Happy New Year!

Trip Start Nov 20, 2013
Trip End Nov 24, 2014

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Flag of New Zealand  , Otago,
Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Yesterday was the last day of 2013 so we had to make it a good one! We started our day out in the afternoon by going to a very popular burger joint here in Queenstown called Ferg Burgers. The place is so busy that they had to buy the bakery beside it to make sure they could bake enough hamburger buns. We walked by here on our first day in Queenstown and heard that the wait for people's food could be up to an hour and a half! So when we walked by yesterday and saw that there was no line we felt fortunate that we wouldn't have to wait long to eat. Boy were we wrong! We didn't know that people order and then walk around and come back later. Our wait time was 45 minutes and it was worth it. These burgers are delicious! Even Jason who's not a foodie like me was the first to admit that his burger was great. No wonder the place is so busy.    

Next we walked up to the top of the Skyline building. We thought after the huge burgers we ate hiking would be better than taking the gondola ride up. It was a steep hike but not too difficult and after about 45 minutes we had reached not just the top where the gondola stops, but also to the top of the chairlift for our next activity: the luge! The Skyline has two paved luge tracks and after a quick "test drive" to make sure we could steer the sled properly, we were off on our first run down. We went down the scenic track the first time and the next bunch of rides we took the track that was a little more challenging. This was a really fun experience that we both loved.

When we were finished on the luge tracks we headed inside Skyline for a traditional Maori show. It was similar to the one we saw previously in Rotorua except it was a little shorter and with only five performers. It was a great show with talented performers who are passionate about sharing their cultural traditions through song and dance. It was fun to see other audience members (women) trying to use the poi (a small ball attached to a string) in a song and dance and others (men) trying to do a haka (war cry). The show was informative and engaging.

Next it was time to head down to the bottom of the mountain where the Skyline is. We took the gondola down and what a beautiful view of Queenstown we got as we headed down to the street level. It was amazing! Once we were down, we ran to the car to change into some warmer clothes because it had become really cool outside. After our workout from the hike and the luge, it was time for dessert. We bought a bag of bite sized cookies from a store called Cookie Time so of course they were yummy! With cookies in hand, and in our mouths, we walked around the closed off streets to see what was happening on the two stages put up for the new year celebration. We didn't last too long outside because of the cold air and went into a bar where we ended up bumping into a couple from London we had met in Motueka and then again in Takaka. We spent some time with them and shared a drink, but then it was time to find a good spot for the fireworks show.

Although it was so cold out, we knew we would have to be outside for a while if we wanted a good spot for the show. After waiting about 45 minutes right by the lake, the show started right at midnight. It was spectacular! One of the biggest fireworks shows I've seen. Since they were coming from a barge out on the lake, we couldn't feel the heat from the fireworks, but just watching them warmed us up a little. After the show we walked around for a bit and then headed back to the Rewi's house to sleep.

We woke up to pouring rain today which deterred us from our plans for the day. Instead we had a very chilled out day and just hung around the house. A few of the boys went to the cricket game that was happening almost right next to the house while we watched it on tv. After the game, they came back to the house and brought a lot of their friends with them. Debbie ended up making an impromptu dinner for about 23 people. It really felt like home for me! Dinner was great and since it was the birthday of one of the guests we had a yummy chocolate cake for dessert. Jason and I did some laundry and headed up to bed. It was nice to have a relaxing day today. 
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David on

Just amazing, Each blog entry and pictures in its' own way surpasses the next even though each has its' own beauty and uniqueness. We never would have known the beauty of New Zealand without your blog and if it wasn't through your eyes and experiences. We are so happy you are enjoying your trip so far! Definitely a part of the world to visit,. Happy New Year to you both!

jasonandgaryn on

Thanks for the comment. We have certainly loved our time here. It's such a beautiful country.

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