Today was our last full day in New Zealand and we wanted to try a few of the traditional tourist things before the long flight home.
We were two steps beyond the middle of nowhere, the sun was setting, we had creeks to ford and a couple of hours to drive on some rough gravel roads back to our comfy hotel in Queenstown. The good news was that it was all backtracking so we knew what to expect and where to expect it.
After a good night’s sleep and a quick oatmeal breakfast, I was charged up and ready to get going on this day. I wasn’t expecting super pictures because I knew the times of day that we would be hitting our stops wouldn’t give us great light, but just being in those places would be a real treat. We were going to see the other two of the top three places I wanted to visit on this trip.
For a day called Black Friday, it sure did start off with a beautiful sunrise. I missed the beginning of it but screamed out the back door of our room and grabbed a few shots as the sky lit up. It turned the mountains opposing the sunrise all shades of gorgeous. Purple mountain majesty indeed!
We got up as early as we could and headed out of town. Today we would get to see what so many before us thought was the most spectacular part of their NZ trip – Mt Sunday! The trick was to get up early because it’s about a 2.5-hour drive and the best light is supposed to be from about 10-1pm. I was hoping for some nice photos.
We knew that our trip would entail a lot of driving, but this was the longest day of driving that we just couldn’t plan around. We were not near an airport and there were things we wanted to do around Tongariro National Park, but there is not a lot of NZ that we really wanted to see between this latitude and Wellington which is at the very southern tip of the north island. The only solution that made sense to us was to drive. It was going to be a long day.