The "Adrenaline-Rush" Capital of the World!
12.01.2014 - 13.01.2014
We spent about 6 ½ hours on Sunday on 12th driving from Christchurch to Queenstown, pretty far down on the South Island of New Zealand. The resulting scenery, and town, were worth every single second! Queenstown was amazing, from the moment we arrived (when Max and Lisa promptly lined up to jump off the Kawarau Bridge at the place where Bungy Jumping was invented) to our incredible car ride up and through the “Remarkables” on the way out…
Let me pause by letting Lisa quickly write about Bungy Jumping:
Holy Moly!! I can’t even describe it…. I think the fact that my almost 10 year old son had gone right before me (without any hesitation I might add, and I know, Mom, I know, What the hell was I thinking letting Max do it in the first place???!!! I would of let them all do it if they had weighed enough-) and my husband egging me on to do it was the only way I actually had the gumption to actually leap off the small platform 43 meters up… the thrill was more of the jump than the actual free fall feeling, but the best was the plunge into the water below- it was strangely quiet- I thought I would of screamed the whole way down, but couldn’t even talk until the rescue boat came out to get me. I was sick to my stomach a ½ an hour after I jumped- it was delayed motion sickness, after the adrenaline wore off- I GET the addiction- I am a joyride junkie-Yes, I’d do it again!! (I’m going to have to- Sam was sooo sad he couldn’t do it, and Sara made me promise her I’d do it with her).
Our lodge was fantastic, and after watching Lisa and Max jump it was a nice treat that our hosts had mountain bikes “at the ready” for us when we got there. I promptly went on a great ride on some trails marked “easy” (they weren’t!) from about 8:45pm to 9:30pm (still plenty of sunshine). As we went to bed on Sunday night we were absolutely ready for a great adventured-filled day.
The next day started with an 8 mile ride along the Lower Shotover River and around the airport and then the entire family went into Queenstown to figure out what to do… The town was set on giant Lake Wakatipu and just driving around was spectacle- I hope the pictures give it justice! Along the streets of the main town, it became clear immediately what everyone here is selling: incredible experiences. There was River Surfing, Kayaking, Canyoning, Abseiling, Rappeling and every other extreme sport you could possibly think of. There were even things that were hard to think of: One brochure had a giant submersible shark you could command that did 18 foot leaps out of the water.
We had long had eyes on a “Jetboat” ride on the Shotover River so we signed up. I would be hard pressed to describe the experience: It was like a Disney ride, except it was longer (about 30 minutes), more beautiful (the scenery along the Shotover River was breathtaking) and more exhilarating. Oh yeah, and it was not a ride! Simply put, it was the coolest experience we have had…
Later in the day, after lunch at an American style diner called Arnolds, we took a gondola to the top of the nearby mountain and did some luging and then a 3 hour “Eco-Tour” which involved ziplining down the mountain (including the steepest tree to tree ziplining in the world). That trip was great but the highlight here was meeting the Australian family who ziplined with us (also with three kids and boy/girl twins). They taught us finally how to understand Cricket- which is everywhere here on TV.
All in all, Queenstown was a real highlight of this trip, so much so that I hope to absolutely plan on returning to the South Island some time!