Woke to the first cloudless sky we have seen since arriving in NZ. A quick walk down to Fraser's Beach on Lake Manapouri for some photos, then we headed north.
Off the main road, forty kilometres of unsealed road and waiting for a mob of cattle to change paddocks, saw us at Mavora Lakes.
We visited because LOTR scenes were filmed here but once again our pursuit of filming locations took us to a spectacular and lesser known place off the beaten track.
First up we did a little tramp into the forest where some breaking of the Fellowship scenes were filmed. While we were mucking around taking photos a curious little South Island Robin happened by. He posed for photos too and then decided to investigate our shoelaces, even perching on our shoes to do so.
Next we tramped down the hill because it had to be done, (I mean everyone runs down that hill in the final scenes of Fellowship) and our little friend decided to follow along. Robins are birds that naturally have no fear so he'd decided to take advantage of our tramping and pick up the bugs that were stirred up from the leaf litter as we walked. At the bottom of the hill I sat my backpack down, so the little robin figured he needed to climb all over it too. Very cute.
Out on the lakeshore we went for a walk, enjoying the scenery and looking for another location. This time for the iconic scene where Frodo leaves the Fellowship and Sam follows him. (This is also the location where Sean Astin ran into the lake and famously sliced his foot open.) We sat on the shore for a while and the water is so clear that we could watch the trout feeding and swimming by.
Back out on the main road we continued north, heading for Queenstown. Along the highway we had to stop again for livestock, this time a huge mob of sheep that was crossing the road.
At the little town of Kingston we hit the southern end of Lake Wakatipu. Wakatipu has the stunning aqua blue water that this part of NZ is known for and is the third largest lake in New Zealand. The drive is spectacular, winding along between the lake and the mountains.
In Queenstown we checked into our accommodation and then walked into town. First up we booked an activity for tomorrow, Queenstown is the adventure capital of the world after all. Then we headed for the Cookietime Cookie Bar for some cookie shake's. Lil Sis decided to have a crack at the claw machine while we were waiting and managed to pull out a Cookie Muncher so Shawn and Lady Squid have a new friend.
Then we walked down to the lake and went to the underwater observatory. The lake is full of brown and rainbow trout, quinnat salmon and long-finned eel. There is a button you can press for a dollar to feed them, so we did that, which also brought in the Scaup (native ducks). It was really cool to see the ducks diving from an underwater perspective. They actually dive quite deep and look so cute as they float back to the surface with their bills tucked into their chests.
Back on the surface we checked out a few shops, and then walked back to our accommodation via the lakeshore. Along the way we had stunning views of the Remarkables in the late afternoon light. Not a bad way to end the day.