The ride was beautiful - we had the perfect day for it. Plus, even though the bus was a normal city-to-city route, the driver still gives a little bit of commentary about the area you are driving through.
Here are a couple of my favorite pictures:
flowers at Lake Tekapo
with Mt. Cook
Queenstown itself was awesome. It's known as the adventure capital of NZ and I can definitely see why. There are plenty of adrenaline options, including bungy jumping, canyoning, skydiving, hang gliding, jet boating, etc. There is no shortage of things to do in Queenstown and it has a great night life.
Our first couple days there Erik and I relaxed in town, went out for a jetboat ride, and did a little bit of hiking. We saved the more extreme activities for when some of Erik's friends from the US arrived (such as the canyon swing, which I will get to in a moment).
We were able to do a lot of fun stuff while in Queenstown, so I'll just list them all out...
Queenstown Hill Walkway (Hike)
Erik and I took an evening to do some exploring around town, including the Queenstown Hill...
Erik and I also took a jetboat out on the Lake Wakatipu and up the Kawarau River. It's amazing how the boats can move over water just a few inches deep. The main attraction with the boats is that they are incredibly maneuverable. The driver makes you feel like you are going to crash into the wall, then will suddenly jerk the boat back or do a 360 degree spin... it was pretty insane.
Out on the town
Erik also had some friends come over from the states to visit us - here we are enjoying two for one beers!
Skyline Gondola, Luge & Hike
The Skyline Gondola was right outside our hostel. It's a steep 1,500 ft ascent to the top of the gondola.
The views from the top were gorgeous....
One of my favorite things we did was the luge. We all bought 3-ride passes and loved it! You ride a 3-wheeled plastic cart down an 800m track - it was great. Here I am taking things very seriously with Erik, Emily, and Gwen.
and Emily coming into the finish line...
We also did a little bit of hiking around before heading back down the gondola. Here are the ladies taking in the scenery.
mmmmm... Thai food
We had a nice meal out together as well - I had scallops and teddy-bear shaped rice -
Our big adventure was the Shotover Canyon Swing. It's sort of like a bungy jump - however you swing out rather than bounce. Here I am on my second jump...
I sat in a chair and tipped back until I fell... and fell and fell. The swing is 360 ft above the river. It was terrifying, but a ton of fun! My first jump was my favorite though - rather than sit in a chair, I simply stood on the platform and jumped off. I was so petrified I couldn't even scream.
Queenstown Botanic Garden
After our wild adventures at the Canyon Swing, we decided to relax for a bit at the Queenstown Gardens and along the waterfront. Here Erik is giving Jason a boost to climb into a tree. In my opinion, this was probably the riskiest thing we did all day.
(this particular attempt was unsuccessful!)
Walter Peak High Country Farm
Emily and I spent the afternoon across Lake Wakatipu at a high country sheep station. We had a great time taking the steamship across and learning all about the sheep farm (including a sheep dog demonstration). Here is a Emily with one of the little lambs -
One of our favorite parts was the sheep shearing demonstration - sitting like this does not look very comfortable for the sheep.
We all had a great time in Queenstown... it definitely is a must-see in New Zealand.
|Bus ride from Christchur|