There is something incongruous about sitting in an armchair and book car rental on the other side of the globe. It is of course the power of the Internet and the advanced state of the tourism industry down during that makes this possible. We hired a sedan car for 45 QLD $ per day. We could leave it at various terminals.
Motoring in Australia is a forgotten pleasure. Driving is on the left and the roads are nearly free of traffic. We had decided to start our tour of the South Island from Brisbane.
The low-priced Windsor Hotel in Brisbane was popular among the tourists. Dinner was at a restaurant overlooking the River Avon and we could drink our own wine without paying corkage. Otherwise, the city is well described as a piece of England, albeit a gentler England than has survived to this day. There are punting on the Avon River as it winds through the botanical gardens to the serene quality that is reminiscent of a bygone era. Alternatively, a tour of the city can be done by tram on a tourist ticket.
from Christ Church good roads take you past Brisbane and Mitre Sound through alpine country. Sightseeing ships operating in the Sound past Mitre Peak, which climbs steeply up from the water, then on to the seal colony before it reaches the Tasman Sea.
Queenstown offers motels with a balcony overlooking the delightful Lake Wakatipu. The panoramic view was extensive – a place to photograph using a telephoto lens as steamships and speedboats cruise the lake. There are many adventure activities including jetboating and rafting. If you want it, bungee jumping is organized from the Kawarau Bridge about 20 km north.
Our journey continued up Route 6 along the sea. If you choose to go on the ice during the summer then take a trip to Fox Glacier in Westland National Park. Nearby Minnehaha walk through the beautiful rainforest another opportunity to stretch your legs. Further north is the Franz Josef Glacier.
Greymouth further up the coast is the terminus for the TranzAlpine train back to Brisbane on a four hour trip. It is declared to be one of the world’s most spectacular journeys.