"A road trip is for the whole family to spend time together and annoy each other in interesting new places " - Tom Lichtenheld
It was Day 21 of our 1 month New Zealand family road trip. I drove 180 kilometers from Queenstown southbound to Te Anau. To those who have been reading my stories for quite a while, it's an understatement to say that I enjoy being on the road. Hop in the car with us by hitting play on the video above:
It was a 2 -hour drive to Te Anau, our home for the next 2 nights.
Te Anau is a small lakeside town in the Southland region of the South Island of New Zealand. As the gateway to the otherworldly wilderness of Fiordland National Park, it is the perfect base when visiting Milford Sound. It takes 2 hours to get to Milford Sound from Te Anau. This cuts the usual 4-hour driving trip from Queenstown by half, thus allowing visitors a chance to gradually digest the breathtaking landscape.
The Scenic Drive to Te Anau
The first part of the drive on New Zealand State Highway 6 Kingston Road was along the lake edge. We stopped for lunch at a camping area at Lake Wakatipu southbound just before Kingston.
We spent most of our meals outdoors, picnic-style, not only was it more budget-friendly but with views like this, why not right? The water was so clear, Anaïs enjoyed a dip.
Devil's Staircase lookout revealed itself afterward.
The landscape was captivating. Sheeps grazed on the plains. The only music on the radio was a Christian station that played inspiring songs on a loop, while the rest slept in the car. I clutched the steering wheel and watched the landscape switch from tussock clad hills to green meadows.
Quiet moments awake on my own left me in a tug of war between appreciating the spectacular views before me or getting pulled into my thoughts. I didn't want this road trip to end. I wanted this adventure to continue forever.
Te Anau Township
We reached the township of Te Anau and walked around to stretch our legs while refueling at the same time in preparation for tomorrow's early morning drive to Milford Sound.
Fiordland Great View Holiday Park
By mid-afternoon, we found ourselves in front of the gates of the holiday park somewhere on State Highway 94. We took two adjacent rooms along a long series of accommodation nestled in front of the landscaped camping grounds. The property was bordered by tall manicured hedges dividing them into different organized zones.
Coffee! Maman and I sat by the covered porch and enjoyed a cup of joe while my daughter was thrilled by the bunk bed.
Later, we prepared our dinner at the large shared kitchen. Different aromas filled the space from frittatas to pasta.
The pink sky inspired an apéro of Pink Moscato at the garden terrace. Behind the picket fence were sheep and alpacas enjoying their early dinner.
We moved to a picnic table overlooking a picturesque view and enjoyed our dinner al fresco.
It was cold that evening and we all got ready for bed. The challenge was to avoid waking up to go to the toilet situated roughly around 50 meters from our rooms in the middle of the night. There were motion sensor lights and fixed luminaires outside the public bathrooms. All went well and we were all buzzing with excitement early morning to catch our cruise boat in Milford Sound.
Lake Te Anau
Lake Te Anau is the largest lake in the South Island by surface area and the second-largest in the country.
After an extraordinary day trip to Milford Sound, we were back after a tiring drive through intermittent rain. It was sunny back in the quiet township and we enjoyed a late afternoon stroll by the lake.
Drive Back to QueenstownThese fellas sent us a warm farewell.
Day 23: We had a great time at Fiordland Great View Holiday Park but it was time to say goodbye to Te Anau. It was one of our favorite accommodations during our 1-month road trip. We checked out and when the family vehicle was packed with our luggage, @iamyohann took over the driver's seat, so I could take a few videos of the landscape during the drive to Queenstown.
I will take you to Milford Sound and the Fiordlands in my next post. Thank you for reading!