Queenstown

Trip Start Oct 01, 2012
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Trip End Oct 31, 2012


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Flag of New Zealand  , Otago,
Monday, October 29, 2012

We woke up and the sun was out with not a cloud in the sky. Since Queenstown is a party town things don't start opening up until 9ish so we went out for a walk first thing in the morning as the lighting was great for Gina and the pictures she wanted. After killing some time in the park again teasing the ducks, we headed across town and up the gondola to the skyline. Nothing was open when we got to the top so we walked around enjoying the views over the town and watched the paragliders floating around. Once the luge track opened at 10 we were all business! We were the first riders of the day. We did our mandatory run down the easier scenic track which was ok but the the race was on on the advanced track. Who won will depend on who you ask but the pictures we bought will clearly show me in front at the end. We had lots of fun even though the track wasn't as long of fast as the one in Rotorua like we were told. The good thing about this luge track was that they had two camera stations that work as you went down and you could check your pictures once you got to the bottom. We had a few really good ones with both of us in full race mode so we bought a few of them as it was impossible to take pictures when you are busy trying to cut each other off. After we were done with all of our rides, we headed down the gondola and off to our next activity which was jetboating in the Shotover canyon. We got picked up at the main office and after a short bus ride we arrived on the banks of the river. We got suited up in splash capes which looked very sexy and life jackets then took our seats onboard. The jetboat took us along the river through the canyon at over 80 km/h just skimming by the canyon walls and pulling 360's. I was most impressed with the skill of the driver as we would be flying full speed at the walls and rocks and at the last second would turn us away just missing by inches. At times we were only in 4" of water skimming over the rocks. When ever we would pull 360's you would get whipped around in your seat which was lots of fun. Safely back on shore we got picked up and headed off to the gorge swing. We got harnessed up and after a few others ahead of us went Gina was up. Unlike the swing in Zambia this on was much bigger. It is the biggest canyon jump in the world at 109m to the bottom of the swing. You also could chose how you went off the cliff and they had some very creative ways to do it. For Gina's first jump she chose the chair. For that method you sit in a chair with your back to the canyon and then slowly tilt yourself backwards until you fall backwards and off the cliff side. The jump masters really like to mess with you mind so they tell you to go and catch you before you fall a few times to build up the anticipation and for a good laugh at you expense. Just when you think they are messing with you again the font catch you and over the edge you go. Gina's pictures were awesome. I was up next and I was planning on going off backwards down a little slide they had on the platform but the jump master thought that wouldn't be scary enough for me. They made me do a pin drop instead which involves bending at the waste so that you are looking at your toes with your hands behind your back and hopping off the platform. Once you hop all you see is the ground below your feet rapidly approaching until the swing catches you and whips you across the canyon. It is apparently one of the scariest ways you can go according to them. I was able to hold form throughout which was tough as you natural reaction is to flail and grab something. Gina did a pin drop for her second jump and although she had fun she said the chair was way more scary. For my second jump I did what they call a Cutaway Elvis . For this jump they hoist you on a cable clipped to the centre of your harness over the canyon. Once there, they make you lay so that you are horizontal on your back with your arms over your head looking straight up at the cliff and your legs crossed over the rope. Then without warning, the pull the quick release and you fall looking at the cliff face all the way down ending up upside down at the bottom as you swing across the canyon. You could feel all the blood rushing to your head as you swing across. After swinging back and forth upside down for a bit you can uncross your legs and flip yourself the right way up as they hoisted you back up to the platform. We both had a lot of fun wishing we could go a few more times but there was another group behind us. We bought the DVD and pictures of our jumps as they were really well done. After all that excitement we headed back to Queenstown and played disc golf (frisbee). There was a course set up in the park and the guys doing the canyon swing let us borrow discs for free. It was a fairly even match and we had fun as the course was challenging especially since our discs weren't regulation discs. After our round we returned the discs and did a bit of shopping before going for supper. Then came the fun part, trying to repack our bags to make everything fit for the long journey home. Sadly it all comes to an end tomorrow but not before one last bit of excitement involving a bridge, a river and a large rubber band.
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