There is a saying that life is not measured in how many breaths you take but in how many moments take your breath away, by that measurement this has been an amazing month in Central Otago.
The forecast extremely cold weather still failed to appear so we will just have to make sure we are in the area next winter, it's tough, but I'm sure we'll cope ;-)
This is the first time since we started our travels three and a half years ago that we have been in one spot for more than eight weeks. It goes to show how much we have enjoyed it that we will be sad to leave the area. However, we are heading back to Canterbury which is great because we can catch up with friends and family, that does tend to result in less time out walking so you'll have to enjoy the bumper crop of images this month as next month is likely to be a little light on content.
The first thing to amaze me this month is how much I've enjoyed Queenstown and how easy it is to get out of the hustle and bustle of the central area in to peace and quiet. There are so many amazing walks in the area we'll be able to explore them for years in different seasons and not get bored. 
The next thing to take my breath away has been new food experiences. Part of this month I've been working with the wonderful team at The Bannockburn Hotel creating a set of images of their menu to use on their website. Naturally when taking pictures of food it is compulsory to make sure there is no waste, even if the food in question wouldn't be your first choice. So it was with trepidation that I tried sardines and then white anchovies. Oh wow, both of these dishes, in particular the white anchovies, were stunning and I'll never forget that first taste of wonderful fresh palette cleansing flavour. Thank you to Andy for convincing me that this would be a good thing to do :-)
As if we hadn't experienced enough we had the good fortune of chatting with a french paraglider we met on the Queenstown Gondola. We mentioned that we were considering the idea and he suggested that if we were going to then we should go from Coronet Peak as the views, especially in winter, are amazing. We booked ourselves in and put ourselves at the mercy of our pilots as we walked off the side of the mountain and gently, for the most part, made our way back down to earth. Having found a decent thermal we continued to climb and then with a series of very tight turns we lost height in what can only be described as the best roller coaster ride ever! Life is most definitely good.
The rest of our time has been spent soaking up the remarkable scenery of this area and the ever changing weather patterns. What an amazing three months it has been, Otago, we'll be back!

Bannockburn Sluicing's at the end of the day gave some great shadows to work with.

Somewhat smaller, but, with the shadow this reminded me of Half Dome in Yosemite.

The views at the top of the sluicing's feel like they go on forever

Just loved the feeling of bleakness on this one. Not a bad view just outside your door

Another angle from the Bannockburn Sluicing's this time looking towards Kawarau Gorge

A view across Lake Wakatipu on the way to Glenorchy

Can't resist a water dappled leaf

One of a few waterfalls we discovered this month. This one was on the Mt Crichton Walkway

Walking out of the bush on the Mt Crichton Walkway we were greeted this epic view across Lake Wakatipu

That would definitely be a bit chilly!

Lake Wakatipu

One of The Bannockburn Hotel team making sure a customer is re-hydrated ;-)

Not for the first time during our stay here Cromwell is shrouded in mist giving us an amazing view from Bannockburn

A remarkably clear day down by the edge of Lake Dunstan, Cromwell

Pays to look up every now and again when you have your camera on a walk for something a little different

More punters enjoying the best of Queenstown either heading up to start the luge or heading down via paraglider

The forest was dark at the top of the skyline despite the sun's best attempts to penetrate it

AJ entertaining us with his amazing piano skills on the piano he rescued, restored and now busks around the country with

The actual image I waited patiently for was behind this family. Can't help but enjoy being part of the moment with them though as they relive some enjoyable moments of their stay in this beautiful country

Off the beaten track around Central Otago you find all sorts of relics from the gold fever era

Reeds in Lake Hayes

Rocks in Lake Hayes

Yumm, those amazing white anchovies and in the background are goats cheese and local honey blended, crumbed and deep fried....oh my

Such an amazing view to wake up to

Walking along the southern arm of Lake Wakatipu to Jacks Point

After a decent walk it is always good to sit and enjoy the scenery. This is one of our favourite places to pause and have a coffee

Evening falls around Queenstown and the night life begins to ramp up

Pure NZ as we made our way around Mt Aspiring National Park

Beautiful falls and snow capped mountains as wishbone falls in Mt Aspiring National Park

Moon rise over snow capped mountains

All I needed were a few sheep and it would be quintessential New Zealand!

More water cascading over rocks, this time in Mt Aspiring National Park

The trees across the valley just dominated our view so I filled the frame with them.

Looking across Lake Dunstan as I returned from Wanaka the light was stunning on the surrounding landscape

Evidently not one of my images, however, you can't talk about how awesome paragliding is and not share an image to remember it

Bec taking control while directed by her pilot

Lake Wanaka looking towards the west coast....yep, raining on that side of the range!

The question was, would we be wet when we got there

I'm not really a fan of images in forests, so this is a very rare image from me

The pools the other side of that bridge are filled with incredibly blue water, the area was teeming with sand flies though so I didn't stay too long this time, but I will go time with sandfly repellant!!!!

We've seen amazing reflections on Lake Hayes a few times, however, this occasion was mind boggling

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