Sunday 17th February
Queenstown. Headed back up north.
So...Friday evening arrived in Queenstown. I must admit that I had no idea what to expect here. I had done no research but had not heard anything about the place. No iconic buildings, smart beaches or hot geysers... Turns out this is The activity centre for the island. Everyone comes here to ride rapids and jump off stuff, fly over and under stuff and drive through, under, over, around stuff....
Our intention was to camp right in the centre to enjoy a proper meal somewhere and be amongst civilisation. Our first choice camp was full and we were concerned as it transpires it’s the weekend...in the summer..and everyone wants some of the action. Thankfully we got our second choice with only 3 spots left. And what a great place. Busy, active, full of more of us young uns (!) but all well behaved. By chance we were more in the hub if things being camped directly below the gondola ride and the activity centre (Skyline Queenstown) perched on top of the nearest mountain. It’s easy to get blasé here as the mountains are all around. Every view. Every direction. Broken up by lakes and rivers. Well we were amongst all that...with dozens of motorhomes and camper vans spoiling the lower areas of our view. Damned tourists...!
We kinda got settled Friday night, did a recce of the town and researched activities.
Yesterday we got out and had morning coffee in the town centre, near to lake Wakatipu to get our WiFi stuff done. We have struggled lately due to the poor quality of WiFi. Lots of places have free coverage but the strength is poor and particularly in Queenstown there can be thousands of folk ‘surfing’ and watching movies online so very frustrating. Better get back to looking at the mountains then..!
We made the bold decision to go bungee jumping (bungy)..gulp. Not sure why but ‘when in Queenstown’. Michelle decided to opt out..so she could video Trina and me doing our jumps..!
Well we all went up to the Skyline Queenstown by gondola (cable car) and found ourselves amongst all sorts of activities including a fun looking luge track which was entertaining without going on it. People of all ages sliding down a concrete slope on a wheeled tea tray trying to overtake each other at a decent speed. There are lots and lots and lots of Japanese’s folk here.. could you imagine getting a family of them hurtling down behind you..?!
Anyway we had more important worries. Jumping off a ledge 400metres above the town, attached to a 47 metre piece of underpants elastic.. well...how hard can it be.? It was brilliant. After winning at paper, rock, scissors Trina opted to go first. We were weighed, weighed again, measured (for a box!?) asked about health, filled in disclaimers and eventually lined up in beautiful sunshine looking across the lake and mountain ranges. You could even see Maureen the Maui Mercedes Motorhome laughing below us..
Well scared yes..determined..yes. Michelle had set up position to video us both but nearly missed as she was busy chatting up some young stud Scouse dude while I was busy..!
Ready and Go. Well Trina was gone. No messing. No blinking. No fuss. Gone. Safety guy says to me ‘hard act to follow’. Gulp. No pressure. Turns out Michelle missed videoing the initial leap of Trina saying she jumped too quick..or was it Scouse Boy.....?
My turn. I had a plan that involved not squealing, not backing out and..not looking down. Couldn’t even consider standing at the edge and jumping..no had to be a run. Target was a swan dive (!) and aiming at the large Douglas fir tree across the gorge. It worked, I felt good, it looked good on the video (thanks Michelle...) and did me good. I failed to reach the Douglas fir. It was soooo much fun can’t believe I haven’t done it before. Trina loved it too and we both now wear our ‘free’ T shirt with pride. Free..! Cost us NZ$205 each.. !!
Sooo..pulse rate back to near normal we sat at the cafe with the same amazing views in the same amazing sunshine and (out of the gentle breeze) in amazing 20 degrees of warmth and enjoyed celebratory beer and pizza..
Later in the afternoon we went down to the beach at this Lake Wakatipu and laid out taking in the rays. Me and Michelle took to the water for a good refreshing (bloody freezing!) swim before return to Maureen the Maui Mercedes Motorhome to change.
We treated ourselves to posh dinner out in the town, near the Lake (in the cold) as this was the turning point in our journey. Our furthest point south from the UK. Most surprisingly the weather down this far south was much warmer than expected.. chilly at night.. cool in the breeze..but bloody lovely and sunny.
So here we are now..Sunday morning and set to drive back north in the general direction of Christchurch. Who knows what next.
Queenstown We Love You.
Did you know... There is such a thing as a ‘shark’ water experience ride? Checkout ‘hydro attack, Queenstown’ on Mr Google.. incredible looking entertainment. Couldn’t afford a second big gig at these prices but wow.
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