Sunday, 30 June 2013

NZ-OZ Trip: Queenstown

It only took few minutes stroll by the lake for me to fall in love with Queenstown...
If there is one thing that I like the least about it, it's just the fact that it could be very cold early in the morning-yeah, being born and raised in tropical country, I'm not used to cold weather.

My fave spot would be a bench by the lake (and there are many of them, never worry to not be able to snatch one), enjoying the scenery of the Remarkables, just relax my mind and let it wonder. Oh god, how I wish teleporting was already invented and I could just transport myself there anytime I wanted to.

Queenstown is considered quite tourist-y, and the most crowded area is the Mall where lies a lot of restaurants, cafes, outdoor stores, tourist informations/tours, etc. Skyline Gondola is only few minutes walk from the Mall, and there's a beautiful Queenstown Garden by the lake.

I think most people would prefer rent a car from the airport, but since I was travelling solo and I had no intention to rent a car, public bus was my only option, and no worries, there is Connectabus that goes all the way to town-it is convenient.

I would love to talk more about Queenstown, but since it has been a very busy week and I'm exhausted, I'd just show some photos I have. Enjoy!

Monday, 24 June 2013

NZ-OZ Trip: Rotorua - Government Garden, Lake Rotorua, Museum

Rotorua museum
After the first half day was spent at Hobbiton, it was time for some town exploring. Somehow that afternoon, the smell of sulfur was strong that I had to cover my nose with tissue.

Anyway, a quick lunch and I was off to Rotorua Museum. There is an interesting history of the building, it was used to be a bath house to treat wounded soldiers from the war. And some of the bath rooms were shown in this building. The location of Rotorua caldera with a lot of thermal activities made it a perfect location for a bathhouse. There were many different kind of baths to take, from sulfur bath to mud bath (For tourists who want to experience sulfur bath, they can go to Polynesian Spa located near museum).

a statue in the corridor

Rotorua museum looks over Government garden, a historic garden that was just too beautiful to not taking a stroll in.

From Government garden, there's a path leading to lake Rotorua. Luckily by this time, my nose got used to the sulfur smell and I can thoroughly enjoy the beauty of my surroundings!

beautiful Lake Rotorua-I can't get enough of it!

a group of geese having a feast
seagulls passing by on their way migrating
a couple of black swans-they are sooo beautiful!
a black swan taking off
I really love the following photo. The blue color of the sky was reflected beautifully by the lake giving the illusion they were one unity and weren't separated kilometers away.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

NZ-OZ Trip: Matamata - Hobbiton

main road entrance
When I decided to go to New Zealand, Hobbiton is a must-go place! I heard so much about it and though I know it wasn't cheap, I gotta go anyway.
I took a half-day tour from Rotorua (NZD 115-including entrance fee), and the pick up was from Rotorua i-Site right at the town center. I chose the morning tour so that after the tour, I could take my time to walk around town area before leaving the next day.
There were only very few of us on the morning tour and by the end of the tour, even the driver knew my name :)
We were dropped at the entrance (cafe and souvenir shop-no little Hobbits' houses in sight), and soon we joined a bunch load of people boarding a vintage bus that would take us far into the farm, right to the gated area where Hobbiton was.
souvenir shop (left) and cafe (right)
cafe's outdoor seating
entrance to the farm
entrance to Hobbiton :)
I would not tell you how exciting it was to be there, and how beautiful the whole place is, you can see for yourself from the pictures:

sam, our friendly guide

At the end of the tour, the group was taken to Green Dragon pub for one free drink and last chance for our last few pictures.