of the Rings.  You can see why New Zealand is such a popular choice for filming; the new Toyota Camry ad was being filmed on a road we went down on our trip and the scenery would have been perfect for it.  The forest walk we did near the Routeburn Track through to a viewing point of Lake Sylvan was majestically silent and awe inspiring.

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