Let's go mental!

Trip Start Nov 09, 2012
1
20
31
Trip End Mar 04, 2013


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What I did
Kingston Flyer
Luge
Paragliding
Town Centre
Remarkables

Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Sunday, January 27, 2013


Queenstown
is the adrenaline capital of NZ, you can do anything here, from white
water rafting, speedboating, bungee jumping, abseiling/rock climbing,
skydiving, parasailing, paragliding, flights, boats, you name it,
they got it.


The town
is situated by Lake Wakatipu, the Remarkables (massive mountain range) and lots of hills– and is, for most of the year, a skiing town.
There is a large amount of Irish people living here and they all say
the same when I asked why there were here, why be in Ireland when you
can live in Queenstown with its massive lake, mountains, skiing, good
weather and laid back atmosphere. Fair one...


The town
cente is smaller than I expected it to be, with a radius of 4 or 5
streets laid out in a grid configuration, with the usual surfer/ski
brands, Quicksilver, Rip Curl etc, as well as loads of
restaurants, cafe's, bars) and confectionary
shops including ice cream, cake, bakeries and cookies (yum yum).


On our way
to Queenstown from Te Anua, we drove past lots of mountains and farm
land, and just as we entered the city limits and the start of Lake
Wakatipu, saw a sign for a Kingston Flyer, so we made a little detour
to take some pics of this old steam engine that was billowing out
smoke as it prepared for it's journey across the Otago. We then
followed the lake into town and parked up at our new campsite and
headed out for our first activity, the Shotover ride. This involved
getting in a speedboat and being hurled around Shotover River Canyons
- getting ridiculously close to the sides of the
mountain and doing loads of 360's – it was fantastic fun... 


On our
first full day we travelled by Gondola (the steepest Gondola in the
southern hemisphere) up to Bob's Peak, I'd say it's a mountain but I
think it's just a massive hill with a summit 3000 feet up, to go
Luge-ing, we had 5 rides on 2 different tracks which weaved down the
side of the mountain and Debs and I raced each other to the bottom,
got on the cable cars and went back up to do it again! It was so
much fun, especially when I overshot the finish line and ended up
crashing into the parked Luge's. The view from Bob's Peak is amazing, 
and you can see all across the town, lake, Remarkables, and surrounding
mountains and hills.
 


Whilst we
were Luge-ing, we kept seing paragliders overhead, passing over the
track and going off towards the lake and decided that we needed to
have a go. So we paid our $200 each and walked up the steepest hill
we've ever walked up, whilst trying to keep a conversation going with
our tandem partners – it was sweaty.... The glide involved running
off the side of the mountain strapped to Rennee (for me) and Todd
(Debs) and gliding back down to the city – and it was one of the
best things we've ever done, so much fun, we saw sights all over
Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu, the Remarkables and nearby
mountains/hills. We did some wicked maneuvers, swinging around,
going up and down, and at one stage, I was staring directly at the
ground as my guide took offence to my remark that I could read a book
up there and decided to make it more 'interesting' :-) After our
glide we walked into town to check out the TSS Earnshaw, a 100 year
old steam ship, and even got Kenny the engineer to let us in the
engine room for some pics for Dad before going on a walk beside Lake
Wakatipu and looking at the Queenstown gardens – lots of flowers
and lovely smelling roses.


After that
we decided we needed pizza (yum yum) and then found a lovely cookie
shop which did deserts of crushed up cookies with chocolate cream,
ice cream, whipped cream, fudge sauce – you name it. Unfortunately
I was to full to eat any but tomorrow is another day...


Today is
our day off, so far we've sorted out our accommodation for the North
Island and sat in the sun reading books. We have decided to extend
our camping trip and have booked a camper van for the North Island,
and we're now going back to Christchurch and flying up to Auckland.
That will mean we'll have been camping for 5.5 weeks – something I
never thought we'd be able to achieve (being a princess and all). 
Tonight we're going to visit a restaurant that does chicken a million
different ways, before packing up ready for our journey to Franz Josef tomorrow. 
Franz Josef is home of glaciers, both there and at the Fox Glacier, and we're
really looking forward to this part of our trip, where we get to Heli
Hike, getting dropped off on top of a glacier by helicopter and then
hiking our way back down to the bottom – for a nice relaxing dip in
the hot pools overlooking where we just walked. Outstanding....


Queenstown
is a bit of an enigma. The town in relaxing and the pace is life is
very slow - unless you're hurtling around on a skydive or bungee or
doing the other million different adrenaline sports. It's a beautiful
town and we were lucky enough to be here during a heatwave, with
temperatures around 30 degrees and we got to paraglide, Luge, go on a
Gondola and see some amazing sights – definitely a place to
remember.

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