Again, back to New Zealand…
En route to Queenstown, we decided to take a few little detours. The first stop was at AJ Hackett’s (one of the founders of Bungy) Kawarau Bridge Bungy – home to the original 43-metre Bungy Jump. It’s the world’s first and most infamous offleaps and has tens of thousands bungying each year. Paul and I are somewhat adventurous people, but we aren’t that adventurous enough to give it a go. It was still fun to watch people take the plunge- or chicken out.
Next, it was on to the former gold mining town of Arrowtown. We were so pleased with our decision to stop here. It’s a charming little town with a nice balance of modernity while still preserving its historic character. After a wander around the quaint town, we enjoyed some local New Zealand cuisine in an old converted horse stable followed by some shopping.
When we finally arrived in Queenstown, it was quite busy with heaps of people. Apparently it was school holidays and so there were more people than we anticipated for that time of the year. We weren’t able to do rafting or horseback riding this time because every company was booked up for days. Fortunately, we did these on our last trip so we weren’t terribly disappointed. Luckily, we were still able to do some jet boating on the Dart River. This was one of our favorite activities from our honeymoon. It’s good fun zipping through centimeters of glacial water surrounded by snow-capped mountains. After a ride upriver, we made a stop along our way back for a bush walk. The natural scenery was seriously stunning.
While in Queenstown, we also made sure to hit up a sheep farm. For some reason, the idea of living on a farm and living off the land really appeals to us. To satisfy our inquisitive nature of a working farm, Queenstown offers a sort of touristy sheep farm attraction. In reality, it’s probably the closest we’ll ever get to any true farm experience. To get to the farm, we departed at dusk on an old-fashioned steam engine boat, the TSS Earnslaw, which took us across Lake Wakatipu to the farm. Once there, we were given a sheep dog herding demonstration as well as a sheep shearing demonstration. The actual shearing of the sheep isn’t the most pleasant experience to watch but I’m told the sheep are used to it and only have to go through it once a year. I know, I know, New Zealand sheep shearers are some of the best in the world and if anyone knows how to do it, it’s the Kiwis.
The rest of our time in Queenstown was spent enjoying the town, the lake and each other. It was lovely.