Mavora Lakes, Lothlorien and Wanaka
From Te Anau a short ride on an unsealed road to Mavora Lakes, where I took the afternoon "off" and read a book, watched birds in flight and enjoyed the sunset on Christmas day. Walther Peak Station is at the end of this Mavora Road and only cyclists or foot passengers can use the steamship TSS Earnslaw to Queenstown... on Dec 26th there were quite a few of them on a day trip from Queenstown across the lake. Queenstown is for my taste to busy between Christmas and New Year, so Glenorchy at the end of Lake Wakatipu was my choice, in the film LotR that was the setting for Isengard and Lothlorien.
I visited an old gold mine in Reese Valley up in the mountains and cycled and walked to Lake Sylvan. Back along the lake shore, but that road is quite hilly, with steep climbs and via Arrowtown and Cadrona Range, with their nice pub, to Wanaka.
Wanaka is almost as busy as Queenstown at that time of the year, a lot of festivals and general tourism. Roys Peak offers a nice view across Lake Wanaka and Aspiring National Park. For New Year my choice was a more quiet place, so I will be doing the Gillespie Circuit for the next three days, somewhere between Mt Awful and Mt Dreadful, in the Siberia Valley and beyond.