After two cool and cloudy days, the sun finally decided to make an appearance and shone brightly on my second and final full day in Queenstown. How beautiful is this sight eh?
The change in weather couldn’t have come at a better time as I had a lot of outdoor activities planned for the day. This here folks, is how to jam-pack some of the best experiences Queenstown has to offer in one day.
Nevis Bungy: The Highest Bungy Jump In Australasia
Bungy jumping has been on my bucket list for god knows how long, with my dream jump location being New Zealand. And now, the day to strike this off my list was finally here. There was only one jump in my mind, and that was the Nevis Bungy, Australasia’s highest bungy at 134 metres (#gobigorgohome), providing around 8.5 seconds of freefall.
Starting in central Queenstown, we were driven through the Gibbston Valley (famous for its vineyards) towards our final destination located in an isolated spot surrounded by a spectacular backdrop of mountains and valleys. With the sun out and no wind whatsoever, it was a good day to go jumping.
I surprised myself by keeping amazingly cool throughout the whole process. As I am quite afraid of heights (one of the reasons I wanted to do this was to try to overcome my fear), I just kept a smile plastered on my face, didn’t think too much about what the hell I was about to do, tried not to look down when I was teetering on the edge of the ledge and just leapt when the guy counted me down from 3.
After experiencing that initial 1-2 seconds of free-falling (that stomach in mouth feeling), the rest of the way down was actually rather enjoyable! I was surprised at how similar the feeling was to skydiving as I had expected bungy jumping to be a lot scarier.
The way down was so long that I remember thinking, “Hey, this isn’t so bad” before reaching the bottom. The bounce back up and following fall back down was also unexpectedly mild and not at all freaky. Talking to the bungy guys, it would appear that the higher the jump, the smoother the jump – that is, less of that pull-back jerk you get at the bottom of the cord (which kind of makes sense if you think about it).
This jump definitely served to show that my imagination is almost always worse than reality. 🙂
Fergbaker and Fergburger
I was famished after my bungy jump and I knew just the place to cure it – the famous Fergburger and its sister company, the Fergbaker. Fergburger has become quite the tourist attraction in Queenstown, with long queues and a 40 minute wait to get just about the best burger you can find anywhere. I had the classic Fergburger with swiss cheese and the portion size is huge! This was easily the biggest burger I have ever had and I enjoyed every single bite of it.
I would never have forgiven myself if I left Queenstown without first trying Fergbaker’s famous Boston Cream Donut. Holy smokes, these things are good! I made sure to get another for the road as I left Queenstown the following day. Amazing cream filled goodness – you just can’t beat it.
Jet Boating the Kawarai and Shotover Rivers
Next up post-lunch was jet boating. If you’re not familiar with jet boating, it’s a super high powered boat ride that takes you up and down a river, making 360° spins along the way. The company I went with took us on a 60 minute route which went past Lake Wakatipu, Kawarau Dam, Kawarau River and Shotover River. One rather interesting (and somewhat scary) aspect of the ride is that there are certain points when we go over water that is less than 5cm deep (that is the power of the jet boat).
Whilst I wouldn’t say that this was the best activity I’ve done in New Zealand, it was cool to see the beautiful rivers and lake scenery which I wouldn’t otherwise have gotten to see. My camera card unfortunately got corrupted, so I don’t have any photos of my trip. 🙁
Skyline Gondola and Skyline Luge
Not satisfied with my quick bird’s eye view of Queenstown from my plane ride in, I decided to take the Skyline Gondola up to get a panoramic view of the city. This is definitely worth doing as the sights from the top were pretty stunning, I mean, look at it!
I took the opportunity when I was up in the mountains to try the luge for the first time. If you don’t know what a luge ride is, it’s when you sit in a little car (no motor) and follow a downhill track with fun corners that you can take as quickly or slowly as you like. You decide how fast or slow you want to go by pulling on the handle of the car which applies a brake. It’s all good fun and a safe activity for the whole family. Just remember that one ride will not be enough, so be sure to get a multi-ride ticket! 😉
Chocolates Patagonia Ice-Cream
Passing some ultra long lines for this chocolate and ice-cream parlour, I instinctively knew I would be missing out on something huge if I didn’t try some of their ice-cream. I ended up going for the banana split and vanilla and cookies flavours, both of which tasted amazing. The good quality of the ice-cream meant that it was actually quite heavy and I was pretty full up after my double scoop. These guys have apparently won numerous awards for their ice-cream flavours so be sure to get your ice-cream fix here if you get a chance.
Lake Wakatipu Sunset
A walk was definitely in order after my killer of an ice-cream, so I headed out towards Lake Wakatipu and Queenstown Bay for a late afternoon walk. It was a rather lovely atmosphere, with groups of people sitting by the beach, drinking, eating and conversing as everyone waited for the sun to set behind the mountains. It was a prefect way to end my time in Queenstown.
Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Queenstown, I think I’ve timed it right by deciding to leave after just 2 days. There’s not much to do here apart from the numerous outdoor activities, most of which I’ve already crossed off my list. The only activity I still want to try is mountain biking, but the Queenstown Bike Park is unfortunately closed until the 9th of January (boo!). For now then, I’ll be heading further south, back to nature in the Catlins.