Adjective Defying

I'll just start this post by saying that everything I have seen here in the last 30 or so hours is completely adjective defying ( I am stealing this phrase from NZ Frenzy because it couldn't be more true). No amount of trying to find the words or showing pictures will ever do it justice. I fell in love in the first 20 minutes of my drive yesterday. I will do my best to share and find some words, so just multiply what I am saying by like 50 or 100. By the time the flight I was originally scheduled on to the South Island got in I was already well into exploration mode, due to the early flight but mostly because I was able to get my rental car three hours early.

Once in the car I realized something else was in my luggage, my map. I considered this could be a problem but set out anyways. Those of you who know me, know I am pretty anti GPS on the whole, so I obviously had not rented or brought one. I had looked a the map a bunch before I left during my planning process so I was pretty confident I could get to Te Anau, 2 and a 1/2 hours away and my first destination, from the airport ( anyone just have a small anxiety attack about me not using a map or directions on my first day in a foreign country? hahaha)

 You leave Queenstown Airport and basically just follow the signs for Te Anau and Southland. There is really only one road, you go South for a while until you go west. In the first half hour of the drive I pulled over at least three times to take pictures. "The Remarkables" absolutely live up to their name. They are mountains which are essentially across from other mountains and ring around a lake. It was then that it started to sink in that it was real, I was really driving down a road in New Zealand.

The drive continued to stun me all the way to Te Anau. I have no idea how long the drive actually took me, but there was a lot of stoppage time for photos. Upon arrival in Te Anau I easily found my hostel, the town only has 3,000 people. I checked in, the room leaves a lot to be desired but the bathrooms are great, probably the best designed hostel bathroom I have seen. I set back out almost immediately to explore.

Lake Te Anau is quite beautiful, in fact pretty under sold by everything I read. I milled around for a bit and then decided to go to the next lake over, Lake Manapouri. A short 20km away, this tiny town houses a lake with stunning views and mountains all around. I got out for a walk on one of the "beaches," very rocky and not really any sand. It was a great walk, the sun was shinning and the weather was perfect. I picked up a few rocks for my growing world rock collection that I didn't even realize I had until recently.

Back in Te Anau I picked up some items for my bag less night, ate some dinner, showered and crashed. I made it a lit later than I expected and didn't feel any jet lag. This morning I woke up at five and was up for the day. Instead of just laying there trying to go back to sleep I decided to try to go see the sunrise. I got ready for my day hike and was in the car by 550am. There was no sign of twilight until after 630, and even then the sun didnt come up fully until almost 8. I drove around town for a hit in the fog and then out of town to find a good picture spot. To my surprise when twilight came it was on the same side as the moon, almost under it even. All stages of this sunrise were beautiful, there were perfect amount of clouds. It was well well worth the light chasing and getting out of the car in 32 degrees to get some shots. I took about 100, so at least one must be good