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New Zealand – Queenstown

Adrenaline pumping city

semi-overcast 24 °C
View Round The World on dbgomes's travel map.

You can do practically anything here! Jet boating, sky diving, canyon swings, bungy, rafting just to name a few of the seemingly endless list of advertised activities. We knew this is what Queenstown is about and were intending to tick a few off the list!

The drive from Fox Glacier took us by some more stunning coast line and then into what I would call proper Lord of the Rings country! Driving along Lake Wanaka we almost expected to see Peter Jackson around doing some filming. As we later found out there have been lots of scenes from the upcoming Hobbit move filmed around here, so Peter Jackson may be have been in town.


Swinging into Queenstown, it was a lot smaller than we were expecting. More like a ski town rather than a city, but considering its known for its ski season, that’s probably what we should have been expecting. The views around town are certainly pretty impressive. We parked up at the campervan site and walked into town deciding on the way to stop and have a meal out rather than cooking for our self.


We went into a nice place on the waterfront and i had been hanging out to try the green lip mussels that i had seen around the whole of New Zealand. These things are big suckers, and were a tasty starter! Tanya sampled some of the New Zealand lamb and can confirm that they are a healthy breed this season!


The following morning we were booked in to do our first high adrenaline activity... skydiving. Tan has done it before and loved it. Also she has teased me about not wanting to do it in Switzerland in 2006. Planning to put that to rest finally, I was all for doing it here in Queenstown! The morning was welcomed by rain on the roof of the campervan and a call into the office at 7.30am confirmed that the jump was on hold until 12. This wasn’t a bad thing as the 7am alarm seemed a bit too early for our unemployed bodies so we rolled back over and had a few more hours kip.

Checking in again at 12, the weather wasn’t much improved, so the lady said we could try again at 4pm or book for the following day. We decided to free up the day and go for tomorrow. This gave me the opportunity to tick something else of the list... Bungy Jumping. The very first Bungy was here in Queenstown so i thought it was appropriate to go to where it all started at the A.J Hackett Kawarau Bridge.


Despite the mocking about sky diving, Tanya cannot bring herself to do a bungy, so i was on my own for this one. A quick weight check and indemnity signature and I had my slip of paper to take to the bridge. Before I knew it, I confirmed that I wanted to hit the water, my ankles were strapped and I was on the edge of the platform. The bloke behind me said ‘A wave to the camera over on the left’


Then he said ‘right on the count of three, one , two, three’ and that was it, without a thought I went!


At the instant my feet left the platform, I distinctly thought hmm, was everything connected? A short yelp and the valley was rushing past my peripheral vision and the water coming. That’s when the adrenaline kicked in and I can’t actually remember anything but tilting my head waiting to hit the water before being jerked back skyward. I was told that I had experienced ground rush (what Bungy is all about) which makes everything go faster thanks to the adrenaline. Wondering why I hadn’t hit the water, the guy in the boat said I did a good looking jump launching from the platform, but that makes it harder to hit the water.


What a rush, that was WICKED!!

It was still early afternoon so we decided to head down to a little lake on the way back from the bungy. Hayes Lake was really nice as the sun came out and gave us some good views to read our books to.


The following morning skydiving was on hold again when we made the early morning call, but things were promising, so we met at 10am for transport to the drop zone. On the way out the guy driving us pointed out a number of spots where filming has happened in the area including a spot by the lake that will feature in the upcoming Hobbit movie. We stopped for some views down to Glenorchy where the airfield is.


At the airfield we waited while 2 British girls went up for their jumps first. We then were suited and booted in the attractive jump suits and rigged out with our harnesses. Then it was time to get airborne.

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Climbing up to 12000 feet, the views around us was amazing! The mountain peaks, the massive lake and the high hung glaciers were breathtaking. Enjoying the view was stopped in order to get rigged up ready for the jump. Tan would be going first and then me to follow. Before we knew it the door was open and the wind was rushing into the tiny aircraft.


Tanya and her instructor shuffled up to position and they were hanging out of the plane. Then it was really strange to see them jump. To anyone who might have been a little nervous, it would probably send you over the edge because the wind and movement of the plane makes it seem a bit alarming.


I shuffled over with my tandem master and hung my legs out the door where you really notice how fast you are going as your legs seem to get taken from you. A quick word from the tandem master and this is what happened for the next 45 seconds

The first instant of falling out was a real rush as we fell upside down and you see the plane leaving you. But then as we came around and righted and i let my arms out, there was no panicking or alarm, it was just a pure rush! I would even go so far as to call it calming as the mountains and horizon take up your entire vision as you kind of feel like you are suspended in air!


The freefall didn’t seem too short or too long, just like 45 seconds and then the canopy was up with a jolt. We had a slight twist but that righted itself soon enough and then we were floating. My tandem master pulled a few twists and turns before letting me have a go. It only seemed like another 45 seconds and we were back on terra firma.


Another awesome experience, and in a pretty damn good place for it too!

That afternoon we hung around town still buzzing from our jump and had a famous Ferg Burger. This is a Queenstown institution, and you will know the place as people are always queuing out the door! The burgers were massive and real tasty. We stayed around town until 7pm to pick up my skydive DVD then hit the road heading for Milford Sound



Daniel - Bungy and Skydiving were AWESOME! I wish I had been able to take it in a bit more on the bungy, i was on the edge for only seconds before jumping. Maybe that works for nervous people. The freefall on the skydive was wicked amongst all the peaks and spectacular landscape. I was on a high after both of the activities, but if I was going to do either again, I would do another bungy first! Only because I found that more intense with all the scenery rushing past you. On the skydive, apart from the wind, the landscape stays relatively stable. Couldn’t have picked a better location for the skydive too!!

Tanya – The included scenic flight was brilliant, what a great place to skydive! I regret not doing the bungy, but our budget is getting tight... Anyway, Queenstown was a great little city to spend a few days either relaxing or buzzing!

Posted by dbgomes 18:18 Archived in New Zealand Tagged new_zealand round_the_world

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