We just got back from our two and a half week trip to New Zealand/Australia last week. We spent four days in Queenstown before flying over to Sydney. I will post the Queenstown portion in that forum if anyone is interested. We (my wife and I) compiled our own itinerary and followed through on a lot of suggestions from this forum. Thank you all very much! It was a trip of a lifetime.
Day 1 – Queenstown, NZ:
We arrived in Queenstown around 2pm after the long flight. We spent the day walking around downtown and along the lake shore taking photographs. It began to rain early in the evening.
Day 2 – Queenstown, NZ:
Awoke to a cold, light rain which ended up lasting most of the day. We went to Fergbaker for breakfast. Delicious! We walked around Queenstown Gardens using the trees to stay out of the rain and did some shopping in the downtown area. Lunch at Fergberger was amazing. The line wasn’t too long and even though we split an order of fries, we couldn’t even finish our meal. We rented a car in the afternoon and drove to Arrowtown. After spending some time walking through the shops in Arrowtown we drove back to Queenstown for dinner at Winnie’s.
Day 3 – Milford Sound, NZ:
Left Queenstown at 5:45am to drive to Milford Sound. I know it isn’t recommended to make this trip in one day with a personal vehicle, but we felt it was our best option for the limited time we had. We didn’t really get daylight until we reached Te Anau. The drive from Te Anau to Milford was breathtaking. We decided to make very few stops on the way in and try to get an early cruise. We arrived at the docks at 9:50am and found a 9:55am cruise with Mitre Peak. We were two of 10 people on the ship which was great, but the best part was the weather cleared right as the cruise began and we had clear skies for the whole cruise. Milford Sound was definitely the highlight of New Zealand for us. Mitre Peak cruises was fantastic. We hit just about every scenic pullout on the way back to Queenstown. The mountains had a nice fresh coating of snow. Beautiful.
Day 4 – Queenstown, NZ:
Drove to Glenorchy at sunrise. It was clear in Queenstown but overcast in Glenorchy. The drive was still very scenic. Made our way back to Queenstown and took the gondola up to the top. We hiked up to Ben Lomond saddle. Very strenuous hike but even more rewarding views. Had lunch at the saddle and headed back down. We spent sunset at Onsen Hot Pools. Very relaxing and much needed after the hike.
Day 5 – Sydney, Australia:
We spent the morning in Queenstown walking through some shops and getting a few more pictures in Queenstown Gardens. We departed at 3pm for Sydney. Arrived in Sydney at sunset and got a bite to eat near our hotel. We spent the evening walking around Circular Quay and the Opera house. It was a very nice night and perfect weather for sitting and people watching. The Opera House and Harbor bridge are beautifully lit at night.Edited: 28 May 2013, 16:17