I’m not sure why nobody touts the bus trip from Christchurch to Queenstown as a scenic trip. Maybe because it’s eight hours, interrupted only briefly by comfort stops? Eight hours of paralleling and then going through gorgeous mountain scenery. The trip may even be more scenic than the Tranzalpine! With good weather conditions, you can even see Mt Cook. Sadly, it hid behind a cloud as we circled a lake (I think Lake Pukaki), but we still saw some other beautiful mountains around the lake.
We started out on the Canterbury Plains:
And then headed inland:
We drove into bad weather, which turned into a downpour around Lake Tekapo but then headed away from us. We could still see the lake’s remarkable color.
We continued on through mountains. Mount Cook is hiding behind the white clouds on the right I believe:
But the scenery between Lake Pukaki and Queenstown was still sublime.