we got back from our two week trip last night. there was snow overnight on Friday night, so the skylift above queenstown was all white. we changed plans and decided to drive to the snowfields at coronet peak after all. heaps of traffic going up the hill, so we stopped 2/3 of the way up so that maddy could throw snowballs at us... clear sky, little wind. fabulous weather.
we stopped at the bottom of the mountain for maddy and i to ride the shotovoer jet - a 6 km jetboat ride up and down the shotover river above queenstown. this was not cheap, but was seriously the best ride of my life - like the star wars' canyon race but on water! absolutely freezing.
then lunch back at arrowtown (love that bakery) and a long drive to lake tekapo. a stop near tarras to see where the nazghul had chased arwen and frodo along the great easter road.
we'd though this would be low country, but in fact we went up and there was snow everywhere. stunning. while it made a slow drive, it was well worth it.miles and miles of amazing countryside.
unfortunately it meant that we got to lake tekapo about 6pm when it was already dark. we were due to leave at 8am, and at that stage the sun wasnt over the mountain range. we were too tired to hit the observatory. the drive to christchurch was the worst weather we've had - snow, rain, hail and sleet! the views would have been brilliant and instead it was all rather miserable.
of course, the flight over the alps on the way home was spectacular. then a looong 3.5 hour wait in sydeny (thank you, qantas club..) and home at 8.00 pm to find the twins cleaning the house! there's nothing like your own bed (and pillow!). all in all a wonderful couple of weeks - about 1000 photos and some low-res video. i have to say that the step out of 'regular' life into those landscapes really helped to put some things into perspective - now to see if i can follow through on that.
one of my post-trip resolutions is to break out my olympus om2. until i can afford the digital SLR that i'd like, good analog photos have to be better that blurry digital ones!