A relatively early rise, nice hot shower and then back on the road towards the adventure capital of New Zealand, Queenstown! The possibilities here are endless, Skiing, Skydiving, Bungy Jumping, White water rafting, canyon swinging, speed jet boats, helicopters, parasailing and both the incredibly adventurous indoor and outdoor mini golf!
We had it in our minds that we were going to Ski as there were a couple of ski fields within a 30 minute drive so our first stop was to the Queenstown Information center. We soon realised that renting all of the gear (skis, boots, salopettes, jacket, gloves, helmet and goggles) along with the ski pass for 2 days would come up to nearly $400 each (£200ish!)... Ouch. After a short deliberation we decided no deal and picked the red box which contained the sightseeing pass, $30 each and you can go up to the summit!
It seemed our attempt to not spend too much money was soon thwarted by our trip to the cinema! Tickets more expensive than London! We watched ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’, the new Tarentino, which we thought was really good… the $6 bag of gummy sweets not so much.
The evening was well and truly set in and we had to drive for 25 mins to the nearest free camping, the Kawarau bridge, the famous home of the world's first commercial bungy jump. We luckily got the last spot out of around 25 and had a late night homemade dinner and got under our multiple sleeping bags as the mercury fell to a low of -7 degrees during the night!
An early drive back to Queenstown city centre after making ourselves a packed lunch and thermos. We parked up Uta and caught the bus up to Coronet Peak ski fields. We were so lucky, the sky was blue, a few clouds but a good forecast, perfect for sightseeing a mountain!
We had to get onto the ski lift, which meant we had to walk across 4 lanes of skiers to get to the sightseers lane… we made it unscathed and had some amazing views on the way up. There were even more amazing views when we got to the top and the viewing deck. We weren’t quite at the summit, this required another little tricky walk up a 30 foot snow covered hill. Some incredible views at the top, lots of photos to be taken! The way back down to the ski lift was fun, most of it spent on our bottoms!
We then had encountered a completely new experience, we went down the ski lift! Which was like a rollercoaster with amazing views! At the base we had our packed lunch and treated ourselves to an overpriced mulled wine then back to Queenstown.
On the bus down Jess piped up with a shocking declaration… ‘I think I want to do a bungy jump!’... Well, I was not going to be outdone so I said I’d jump with her. We headed to the activity center and inquired about the bridge bungy jump… before we knew we were booked in for the following morning! As soon as I received the credit card receipt Jess’ face had dropped and gone very pale!
To take her mind off her impending doom we went for a round of indoor mini golf! Which was lots of fun, quite complex holes with ski lifts and all! We stayed at the same free camping spot but this time we got there early enough to see the bridge we’d be jumping off in the morning!
Day 128 - Queenstown 3
JUMP DAY. Jess was up early and very nervous, seeing Jess so scared somehow made me feel no nerves… maybe even excitement… not sure if that's a good sign or not! Our jump was booked for 9:30am, the first session of the day. We checked in at 9:15am and had to wait for a while as they setup the ropes. By 9:45am we were asked to walk to the bridge, Jess was feeling terror, regret and wasn’t sure she could go through with it, I found it quite amusing.
We got roped up opposite each other, Jess was to jump first. The lady roping Jess up seemed to lack compassion as Jess shared her fear, ‘How are you feeling, are you excited?’, ‘No, I’m terrified’, ‘Surely you’re a little bit excited…?’, ‘No!’... followed by a blank look and the rest of the roping being conducted in silence. Once ready Jess slowly baby stepped to the edge of the jumping platform, gripping for her life onto the bridge. A quick compulsory wave at the cameras before Jess finally admitted she couldn’t do it, to which the lady replied ‘Yeah you can, look at the bridge over there and I’ll countdown from 5, when I get to 1 just jump’ and then swiftly began her countdown. 5 seconds later Jess was over the edge (the guy roping me up actually said she did a perfect swan dive!), the screams started after about 2 seconds…! But she did it and survived! WOOP.
Then it was my turn, being a pro at bungy jumps (I actually have done this jump twice before, albeit 14 years ago), I was calm and confident and took a leap off the edge. Lots of fun, I felt like a kid again… until I was unroped and realised I’d jarred my back. God damn.
After the jump we decided we deserved a paid campsite so drove into Queenstown and parked up at a powered site. This allowed us to have a warm shower and gave us the opportunity for a few drinks in town with the option of stumbling back to the van for a warm sleep! We’d been given free entry to the ‘Ice Bar’ with our bungy jump tickets. So after a game of pool we headed to the ice bar, which was really cool…. Freezing actually (ha!). After a couple of drinks in ice cups we headed to the infamous Ferg Burger, putting our vegetarianism on hold once again, for some world renowned burgers… and they were simply delicious.Then back to the van for a well deserved rest!