Friday, May 30, 2008

Queenstown and the Adventure Capital of South NZ

We left Mt. Cook and travelled the winding and twisting roads for most of the day. On these type days we take the Thermos that the woman in Christchurch had given us and fill it up with hot water from any of the boiling water bibs available in the campgrounds or resting places. This enables us to have a hot drink throughout the course of the day.

We arrived late in the evening to a very nice campground just outside of Queenstown. There was even a cat that looked like our cat Verbal. We arrived in time to set up camp and have a glass of New Zealand wine before putting some steaks on the Barbie and also making Greek salad with foccaccia. All of these places have open BBQ's which you just fire up and use.

The next day we are off to go Jet Boating on the Dart River south of Queenstown near the town of Glenorchy. Much of the filming of Lord of the Rings was done in this area and we see the Misty Mountains, the tower of Isengard, and the mountain where Gandalf fights the Belrog. The jet boating is great as the boat needs very little water to run on and he does complete spins when we get to places that are deep enough. The water goes through the handles that we are holding on to, but our feet freeze. We share the boat with an Indian family from Mumbai and if we think we are cold, they think they are dying!!

The greatest adventure happens the next day, though, as we put the girls on a bus to do a whole day ride along the river and a bit more LOTR's stuff. They see where the Fellowship run into the Elf Queen and where Boromir dies. The boys are off to go skydiving. We watch as they jump out of the plane at 9,000 feet and go through the clouds getting pummelled by ice crystals. They jump with an instructor, but still freefall for about 30 seconds at the speed of 200 km per hour. They are so excited when they finish and beg to go again. We instantly make the rule that there are no repeats on adventures.

David is then off to bungy jump the second highest jump in the world. It is 134 meters high and he has pictures to prove it. We weren't allowed to go so he bought the pictures to show us. The girls come back all excited from their ride and we go up to the top of the Gondola to do some luging.

Luging here is a cart that you sit on and you have handlebars that you pull part way back to release the brake and all the way back to stop. You go down a concrete track and then take the chairlift back up with the luge attached. This is definitely something they could do at COP. We all take a few runs and go home to prepare for Doubtful Sound tomorrow.

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