QUEENSTOWN, NEW ZEALAND — Much like our usual travels, the last few weeks were a constant flurry of activity, and it was time to slow down for a day.

Neither of us had played disc golf before, but the course in Queenstown Gardens was inviting, and the $5 disc rental fee gave our bank account a break, so we decided to give it a go. We got better the more we did it, and Torsten hit par on one of the holes, where many baskets were hidden behind stands of giant trees.

disc-golf-courseThe course and gardens were busy, and we ran into a Canadian who had lost one of his discs, a businesslike player who wordlessly blew right by and a Kiwi with her 8-month-old German shepherd, who was chasing any disc in the vicinity.

Then it was time for the drive to Te Anau and Fiordland National Park, so we picked up lunch on our way out of town and had it in one of the nicest picnic areas we have seen yet. “If New Zealand doesn’t want so many tourists, it should stop giving them such nice places to stop,” Torsten said.

picnic-lunchShortly before Te Anau, we were delayed by a loudly protesting herd of sheep crossing the highway. It was fun seeing them bounding onto their new pasture, but counting them was out of the question — not for a lack of trying.

Te Anau is the base for most visitors to Milford Sound, and it’s definitely a tourist town. But it’s much more laid-back than Queenstown and Wanaka, with wider streets, a friendlier vibe and only a few souvenir shops. We took a stroll along Lake Te Anau and explored the town centre before heading to bed for an early start the next day.