BootsnAll Travel Network



Living it Up in Queenstown

Nov 1-3

We finally arrived in Queenstown and checked into the Hippo Lodge, a lovely hostel with a fabulous view of The Remarkables and a resident stuffed hippo who had a bulletin board full of photos of him doing all kinds of cool activities like bungee jumping and skydiving. He and Pengy (our stowaway penguin) got along great and shared tales of their adventures over a beer at the local pub.

From New Zealand (…

We were high on the hill overlooking Queenstown and I was able to take some beautiful photos of the the sunset over Lake Wakatipu.

From New Zealand (…

Meanwhile, Claude had convinced me to try bungee jumping and I decided to get it over with the next morning with A.J. Hackett’s at Kawarau Bridge, the original home of bungee jumping.

From New Zealand (…

If you’ve read my early posts, you know about my fear of heights, so this was going to be a big step, literally, for me. Claude egged me on by saying he didn’t think I’d go through with it. Of course, now there was no way I wouldn’t (I think that was his plan).

As I waited for my turn on the bridge the next morning, I watched a few people jump ahead of me and it was sobering to look straight down into the river from 130 feet up. One girl made the error of jumping feet first and ended up looking like a rag doll with whiplash – I made a mental note not to do that. Surprisingly, as the big moment approached a strange calm came over me and I was actually excited about doing the jump. In my heart, I knew that I was safe and, since my phobia is more of dying than heights, I knew I’d survive. As my ankles were being wrapped, I asked the hunky bungee guy if they’d ever lost anyone. His reply was, “Not today!” Funny guy, that one.

From New Zealand (…

He then asked me if I wanted to get wet or not and, since it was only about 15 degrees out, I elected to just touch the water as opposed to a full dunking. He warned me that if I just “fell off the platform like a sack of potatoes” that I would probably get dunked. So there I was, standing on what looked like a plank on a pirate ship with my ankles tied together and the hunky bungee guy tells me to go out to the very end of the plank and wait for his signal. What a joke! You try hopping gracefully to the end of a 12 inch wide plank 130ft over a raging river with your ankles lashed together (ok it wasn’t raging, but give me some literary license). Then he said, “Wave to the camera!” and, “Wave goodbye to your family!” (the guy should do stand-up) and then counted me down. I had been told that if you didn’t go on the first count, your chances of jumping at all dropped by 50%, so I didn’t hesitate and did a glorious swan dive.

From New Zealand (…

What an exhilarating experience! It was a surprisingly smooth ride, but I bounced back up about a foot or two short of the water. The next thing I knew, it was all over and I was being lowered into the boat waiting at the bottom.

From New Zealand (…

I asked the guy in the boat why I hadn’t touched the water and he said it was because of my enormous dive. Oh well, at least it looked good. As I got out of the boat, I saw the kids bounding down the stairs, whooping with excitement and pride. Alexa immediately declared that she wanted to do it too (of course, knowing full well that she wouldn’t be allowed to). So that was it, my maiden bungee jump, and I felt ready to take on the world! I even got a certificate and crappy T-Shirt to commemorate the experience.

To complete our adrenalin-packed visit to Queenstown, we took the kids jet boating on the Kawarau River and, after an hour of 360 degree spins, near misses and exciting high speed thrills in inches of water, we were drenched but exhilarated.

From New Zealand (…

All in all, Queenstown cost us more than the rest of New Zealand thus far, but you can’t go to Queenstown and not do something risky and expensive. After three days of adventure, we packed it in, waved goodbye to Hippo and headed for Milford Sound to reconnect with nature in a kindler, gentler fashion.

To see the rest of our Queensland photos, visit our web album.



Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply