What a day. I’m happily exhausted. We started off at the brilliant Puzzling World in Wanaka. A 2 storey maze complete with bridges, dead ends and towers got us all running around for an hour. Josh won by finding all 4 towers in the right order and the exit first. The average time for doing the maze is one and a half hours and walking around 3 to 5 kms. It really felt like it but everyone young and old are laughing so much it was an hour well spent. The “museum” also has some great illusion rooms, a roman toilet and tables where you can sit with lots of different puzzles to keep you happy. Josh was in his element as he got to flex his cranial muscle again and I just felt stupid, totally caught out by what appeared to be a simple puzzle and a piece of string. I had to ask the staff after half an hour as it had definitely got the better of me!
Just by chance we had heard in the internet place last night about the local cinema – Cinema Paradiso. It sounded so unique we caught the afternoon showing of Alvin & The Chipmunks (the kids choice). The cinema has to be the coolest in the world. It is a room filled with home sofas and chairs and a Morris Minor convertible that you can sit in. There’s a pile of huge cushions that you can spread out and just crash on the floor if that’s what floats your boat. They serve homemade cookies (fresh from the oven) and ice cream during the interval and it was just how a cinema should be. If are ever in Wanaka please support the cinema!
We were on a high after the film (from the cinema not the film) so imagine how we felt after the drive to Queenstown. For those of you who have done the trip you will know what I mean. You drive up through the hills and Queenstown appears before you in the valley below. It is an awe inspiring view and you have to stop just to take it in, Queenstown is impossibly beautiful and I couldn’t wait to go and explore…………..
The Top 10 park was nearly full and really overpriced so we tried our luck at a Kiwi Holiday Park – it’s like mass camping – there are rows and rows of campervans and tents and certainly a much younger party crowd. I’m sure it will be fine for a couple of nights but it’s not a scenic or family feel as Top 10 parks. As the weather was fab we pitched the tent (that sounds so professional now – like I know what I’m doing with all the poles) and off we went to the gondola.
The gondola – it sounds so relaxing doesn’t it – with sweeping views of Queenstown on a beautiful clear day. The climb in the pods up the mountain was steep to say the least. You can’t help but think of James Bond and Jaws on the climb up but we all arrived in one piece – Josh a little bit shakier. The surprise was the infamous AJ Hackett bungy jumping platform on the way up, it looked deathly stuck out so far with nothing underneath, my hat goes off to those who can pluck up the courage to do it.
The views were amazing, mountains lakes and valleys, Queenstown has it all. The viewing platform was a bit scary, it wasn’t very even and the concrete tiles felt loose. Trepidation got the better of both kids after a few minutes and I had to do all the photo taking, hanging onto the railing as normal. Just to add to the thrills (Queenstown is the adventure capital after all) there is a luge ride there too. You get to it by a chairlift (more height) and then it’s a fun ride to the bottom – wahey it was great fun! The kids went again on the advanced track and came down with tales of one poor girl who had bleeding teeth and a big crash. We saw her later and apart from wounded pride she was fine. Back to the tent late and we all fell asleep exhausted………..