The drive to Queenstown and Queenstown

People go to Queenstown not to hang around the town itself but to explore the surrounding area. Many of the shops in town are souvenir shops, but even more of them are glorified concierge desks where you can book activities like boat tours and sightseeing flights. Oh, and skydiving. (I went skydiving!)

Below are 42 photos of the scenery on the way from Fox Glacier to Queenstown, including a stretch of road delightfully lined with purple wildflowers; an unbelievably precipitous stretch of road; gorgeous mountains by the lakes; and a genius construction traffic light.

Then there are also a few (15) photos in Queenstown itself, including photos of birds, flowers, and signs.

The Drive from Fox Glacier to Queenstown

In my experience, when road construction requires a bidirectional street to become unidirectional, the construction crew includes two people whose job it is to hold up round signs on sticks that say ‘stop’ on one side and ‘go’ on the other. They let cars through from one side for a while, then they both spin their signs around and let cars through from the other side for a while. Well. Why not get a machine to do that?
The ocean at Knights Point.
The view from Knights Point Lookout.

These things tell you whether someone is in the toilet stall. Where I come from, though, the opposite of “vacant” is “occupied”, and “engaged” doesn’t usually mean “occupied” or even “busy”, it means “getting married soon”.

I don’t know what these flowers are called, but I loved seeing them. They lined the roads for miles and miles.

This was a really steep road with a lot of switchbacks. We’re not sure what would have happened if we’d followed the highway signs to Queenstown instead of the GPS, but we think the drive would have been less scenic (and probably also faster).
Sometimes when you randomly stick your camera out the car window to take photos, you manage to capture something interesting purely by chance.

Okay, we’re finally in Queenstown now.

That’s our hotel. It’s just opposite the library and a field where paragliders land, not far from the Skyline gondola cable car thingy.
The Skyline gondola cable car thingy looks like this.

I think that one in the middle is a cormorant.

The sign says “Unlocked cars contribute to the growing crime rate!” Um, no. Thieves who steal from unlocked cars contribute to the growing crime rate. I’ve never known an unlocked car to commit any crime whatsoever.
When I saw this I laughed. It’s just a machine where you pay for your parking place, but since the sign is in front of a spectacular view, it seems as though you have to pay to enjoy looking at the mountains. Which, in a way, you do.