Sorry for the delay in this posting–my appendix and a little surgery got in the way…but it’s high time to resume the list!
(Check out more about this series in honor of our two year anniversary of moving Down Under)
Aussie+ Adventure Top 12–
#11- Riverwalking among Lupines In Arrowtown, New Zealand
Sometimes the best travel experiences are ones that I stumble upon and haven’t planned for. That’s saying a lot since I’m a major travel planner–I’ve never met a calendar, timetable, restaurant review, or travel book that I haven’t liked! So when happy accidents like this occur and are so memorable, I feel surprised and lucky.
We decided to close out our last two weeks abroad by traveling throughout New Zealand. I had been there 9 years prior in March and fell in love with the natural beauty and Kiwi friendliness. I didn’t know when I booked our time on the south island in December (which is their end of their spring and beginning of summer) that wildflower season would be in full swing. All over the islands, we found vibrant fields of lupines and other wildflowers that made an already stunning backdrop even more beautiful.
While staying in Queenstown (adventure capital of the South Pacific), we set out for a quick drive to the quaint and adorable Arrowtown. Upon arrival, we cruised down Main Street, which reminded me of downtown Crested Butte or a similar old mining town in the U.S. Just below the main street, we found a little parking area next to a glacial river and thought we’d stretch our legs by walking along the river. My daughter loved finding her way along the banks of the meandering river–we first rolled up her jeans but eventually just let her run around in her diaper to be able to wade through at some parts (and yes, it was a bit chilly!). Surrounding the river was a vibrant green landscape and hundreds of wild lupines bursting with color. To walk along this turquoise glacial river and through tall fields of purple, pink, and blue flowers was extraordinary. To say these flowers added a new level to the already gorgeous landscape would be an understatement. I felt I was walking in a dreamland–which sounds ridiculous but I’m not exaggerating. All in all, one of my favorite “accidental” memories on our journey. The pictures hardly do it justice.
Book a trip to NZ in early December. Fly into Queenstown (the plane approach between sharp green mountains is thrilling and a bit scary), rent a car and drive a scenic 20 minutes to Arrowtown. Park in the lots down by the Arrow River, just below town, and follow any of the easy pathways along the riverbed. Bonus–this is very kid friendly! Complete the day with a walk on the historic Main Street and a glass of wine at one of the local vineyard’s Main Street tasting rooms. Oh, and if you’re feeling a bit wild, you can stop and bungee jump on your way back to Queenstown. More on that later. 🙂 In the meantime, enjoy these images of walking in a dreamland and a few of quaint Arrowtown.