7th Mar 2012 - 8th Mar 2012
Headed to see the mirror reflection of Mount Cook on Lake Matheson, near the town of Fox Glacier. It was low cloud again but it was dry and had amazing views across the lake towards NZ highest mountain. We walked around getting great views for an hour (we really didn't fancy any more walking after yesterday- we have never walked as much in our lives since coming to NZ).
Had another stop, this time a qiuck walk on the beach to bid farewell to the west coast. Started heading through the mountains of Haast and beyond, the views are amazing. It does remind me of Scotland a lot too. Another stop at 'thunder creek falls' a nice 28m waterfall, played a game on the bus to shout out waterfall whenever we seen one, I got to 32.
Our scheduled stop for tonight was the town of Wanaka but as Shan won the jet boat we thought we wouldn't have time so we decided to get ourselves a shuttle bus to Queenstown. So arriving in pretty little Wanaka we had a look around, fed the ducks then got our 1 hour 15 minute bus ride through steep and twisting roads to the pretty place of Queenstown, we obviously hadn't done our homework as we both expected high rise buildings but it's a ski resort really. It's very picturesque. Our last hostel of the trip was Nomads, we could get a free dinner but it looked crap so went to a burger place next door called 'Devil Burger' and got a hostel discount, and they done chips and curry sauce, it was very exciting! Then we headed to 'below zero'- an ice bar. We got kitted out in warm jackets and stepped into the freezer. We got cocktails served in glasses made of ice, we sat on ice chairs and looked at the ice sculptures.... It was really cool!! After, we warmed up with a beer or two in some near by bars.
After a well deserved lie in we went on the 'thunder jet' jet boat that Shan had won, I got my ticket and off we went on a 750 horse powered, twin V8 engines and roared and splashed our way through NZ 3rd largest lake and into the Kawarau River doing up to 80km and 360 degree spins. It was fast and fun. Queenstown and surrounding area is beautiful. We also seen more mountains featured in LOTR. Had lunch (more chips and curry), then rested in preparation for our pant-pooing experience of the Canyon Swing...
Arrived at our destination the Canyon Swing- 109m above the Kawarau River. We got harnessed up and ready for our tandem jump. There are over 70 styles to choose from and easy to very very very scary, we opted for one of the scariest- called 'gimp boy goes to hollywood' which involved us dangling over the cliff and going upside down- face first to death... Then we we plummeted towards the ground at 150km an hour free falling 60m then going into a swing which went 200m over the river. It's the worlds highest cliff jump, and although we were nervous and scared before we both loved it, it was an amazing experience but wasn't over yet. They were doing a great deal that if you done a tandem jump you got a 2nd jump for free. So off to round 2 it was. We watched the other guys from the bus doing their jumps first whilst we decided which move we'd do next. Shannon chose to do the 'flip' which he done well, some flips some more like cartwheels. He says it's the best thing he has ever done! I went next and chose to go 'backwards' but it was so much scarier than the first time as I had to push myself off the ledge but who in their right mind wants to go against what their brain is telling them is crazy. So I hesitated and then the crazy guys who work there pushed me and off I went, the views of the cliffs and the blue river below are amazing and it's so peaceful sitting in the harness waiting to be pulled back up to normality. We had a great time it was such an awesome experience and glad we done it! Crazy, crazy idea though- jumping off a cliff and free falling through a gorge!