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Trip Start Sep 20, 2010
Trip End Dec 18, 2011

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Saturday, April 30, 2011

Liz's Queenstown

Queenstown….the adventure capital of New Zealand, possibly the world! Not to disappoint we did a ridiculous amount of activities! It started on our first morning with a Ziptrek through the trees from the top of the Skyline Gondola back into Queenstown.  We met up with my friend Laura the night before and it turned out that we had booked the same time which was good so the 3 of us did it together.  Although it was a little bit tame and disappointing given what we thought it would be like, it was a good introduction to Queenstown and despite the over caution some of the zip lines were great fun, especially upside down!

That afternoon Kevin did a 134m bungy called the Nevis.  Now, I may have avoided it because it looks terrifying but I’m going with 'it’s too expensive’ when all you do is throw yourself off a cable car’…. I did get to go out onto the cable car though and watch my boyfriend’s suicide attempt.  The setting was incredible, hanging over a gorge looking at the river below and the mountains.

The next morning the three of us were at the Gondola nice and early to be the first people of the cliff paragliding (tandem of course).    This was my favourite thing that we did in Queenstown – it’s very peaceful gliding over the city in the morning sun looking over the Remarkables, Lake Wakatipu and the city.  I think I might learn how to do it myself next time I take a nice long extended holiday…!

The afternoon was my turn to be scared, in the form of the Shotover Canyon swing, dubbed by Lonely Planet as ‘one of the best buzzes in town…’.  Kevin having done his skydive and bungy, and Laura having done Canyoning and bungy had already been through this fear and were pretty calm about it.  I was not.  I just think I wasn’t so convinced about jumping off a cliff even if I was attached to something! We were driven out to Shotover Canyon which was a beautiful place and when it was my turn I was walked out to the ledge and strapped safely to the swing rope.  I then looked over the edge and nearly cried! My full feelings are truly shown in the video that I purchased, which no one will ever see because it’s way too embarrassing. But after a few deep breaths, wiping the sweat off my face and saying I’m not going to do it a few times I stepped off the ledge.  And dropped. 60m.  Literally lost my stomach.  And survived.  Not so sure about the value for money though given the short time it took! I got back up and told the safety guy that I was somewhat proud of myself for doing it but never again.  20 minutes later I was back on the ledge, being suspended over it in tandem with Kevin for the ‘Tandem Gimp Boy Goes to Hollywood’ style drop.  It’s amazing what adrenaline does to you!  I take my hat off to Laura who did what I think is the scariest one, which was sitting on a chair and rocking on it backwards (the way parents and teachers always tell you off for rocking on chairs) until she rocked so far back she just kept going off the edge!!   

 That evening was our last evening with Laura because we probably won’t get to see her again, so we celebrated in style by watching the Royal wedding.  Woohoo! High on my canyon swing and having had a few weeks off drinking, I got quite drunk and ended up fully involved in the ceremony.  I even sang the national anthem which is probably only the 2nd time in my life, being not the greatest Royal supporter when I’m sober.  I even stole a bit of bunting from the pub with the Union Jack and the faces of Wills and Kate, but lost it later on!

Kevin’s Queenstown

Queenstown is New Zealand’s place to do stuff so we did. We started off with the Ziptrek which was pretty boring. Having done Go Ape in the UK it was way over the top with safety and not all that exciting really. Going upside down was a bit of fun but all in all a bit of a borefest.

Next up was my bungy. I’d decided if I was going to do one I may as well do the big one. The 134m Nevis Bungy it is then. I didn’t really know what to expect. I had been ok with my skydive but having booked the bungy the night before I had plenty of time to build up the tension. I had that whole nervous excitement thing going when we got on the bus to drive out to the jump site. There were a few Americans on the bus acting all blasť about the whole thing but they changed their tune pretty quick when we got our first glimpse of the cable car. The trip out is scary enough. The jump is made from a cable car suspended above the gorge and you are ferried out to the main pod in groups of six in this tiny little cage like thing. The first time you see someone jump as you go across and see how far they actually fall is frightening. I must say I didn’t get as scared as I thought I would and right up to the jump I was more excited to just do it than anything else. They’re pretty efficient out there and just keep the line moving so when it was my turn I didn’t really waste any time I just shuffled to the edge, looked down (eek) looked up and dived out. The next feeling is the weirdest thing. Hard to describe but just a weird weightlessness and a kind of tunnel vision thing. I wasn’t as buzzing after then I was after the skydive, I think, but it was a pretty incredible experience. Definitely recommended.

Next morning we did paragliding which was nice and then in the afternoon the three of us headed to the Canyon Swing raring to go. It’s a much better atmosphere at the Canyon Swing. The guys who run it are a lot more craic and try and wind people up and scare them a bit more. I decided to do my swing backwards which involved just standing at the edge, hands behind your head and falling backwards. The feeling is so strange as you fall away from the platform and watch the world tumble over. The tandem jump I did with Liz was probably even scarier as you have no control over when you go so the drop feeling is more surprising.

I did watch a bit of the royal wedding but headed down to another pub to meet Mark Kelly a younger brother of a friend of mine from home who is living in Queenstown and have pints instead of Pimms. I luckily got back in time to see the kiss on the balcony. Oh, the excitement. All Queenstown was brilliant fun. Very expensive doing all the stuff but a great few days.
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Lauren on

Well done, you really are the extreme sports couple at the moment!

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