Kiwi Jack: Chapter Three

A slight change to our plans this afternoon gave me the best scenery experience of my life.

Though by no means am I the most accomplished traveller in the world, I have been to four continents, a couple handfuls of countries, 49 states, half of Canada and all of the major US national parks. But for my money, the 80 km stretch of road between Queenstown and Kilroy provides some of the best views in the world.

It’s better than route one in California and Big Sur. Seriously.

We started and ended the day in Queenstown.

To paraphrase my father, it’s literally like being in the middle of a post card. The town is nestled into a tiny sliver of a valley on Lake Wakatipu. Like seemingly every other lake in Kiwi Kountry, it’s got crystal clear water where you can see straight to the bottom and probably drink out of.

Here’s another shot of Q-town just to hammer home the point. Sometimes I’m about as subtle as a semi.

The wannabe photographer loves shooting here, and he (she? Maybe it’s my “feminine” side? Yeah, I don’t think so either.) loves playing with the quality of light vs. clouds vs. reflections on the water.

Here’s some bad-ass cloud formations on some mountains. I don’t really have a good lead-in, so have at it.

Though we didn’t go too far off the road, the area to the north of Glenorchy (the center of this wonderful region) have been home to a number of big-time movie productions, including (shockingly!) the Lord of the Rings series. If you see some shades of Lothlorien in these woods, you’d be right on the money, since Galadriel, Frodo, Aragorn and all met just a stones throw from this spot.

Boromir was also slain and drew his last breath on this water. But you may be surprised to learn that other films such as X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Chronicles of Narnia: Price Caspian, Vertical Limit and the Last Samurai were also filmed in this area, among others. Kneeling on the beach and taking this shot this afternoon made me completely understand why.

I’ll wrap it up with one of my favorite quotes (which comes from, appropriately, Lord of the Rings): “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door. You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you’ll be swept off to.” – Bilbo Baggins.

See you soon.

10:31pm, August 5
Queenstown, New Zealand