South Island Trip: Queenstown
Written by Cathy Siegismund
We wanted to spend a week in Queenstown, so with Jason and Tam
we rented a great house in Queenstown. Ed and Rachel also joined us in the house
for a few days as they too were touring the South island.
Our awesome Queenstown rental house
The house was terrific, it was three bedroom, 3 bath and had a breathtaking
view of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding Remarkable Mountains and Eyre
Queenstown View Panorama Coming Soon
As cruisers, we also enjoyed some of the luxuries the house had, such as a
fireplace, washer/dryer, a huge fridge and freezer and a dishwasher! I'm sure
these don't sound like luxuries to many of you, but if you do without them for a
few years, they start looking pretty good.
Amazing view from the house
We unpacked and got settled into the house and went grocery shopping. We
decided to take advantage of the great kitchen, so we all took turns
cooking all but one night when we went to a wonderful restaurant.
Ken barbequing on the deck
The weather was clear and sunny, so we decided we should sign up for some of
Queenstown's extreme adventure activities for the following day.
We signed up for a morning of jetboating on the
Shotover Jet, and an
afternoon of bungy jumping.
The jetboats fly up and down the narrow Shotover River canyon, turning 360
degrees within the boat's length and can travel in less than 4 inches of
Shotover Jet boat in action
Ken and I in the front with Ed, Rachel, Jason and Tam in the
That afternoon, three of the six of us, took complete leave of our senses and
signed up to bungy jump at A.J. Hackett's
Kawarau Bridge, the birthplace of tourist bungy. The idea for bungy jumping
actually came from the local people of Vanuatu an island group we plan to visit
Kawarau Bridge - the world's first bungy site
To see more photos of Ken, Rachel and I being foolhardy, see the
Bungy Jump Photo Gallery
The following day, the girls kicked around Queenstown, having lunch and
window shopping. Jason and Ken again went dirt biking, and Ed went rock
climbing. That evening, we were
treated to a beautiful sunset and enjoyed dinner at the house to celebrate Ed
and Rachel's last night, before they took off to continue exploring the South
Beautiful sunset in Queenstown
Ed and Rachel
The following day we woke to a bit of a rainy day, but Tam and I had
reserved a one-day horse trek out of Glenorchy, a town at the end of Lake
Even raining mornings are beautiful in Queenstown
As it was not a great day, there were only three of us on the horse trek, and
despite the weather we saw lovely views and enjoyed some galloping along the
same terrain where Lord of the Rings was filmed.
Tam riding in Glenorchy
Chester, my horse for the day
Beautiful scenery around Glenorchy
On Easter weekend, Jason, Tam, Ken, and I drove to Wanaka, an hour drive
from Queenstown, to see Warbirds
over Wanaka. Wanaka is a lovely small mountain town with a population of
3,500, which every two years is host to a vintage air show that brings in
over 100,000 visitors.
New Zealand precision flying team
See Warbirds over Wanaka Photo Gallery.
After watching all the aerobatic flying, Ken was inspired to do one more
adventure activity - aerobatic flying with
Actionflight in a Pitt Special.
Ken had been wanting to try this, and although we woke to a cold morning with
snow in the hills, the weather was clear enough for a flight. The Pitt Special
is a very small biplane specifically designed for aerobatic flying.
Snow on the mountains around Queenstown
Ken in the Pitt Special
Ken and the pilot took off from the Queenstown airport. I couldn't see
the aerobatics from the airport, but Ken said they did rolls, a figure-8, flew
upside down, four-point roll, among other maneuvers.
The day we left Queenstown, we work to a sunny and cool morning with a line
of snow crowning the surrounding mountains. We took the chance to take a ride up
the nearby gondola, which provides breathtaking views of Queenstown and the
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