We actually stayed just outside Queenstown in Arrowtown with another relative of Hannahs, so?more days with home cooked meals and creature comforts (i.e. not being woken up at 5am in a dorm as someone has to catch a bus). Arrowtown is absolutely gorgeous, with the Remarkable Mountains as a backdrop, picturesque town centre and tree lined streets with fantastic autumn colours.
Having arrived with Hannahs Auntie on the saturday, we travelled around and met the rest of the family before getting settled in our room at Rob and Bryony's. On sunday i played a round of golf with Rob at Arrowtown Golf Club whilst Hannah walked into Arrowtown for a morning coffee and went to watch her Uncle in a bike race. Rob and Bryony then took us to have a look at the AJ Hacket Bungy, the first Bungy in the world?from a bridge?into the river.?Hannah flirted with the idea for a?while before disappointing us all.?We then all got together in the afternoon for some?much needed?dinner.
The next day we travelled into Queenstown to book up our activities for the coming week. After both forking out a small fortune we went and spent a little more with a visit to the Minus 5 Bar, a bar made entirely of ice! We put on our coats, mittens and shoes and ventured in, and each had a vodka drink in an ice glass! Its so cold we were only actually allowed to go in for 30 minutes.
The next day we travelled to Wanaka to visit Puzzling World, where we got lost in the maze and looked at the exhibits. Its full of optical illusions such as the Hall of Following Faces where all the faces on the wall follow you as you walk through, freaky! After a few hours playing with puzzles we wondered down into Wanaka and had a look around before catching the bus back to Arrowtown.
On the wednesday i got up stupidly early to watch the mighty Liverpool beat Chelsea on penalties?to reach the Champions League final! With that fantastic start to the day, we ventured into Arrowtown to look around the old Chinese settlement. Arrowtown was orginally a gold-mining town, and many of the chinese settlers homes/shacks are still standing for people to see. We?then went to?Queenstown for our High 5 Combo that we had booked on monday. We started off on the Shotover Jet which was brilliant fun even though it was raining. For those who dont know this is a jet boat ride on the Shotover River, the boat is very fast and agile and the driver can get VERY close to rocks (within a metre!) and perform 360 degree spins. As i say, we really enjoyed it. Following this we took a helicopter ride to the top of the hill where the skyline gondola was. We were supposed to go on the luge, but it was closed due to the rain. We decided to add an extra day here so we could do the luge on the friday. In the evening we?took?Rob and Bryony out for a lovely meal as a thankyou for letting us stay.
Thursday we had a day trip to Milford Sound. After a very eary rise and 6 hour bus ride (though that did include picture and food stops) we boarded a boat with approximately 350 japanese (who took photos of everything and anything) for a 2 hour ride up and down Milford Sound. Beautiful scenery, plenty of mountains and waterfalls. A 4 hour journey back followed. Although we enjoyed it, we weren't sure the 2 hour boat ride was worth the 10 hours on the bus. But another "New Zealand Must-See" ticked off the list.
The following day we wondered?around Arrowtown before going to Queenstown for our luge rides we missed out on with the High 5 Combo. This was great fun! There are 2 tracks, the picturesque track which we had to go?on on?our first ride as its slower and lets you get used to it, and the advanced track which we went on for our other 4 rides. Its basically go-karting downhill and was brilliant fun, i did spin off once?and rammed hannah a few times, but no harm done!
The next day we had to catch an early bus to Fox Glacier. We really liked Arrowtown/Queenstown, certainly our favourite place so far in New Zealand.