During my visit to New Zealand I had to make only one truly difficult choice, that being whether to venture out to the infamous Milford Sound down in the SW corner of the South Island and if so how to do so. Based in Queenstown for this part of the trip, getting to Milford isn't particularly straightforward. One can climb aboard a tour bus and drive for 7-8 hrs, one can pay a fair bit of money to fly direct in a helicopter (which is amusing as Milford is actually right across a nearby mountain range and so very close by air (much farther by indirect roads), or one can use one's rental car and drive there hoping to improve on the ponderous pace of the bus, while not getting too many speeding tickets!
Already having the car and being American and thus somehow inherently pro-vehicle I naturally chose option 3, which turned out opportune. While it did ultimately take me the entire day to get to Milford Sound and back, and while I did in fact get pulled over for speeding at one point, what the car also offered was the chance to stop at my leisure to shoot the road to Milford, a road that may be the most stunning in the country. The vistas are just incredible, with the below shots giving some taste of this. Whether it be the beautiful mountains opening up on broad plains or checking out the famous mirror lakes, my suggestion is if you find yourself with this conundrum in Queenstown...choose option 3!