QT with the Flatties!
Trip Start Feb 04, 2010
23Trip End Jun 25, 2010
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QT is a tourist hotspot, especially for those who are interested in getting that adrenaline rush, as it is a famous destination for adventure tourism. The area provides abundant opportunity for the thrill-seeker, including activities such as skiing, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, sky diving, and bungee jumping
When we arrived at the bridge on Saturday morning, the Penn State Glee Club was in the process of jumping (there were about 30 of them – they were an interesting group). It was a chilly morning, but a few still chose to get dunked in the river, which was quite entertaining. It was funny watching the jumpers waddle out to the end of the landing (as they were feet were bound) and then dive off. Jenna, Louis and I had a great time watching and commenting on the various jumpers as we waited for Andre and Aleisha’s turns. Right before they went, a 65-year old man jumped (his wife was standing next to me and was nervous for him and thought he was crazy). He just looked so happy that he was going to jump and according to Aleisha was completely nonchalant about the whole thing – what a good chap! I hope I’m like him when I’m old (and apparently you get really good deals - $80 for the jump, t-shirt, pictures and videos)
After the thrilling morning, the flat headed to Arrowtown, a historic and very cutesy/touristy gold mining town, to get a bite to eat. We found a lovely café and ate heartily (we hadn’t eaten earlier, because Andre and Aleisha did not want to lose their breakfasts in the river) and explored the little town. We went to the Chinese settlement where the old miners lived in very tiny, primitive huts. The trees were all golden and it was such a pretty, sunny day.
We headed back to Queenstown to take the gondola up 400 meters above QT for some wicked views and a little luging…but when we got to the gondola there were signs that said the luge was closed for maintenance. I was so gutted, because I really wanted to do it. Compared to $175NZ, $35 sounded like a reasonable amount to spend on an activity (especially one that doesn’t last very long) and was an amount that I had been prepared to spend. We did head up the gondola, and as we were passing the Ledge Bungy, we watched as a girl was leaning backwards off the ledge with someone holding onto her and was suddenly dropped – it looked so terrifyingly awesome, and at that moment I knew I was going bungee jumping
The Ledge Bungy is a different setup from the bridge – instead of jumping headfirst into a river, you are jumping off a platform into the trees and rocks below…but 400m over Queenstown and Lake Wakitipu, so gorgeous views. Also, instead of being bound by your feet, you are attached by a harness (similar to but more substantial than a climbing harness), so the impact it has on your body is not as bad. After much deliberation, Jenna decided that this setup would probably be okay on her back so she went all-in with me. We parted with our $175NZ and headed to the platform, where we found out that we were allowed to jump 3 times (and an unlimited amount after that depending on availability)! Jenna was a bundle of nerves and let me go first, which I couldn’t have been happier about. I was so excited to do it that I didn’t want to have to wait.
They strapped me in, and let me do the first jump, where I could just run and superman off the platform
Jenna jumped after me (she was a bit more vocal…) and she also survived unharmed – no back problems! Afterwards she told us that she’s scared of heights, which I was surprised to find out. I had no idea, and I’m so proud of her for jumping (and without coercion, as none of us knew that she had this fear)! Once we jumped, Louis decided that he should, too. Since we got to jump 3 times, it was as if we were paying only $40 US per jump (still a lot, but more reasonable). Besides, we got a free t-shirt for doing the Ledge Bungy (yeah right – that was the most expensive t-shirt I’ve ever bought!).
Overall, it was an incredible weekend with the flatties, and it was fun getting up to our usual shenanigans in a fun spot like Queenstown!