Queenstown & the Deep South


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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Stewart Island » Oban
April 1st 2018
Published: April 6th 2018
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After my adrenaline overdose, it was time to do some less intense activities. In Queenstown, the party capital of New Zealand, that started with a pub crawl. The highlight of that evening was the ice bar: everything was made of ice, including the glasses (gloves were a must) and they had the most amazing ice sculptures.

After a nice sleep in, I met Bianca to take the Gondola up one of the mountains that surround Queenstown. After enjoying a tasty lunch with a view, Mira joined us and we went to ride the luge karts. They are karts without engines so we got our speed from going downhill: so much fun (had to do something that would give me at least a small adrenaline rush to prevent withdrawal symptoms)!

After Queenstown, it was time to go to the “deep south" as people called it. First activity was a cruise through Milford Sound; a fiord that was created by a massage glacier, leaving a river surrounded by massive rock walls, some of which would go straight up for 1,7 kilometres. It was gorgeous, but terrible windy. So windy, in fact, that the poncho I had bought against the rain was ripped straight off me within minutes (got my money back, yay)!

After a night in Gunn’s Camp (middle of nowhere; no cellphone reception, limited amount of electricity), it was time to go to Stewart Island. This island is known for its beautiful scenery and its population of kiwi birds, and it didn't disappoint. During the hikes, most of the time it felt like we were alone in the world, instead of just a few hours away from the nearest village. After one failed attempt, I managed to spot a kiwi on my second night! It seemed unfazed by my presence, continuing its search for food as if I weren’t there. They are so cute! Unfortunately, as they are nocturnal, I couldn’t take a picture of the kiwi (it was dark and I did not want to scare it with a flash).

The ferry back to the mainland was awful. It seemed fun, at first, going up and falling down with all the big waves. However, there’s a reason that rollercoasters tend to last about a minute: it becomes less fun the longer it takes. There were people lying on the floor, hanging over sick bags with green faces, shaking... I was lucky enough to not be among them, but I was very happy to be back on land.

Back in queenstown, I couldn’t resist the urge to do something crazy again. I started off easy, by going paragliding! It was magical to fly over the mountains, being able to steer the paraglide myself (my instructor let me fly for a while). It felt peaceful rather than thrilling. However, near the end my instructor took over again and did some cool swings and tricks, which were “adrenaline-junkie-approved”.

Later, I met up with Lauren (we met in Australia) to jump off a 160m high cliff! Or well, a platform, actually, and we were attached to a massive swing; they claim it would go over 125 km/h! Well, it certainly felt like that. It started with a 70 meter freefall, oh and did I mention that we chose to do it backwards? We were basically falling into a canyon, backwards and for a while eve upside down... the feeling is undescribable but I would definitely recommend it! Afterwards we felt that we deserved one of the famous fergburgers, they are so good indeed!

That's enough adrenaline for a while, it is time to make my way up to the North Island!


Additional photos below
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Couple of waterfalls in Milford SoundCouple of waterfalls in Milford Sound
Couple of waterfalls in Milford Sound

Most of the waterfalls were temporary due to the rain
My attempt at fotographing a kiwi My attempt at fotographing a kiwi
My attempt at fotographing a kiwi

The flash is red to prevent scaring the kiwi off, but obviously that didn't work well for the picture


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