Queenstown really needs no introduction. It would be easy to come here and not even go past the waterfront or up the Gondola for amazing views. But the hub of Queenstown is only the appetizer in exploring this amazing region. Hidden up in the hills behind Queenstown if Lake Kirkpatrick with reflections that will make you think you’ve turned yourself upside down, and Moke Lake which has been known to turn on amazing Milky Way goodness on a clear night, but be sure to check before you lock yourself into the toilet block or you might get the fright of your life like I did discovering a possum curled up behind the toilet bowl at 5am.
Further up Lake Wakatipu are the stunning coves of Wilson’s Bay and Bob’s Cove and amazing vantage point of Bennett’s Bluff with clear views up the lake towards Glenorchy. One of my favourite spots though is the little known waterfall grotto hidden in the hills halfway up the lake, and despite visiting here in the pouring rain, it’s still one of my favourite waterfalls in New Zealand. And if you can bear the windy road up, you can’t beat the view from the Remarkables looking down over the Kawerau River.
Also just up the road is Wanaka – with 'That Wanaka Tree' that everybody loves and hates in equal measure. I’ll admit before visiting I was pretty sceptical about why there was so much fuss over a darn tree. But I’ll admit when I spent a sunset and sunrise here I was totally and utterly hooked. There’s just something magical about a tree on a lake with the amazing mountain vista as a backdrop to the shot. And the fact the tree looks so different in every season and every single shot I’ve seen of it have won me over well and truly.