Like a duck to water!

Trip Start Sep 06, 2011
Trip End Oct 24, 2011

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Where I stayed
Amber Lodge Queenstown
Read my review - 3/5 stars
What I did
Jet Boating & White Water Rafting

Flag of New Zealand  , Otago,
Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sky Gondola & Luge
    Wow. The past couple of days have been mental! It hard to remember what we have been doing as everything seems rolled into one!! On monday we had a 'get our week planned day' as a lot of the activities we wanted to do, needed to be booked! So we explored Queenstown (although its very small) went to a few place to book stuff, and climbed some trees! In the afternoon we went up to the sky gondola, to view Queenstown from the air, although a bit cloudy at the tops of the mountains the view over Queenstown, and the lake, surrounded by mountains was awesome, despite the freezing cold air. Opted out of the bungy, but watched some Argentines do it, which, yeah looks crazy. A bit further up from the sky gondola is the luge, which is like downhill go karting with no engines and a very bad braking system for people with long legs! Considering me and matt had a hefty-ish collision on the easier track, maybe the more advanced was a bad idea - it was, and just before the end I crashed off and have a nice sticky burn marks up my forearm.
Jet Boating
    I havn't let this small blip stop me though, the very next day we went for a nice early morning jet boat experience down in Skippers Canyon, which involved us getting in a 1980's australian tank thing, taking a really narrow bendy ex-gold mining road, to the jet boat. Was fantastic for views, and the jet boat experience itself was brilliant, didn't get to wet, although our driver, drifted us very close to every wall of rock in the canyon. Over the course of the day, the tank driver and the jet boat driver gave us lots of information about the gold miners and how they diverted water, so they could dig in the river bed, and used dynamite to creates the path we drove along etc. In the evening we went out and met up with the couple from our jet boat (who are also from Oxford!), in buffalo bar, which is this nice Alpine type bar, quite lively, with a huge roaring fire inside. Nice and warm :), after a few drinks we left them, and went to world bar, which was good as you could drink shots from tea pots!!? but unfortunately the DJ was pretty rubbish, and as we had activities planned for the next day, called it a night and went back to the motel.
White water Rafting & my Alchester R.U.F.C England flag!
    Today... has been my favourite activity day so far!! Even better than the England vs Argentina day! In the morning, Matt got up for fishing, which I hadnt planned to do, as I had a much more Important task to attend to! I had to drop an England flag to the printers, to only get ALCHESTER R.U.F.C printer across it and our club logo in the top corner, when I picked it up later... it looked AWESOME!!! Afterwards I went back to the motel to pick up mine and matt's swim stuff, as we were going white water rafting!! We got picked up from the Queenstown rafting shop by a coach and travelled towards Arrowtown before stopping at Arthurs Point. This is where there River return base was (where one of the instructors was defo an aussie version of John Bishop!), but also where we all got into our wetsuits, before jumping back in the bus, this time towing a trailer with a few rafts on the back. To mine and in particular Matt's horror, our bus, with the trailer, took the same old, old, sheer drop either side, common to mud slides, where it had been snowing last night, road up to skippers canyon!! They are definately crazy over here, but hey I must be too right?
    Once we arrived, we all put on our life jackets etc, and we got put in with 5 others, plus an instructor. Me and Matt for some reason opted to be the front runners, in the 2nd row behind us we had 2 lads from kent of similar age, and then a man and his son from South Africa, and his young daughter next to the instructor at the back, As there had been some rain and snow the night before they had had a few rafts capsize that morning, which they delightfully told us about, but now it was actually a pretty warm day... for Queenstown. After going down some smooth river, we eventually hit some rapids, not bad, our team was pretty good, as we had 4 pretty young, athletic lads at the front, but at one point matt decided to or as he claims 'got thrown' as we hit a pretty big wave, smashed into me, which meant i smashed into a rock, as our whole raft smacked into it. To be fair, it was no different to being rugby tackled and we sailed on.
    As we sailed down, the views were fantastic, it was almost like we were in The Lord Of The Rings, but infact, if we would have taken the other rafting option (which was the easier one) we would of sailed down the same stretch of river where the 'Pillars of The Kings' were near the end of 'The Fellowship of the Ring'. Half way though the afternoon (despite it still being winter here), we were allowed to jump in for a swim, I'm pretty sure I was first to jump in, and I think we were the only raft where everyone willingly jumped in. It was cold!! But still worth it. We climbed back in, after floating and drifting down stream for a bit. And this was where the instructor said the harder rapids were, and we even went down and through a miners tunnel/cave too, before a big water fall at the end!! Which, we still done pretty well!! And then rafted slowly back to Arthurs Point, where we took off our wet gear, and had a nice warm shower, cup'a tea, and a bit of food, before the bus returned us back to Queens Town. On the way back, I popped into the shop, and picked up my flag (which I am so Impressed with, Happy days!) and now we are preparing for a day trip tomorrow, to Doubtful Sound. I can't wait, this trip keeps getting better and better. I love Queenstown. I love New Zealand!

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