As I said in my last posting, Queenstown is filled with astonishing views. There is mountains in every direction and at the time we came they still had snow on top of the peaks giving them a nice white top. The hotel we stayed out was right in the heart of the town with about a 5 min walk to the shore line. There are tons of bars and restaurants around. Most of the places we ate at were very good with quality food. There are tons of things to do in the town, most of them are extreme like bung jumping or paragliding but there are some less extreme activities like the gondola ride up a mountain. For our stay, I would have been happy just hanging around Queenstown and enjoying the view but we did do a day tour to Milford sound.
Milford sound is another big lake. We had a shared tour with some other people. Its about a 3 hours drive with some nice stops along the way through the Fjordlands. At one point we stopped by a stream made from the run off of the mountain that was said to be 99% per water. There is vegetation that grows on the rock on the way that is said to only grow in extremely low pollution areas. The drive out there was beautiful and wasn’t as bad as far as time as the tour from Auckland. There was more to look at then sheep and cows. Milford sound itself was great, we had a boat ride around looking at the points of the lake. At one point we stopped at a waterfall which drenched the front of the boat and everyone near it (including us).
Besides the tour to Milford sound, we took another boat ride back in Queenstown. This was an old coal ship called the _’TSS Earnslaw‘_ that crosses Lake Wakatipu and dropped us off for dinner at a country setting for a slow roast dinner. It was nice as we sat at a table with other people, 2 people from the UK and 2 from AUS. After dinner and chatting a bit we got to see a demonstration of a sheep getting sheared.
Over all I enjoy Queenstown a lot better then Auckland, the people are truly more laid back and friendly. The sights are great and just walking around is great fun. If I was to come back to New Zealand I would come back to Queenstown and forget about Auckland. My recommendation for first timers, I would only do 2 days in Auckland and move down to Queenstown. The sights we saw from Auckland is a must see, but besides that the sights from Queenstown are much better!