Scott and Jenni's Journals

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New Zealand

Queenstown |

Another early start as we made our way from Franz Josef to Queenstown - the adrenaline capital of New Zealand.
As we arrived on the bus, you could tell that it's a more upmarket town with apparently quite a few celebrity residents. Rod Stewart, Sam Neill and Shania Twain all have/had houses here.
Incidently, we checked out some property prices - it's quite sickening! You can buy gorgeous lakeview houses for less than you'd pay for a flat in the U.K., and this is supposed to be an expensive area!
Our first afternoon was spent getting our bearings and nosing around the nice shops and restaurants, as well as taking a cable car up to the top of Bob's Peak which is a mountain that has a cafe, restaurant and bungy at the top. They also have a luge track where you sit in a kind of sledge on wheels and speed down a twisty track whilst taking in the beautiful views of lake Wakatipu and the mountains that surround it. We had about seven goes on the luge as it was actually really good fun!
The next day we decided to book ourselves in for a couple of slightly more extreme activities. As Queenstown is home to the bungy jump and the original bungy site at the Kuwarau bridge, it'd be rude not to do one really wouldn't it? I (Scott) couldn't leave Queenstown without hurling myself off of a 43m bridge so I decided to go for it. The bridge jump is actually the smallest, the others being 47m and 134m(!), but as I'd never done one before, I decided to start off small! I'd definitely do another one as it's a great rush! Once you're on the edge, it's hard to imagine how you are actually going to throw yourself off, but as soon as you hear 3..2..1 you just can't turn back! I got completely dunked in the water up to my chest! Cool.
As the weather was really nice, we also went jet-boating on the Shotover river, which was awesome! It's a speedboat which is powered by two supercharged V6 Buick engines giving out 500bhp each (for all you revheads). On top of this, it pumps through 800 litres of water a second for some extra speed, and can turn on a sixpence. You speed through a canyon and the driver takes you really close to the rocks, occasionally spinning the boat 360 degrees. We managed to get the front seats next to the driver which was a bonus!
For the next day's activity, we had something a little more sedate planned and headed to Milford Sound, which is a beautifully scenic fiord west of Queenstown. It takes about 5 hours to get there by bus, but the drive is amazing with some stunning scenery along the way. The cruise lasts approximately two hours and the fiord is quite narrow, and full of waterfalls. We were also lucky enough to see some dolphins swimming alongside the boat and a couple of seals. Apparently, there were some penguins too but I think you must have needed binoculars as we didn't see them!
We also paid a visit to the Minus 5 Bar just down the road from our hostel, which is a small bar where everything is made of ice, even the glasses that you get your drinks in! You only get to spend 1/2 hour inside as it's so cold, but it's all good fun, and there are some amazing ice sculptures.
We were definitely sad to leave Queenstown as there's so much to do, and you can spend a day just taking in the scenery that surrounds it. It's an absolute must-visit place if you're in the South Island. 10/10!

Locations Visited: Queenstown, Milford Sound

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