Majestic mountains and mind-blowing scenery were our first impressions of the South Island during our flight and the approach to Queenstown airport. These amazing views are said to be the most impressive in the world, and to us they were.
We spent five days touring around from our base near Arrowtown. Everything about those few days was awesome: the scenery (think Lord of the Rings), the walking and jaw-dropping waterfalls around Milford Sound.
People do say the South Island is like Scotland, with better weather maybe! Having only seen a small chunk of the beautiful island I cannot really compare. All I can say is that we loved it.
Our five days there over, we flew to Sydney to spending three days doing all the usual tourist things: the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, the Botanical Gardens and Taronga, where rather than look at animals in the zoo we chose to walk the coastal path to Balmoral Beach via Chowder Bay and George’s Head.
Boy, were we glad we had. It is a marvellous trek along a well-maintained path that follows the harbour’s north-west coast, with magical views through the trees all the way along. The path also allows access to hidden beaches, great for private swims. If anyone gets the opportunity I urge you to do this walk.
It takes eight hours to fly from Sydney to Singapore, five of them to cross the northern territory of Australia alone. Singapore was the last port of call on our trip, and what can I say about it: hot, humid, busy, cosmopolitan and expensive.
We spent a day being given a guided tour by relatives of the harbour area, surrounded by impressive modern buildings such as the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, which has a boat-shaped pool on top and a Las Vegas-style “Venetian” canal complete with gondolas underneath. All in all, an experience not to be missed.
So then to Heathrow… and home.