Queenstown is New Zealands 'Adrenalin' capital. It sits on the Southern edge of Lake Wakatipu with a population of just over 9000 and is shadowed by mountains from the Southern Alps. This whole town is here merely to cater for tourists like me to bungy jump, white water rafting down the Shotover River or endless other activities. The main town boasts numerous bars, cafes, shops (its an outdoor enthusiasts mecca!) and you can indulge yourself in any cuisine from around the world. Of course on my first day I headed for good old British grub and wolfed down a chicken tikka masala in no time!
I decided to join the Youth Hostel Association (YHA) and booked into the YHA lakeside which is very nice. I was allocated into an 8 person dorm and the only bunk available was a top one which is a nightmare. I was sharing the room with your stereotypical party animals for the first time and I can say it's not the best room to be in. Half the floor space was absolutely covered in the contents of their rucksacks and they didn't come in from their night out (my first night) until 6am! Then when theyre fast asleep I wanted to get up and potter around but everyone is tiptoeing around not to wake each other. Anyway in the morning a single traveller from a bottom bunk vacated at around 7am and I was in there swapping beds in a flash! As I climbed out of my bunk my key and watch fell from my bed and onto the floor at the head of the lad below me. I was going to try and retrieve them but I couldn't walk on the floor because of his stuff and when I leaned over I noticed he had a girl in with him. I was dying for the toilet too! My quality of life went up a little after I'd managed to getr to the toilet and had a little space to myself.
The other great thing I've found since touring NZ is that you bump into friends you've made in other parts of the country as well as making new ones (that makes two then ha ha). Last Saturday I met up with Gabrielle unexpectedly and spent the afternoon sat outside a bar drinking cold beer. The following evening I met up with Robbie and a few other lads and ended up in a pool competition in a local bar. Needless to say I didn't win but one of our crowd did (a cockney lad) did and we had $100 to spend behind the bar. That was quickly spent on three bottles of champagne which ultimately wrote off Paul from Vancouver, who couldn't keep up with the Brits. He left the bar in a babbling mess.
Earlier that day I enrolled on the Rafting trip down the Shotover River and Canyon. What a scary experience that is! Rapids are graded 1 - 6 with 1 being calm flowing water and 6 being on a suicide mission used for world competitions. Some of the rapids we negotiated were a 4 and how the raft didn't flip over defies logic! I had an excelant time anyway at the front of the raft with my Dutch colleague and four South Koreans (three of them girls who never stopped screaming like girls). What a laugh we had!
Anyone coming to New Zealand must come to Queenstown to sample the entertainment. It is the jewel in their crown and I only have to bungy jump off the 'Nevis' next at 147m!