Blog Day 231 Thursday 22nd December 2011
Road trip to Queenstown
Today we leave Franz Josef and head down to Queenstown. We are up pretty early and our legs are still like jelly. Chicken Boy picks us up at around 7.10am and we head off out of town.
Again on the way down to Queenstown we stop at a few scenic places to break up the journey. Today is full of probably the most spectacular scenery either of us have ever seen………..ever!
Our first stop is at a rather lovely lake. Chicken Boy tells us that the lake is stunning, however he does mention that in order to get to the lake we need to walk for around 15 minutes. This doesn't sound to bad but after the 8 hours of solid walking we did yesterday just getting off the bus is a hard work! We are glad we did though as the lake was picture perfect, it looked like a sheet of glass reflecting the hills and sky above it. Out next stop is at a stunning lookout point over looking the sea. There isn't a cloud in the sky and the sea is the richest blue color. From there we head on to Thunder Creek Falls. Here is a waterfall that makes the waterfalls we saw in Oz look like someone had left a tap dripping. The river that ran at the foot of the falls was crystal clear and an icy blue color. It was also bloody freezing!
After a few pictures at the falls we headed to Lake Wanaka. Along the way we are treated to the most amazing views of Lake Wanaka. Like the other lake this morning it is perfectly still reflecting the mountains and sky. We have a chance to dip our toes in the lake (which is also freezing) and get some great pictures (in Chicken Boy's Santa hat). We are just in awe at the vistas that are surrounding us and feel that pictures just don't them justice.
Lake Wanaka looks like a fantastic little town, and down at the lake there is a buzz in the air. Sun worshipers and people playing in the lake are everywhere. As we get a chance to jump off the bus and go for a milkshake we are kind of gutted that we aren't spending the night here. Still never-mind its onwards to Queenstown.
We stop for a photo opportunity at the 45th Parallel next, which isn't some sci-fi warp speed time jump area (the only few sci-fi-ish words we know). It is the official latitudinal line that is half way between the South Pole and the Equator. Kind of cool really.
Our next stop is at a place that is pretty amazing and is what Queenstown is built around. BUNGY!!!! The bus stops at AJ Hackett's original bungy site at the Kawarau Bridge. AJ Hackett and some other nutter are the founders of bungy jumping and this place is where they first found that they could throw themselves off of a perfectly good bridge attached to an elastic band……………and live. I must say that if I ever had the urge to do such a thing then this would be the place to do it (I don't and I didn't by the way). The bridge is a beautiful old wooden structure that spans an amazing gorge, through which flows the most amazing river (it's the kind of blue that we've only ever seen in photos never in real life). A few of the people on our bus have decided to spend the $170 (£88) to jump off the bridge, one of which is a German guy whom we though would be the last person in New Zealand to do it. He is a lump of a kid and at the bottom of the jump he is dunked head first up to his waist in the (probably freezing) water. GOOD ON HIM!
After about an hour of watching like-minded nutters we finally get into Queenstown. We check into Nomads and are greeted by a King sized en-suite room (for freeeeeeee!). Our balcony treats us to an amazing view of Lake Wakatipu and Mt Nicholas. After all the travelling today we are quite happy to just chill out in the room. We have a look through the take away menus and settle on a place called Fat Badgers Pizza apparently home to New Zealand's biggest New York style pizzas. We take this with a pinch of salt and go for a large pizza to share. 45 minutes later a guy turns up with 2 boxes of pizza. The kind of boxes that a large pizza from Dominos would come in. In these boxes are 4 slices of pizza. Each slice is easily the size of our head! We can't help thinking that we have quite literally bitten of more than we can chew, and will be enjoying pizza for breakfast as well as lunch. Bedtime will have to wait for a while until our stomachs settle down!