The best yet
Trip Start Nov 09, 2011
71Trip End Ongoing
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After a quick shop in te anau we set off for the 190km drive, in the rain, through peaceful valleys and deer farms to the lakeside city of queenstown..this is the adventure capital of the world crammed with outdoor adventures for everyone..so what would we choose...? but for now arriving at 5pm we just headed off the road to Paradise...(yes a real place..) and stopped overnight in a car park with a great view over the lake..
Saturday was an awesome day weather wise blue skies and warm so we parked in town and just enjoyed brousing the touristy shops ...we walked along the harbour and up bustling streets of cafe bars and restuarants...ending up in the i site ready to choose our adventure for tomorrow. choices ranged from bungee jumping and paragliding to horse riding and kayaking ..
we had to be up early as the bus left from the town centre at 12 noon... we had choosen a jet boat ride...not just any old boat ride this trip included an hour tour of skippers canyon..this thrilling scenic drive snakes along a treacherously narrow gravel trail to hells gate where the road dramatically cuts through a schist rock with vertical drops to the vivid ice blue of shotover river below.. we were in a 15 seater 4 wd minibus and i was on the cliff side...!! .. still after a donkey ride on steeper terrain this was easy..!!
the route is littered with old gold mining settlements and ruins...and the driver told the tale of the first discovery of gold here in 1862 by two shepherds who fell into the river and found gold in the sand there and within 4 months 3000 miners had arrived in the area to stake their claim .. we then passed lighthouse rock and devils elbow before descending down the tussock draped landscape to skippers bridge..where the jet boats were waiting.
split into two groups of 8/7 we climbed aboard the purpose built jetboat....apparently loads of horsepower and this and that etc....to me it was blue..!! ...and we set off on a brilliant 30 mins spent darting in and out of the rocks,missing overhangs by inches, along shallow rapids and doing 360` turns in the rock pools awesome fun.. how sad we had to get off..
after our exhilerating ride we were back in the bus for a drive to the first bungee jump bridge here... it was used in early 2000 and was the highest in those days now redundent and not used of course as bigger and better have taken over.. it was oringinally a pipeline bridge that brought water to the goldminers..and we walked across it to see the jumping platform ..eeekk...it was a very interesting day and well worth it as we felt we got two trips for the price of one...!!
45 mins on the bus over the adrenalin pumping road back through the canyon and we were ready for new zealand fish and chips by the lake...after another quick look round the lakeside which was now covered with swimmers and sun bathers we drove to arrowtown camp site for the night..
I really loved the vibrant bustling queenstown it was certainly my favourite place so far and i would recommend a visit it was awesome...it had everything and more...!!!