Queenstown was action packed, although we didn't spot the Queen anywhere. Wandered round the gardens, went up the gondola, visited the minus five ice bar, spent all day on the trip to Milford Sound, drove up to Wanaka and the Puzzling World (we all got seasick in the tilted house), did some gold panning, and even found time to meet up with Celia and Nanna for a very spicy curry.

The weather was dry all through apart from Milford Sound. Well, I suppose it is Fiordland. It gets the continual westerlies from the antarctic gyre; basically any rain front in the southern hemisphere has probablhy spent time hanging out there. Fiordland without the rain would be like the lake district without lakes; sort of ... nude, somehow. Lots of waterfalls! And we got a few small avalanches right on cue as we drove past (they don't let you stop on that section for obvious reasons...)

Hundreds of photos. One of us will post a few shortly!

Glad we left when we did. We missed out on real live snow yesterday, but at least we actually made it home. The rain started just as we were dropping off the hire car, and got steadily worse. There was a major landslide on the Milford road just after we took off. Looks like the road will have a few dents in it - some of the boulders were 200 tons. Back in Auckland we had gusts not far short of a hundred miles an hour, and one tree narrowly missed the tractor. Allan had just decided to move it out of the way, and a tree fell on the same spot shortly afterwards.

Had a quiet weekend. School starts tomorrow. I think Bronwyn is looking forward to some peace and quiet...

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