Geoff Blair

New Zealand 2014 - Day 3

December 12, 2014

This is a series of posts chronicling our New Zealand trip. For more context, check out the first day or the previous day.

Geoff says:

I'm the most sore I've possibly ever been. We were not prepared.

Today's activity was a guided hike along the Routeburn Track. All in all it was a fun hike with lots of amazing scenery. New Zealand's landscape is extremely diverse and it was very common to see lush, green mountains framing snow-capped peaks.

View from Routeburn Flats Hut, Routeburn Track

We hiked up to the Routeburn Flats Hut and back, which is the first of four huts along the trail. The round trip was around 13 kilometers (roughly eight miles). The entire trail is 32 kilometers in length and takes around 2-4 days to hike. Some crazy people can run from one end to the other in under 3 hours, though.

Routeburn River, Routeburn Track

We learned a bunch of interesting tidbits from our guide, including the Maori creation myth and the formation of Lake Wakatipu. What I found the most fascinating was that New Zealand has almost no native mammals. Most were introduced by the Maori or Europeans. The islands were populated largely by birds and the flightless one, such as the kiwi, had no ground predators.

Routeburn Track entrance bridge

We ended the day with a delicious dinner at finz on Steamer Wharf. Tomorrow we're leaving Queenstown and making our way towards our next destination, Manapouri.

Char Grilled Salmon at finz

Melissa says:

We hiked eight miles. I am sore. On the plus side, I had Golden Gnocchi and Ginger Beer for dinner!

Golden Gnocchi at finz

For more New Zealand adventures, check out the next day.

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