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Published: August 26th 2008
Well its our second week in NZ and I’ve already got a cold, both of our skin is really dry thanks to the cold winds and it’s raining so we can’t see the beautiful views but hey we’re in NZ what have we got to complain about?!
We had planned to leave the glacier and visit Lake Matheson where you usually get an amazing reflection of Mount Cook (NZ’s biggest mountain), but due to the cloud and rain today you wouldn’t see a thing! Instead we drove straight to Haast for a quick stopover before carrying on the next day to Wanaka where a lot of the Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed due to the variety of landscapes on offer. The amount of wildlife you can see in NZ is amazing and on every road journey so far we’ve seen a few birds of prey flying around above us (this may have something to do with the large amount of road kill but who knows?). Through Haast Pass to Wanaka the scenery was still really stunning and there were small waterfalls coming out of the hills around us and snow covered islands in the dark blue rivers; on a nice day it would look even better. Lakes Wanaka and Hawea were also amazing and surrounded by huge mountain ranges. A lot of the appeal to NZ is its scenery and unless you see it for yourself its hard to explain just how beautiful it is, you can spend hours just looking at it; unlike Asia where travel days are dreaded in NZ you really look forward to getting on the road and seeing what the next region has to offer.
In Wanaka we camped up next to the towns rugby pitch and luckily the next day there was a match on. Nick had wanted to go and watch some rugby for a while so we wondered over at midday and watched 2 matches. During half time the kids even came on for a game of tag rugby which was really cute. We also both got a mince and cheese pie which was yummy and warmed us up, as although the sun was out the wind was still pretty chilly.
We headed off toward Queenstown the next day and just outside of Wanaka stopped at Puzzleworld. We weren’t sure whether it was just for children but decided to go in anyway. There were 2 sections: 1. The Great Maze, 2. The Illusion Rooms.
The Great Maze had 2 levels and 4 towers in each corner; the aim was to reach each corner in a particular order and then find your way to the finish gate…it was really hard! We spent about 1½hrs winding our way through the maze and across the bridges before eventually finding our way to the finish….it was quite fun though. When you exited the maze you were taken into the courtyard where the toilets were, in between the toilets they had a roman theme with the toilets all in a row. Next were the Illusion rooms which were split up into different sections. The first section was made up of different holographic 3D images that changed as you moved from side to side; our favourite was one of a clown which changed to 5 different faces as you moved from one side to the other. The next room was 5 walls covered in faces which followed you around the room like the heads were actually moving (they obviously weren’t), it was pretty freaky. The next room looked like a normal room from outside but when you went in on one side you looked like a giant and on the other you looked like a dwarf (photos explain this a bit better). Lastly, there was a wonky room which made it look like you were standing slanted when you were standing straight; I think it made us both feel a bit queasy.
On our way to Queenstown we passed the Kuwarau Bridge bungy jump (the first commercial bungy jump in the world) and decided to go in and have a look at people doing it. This was a bad idea as it made us both want to do it. So we went and got some money and both bought our tickets for $165 each!! Nick went first while I went on to the viewing platform to take photos, he didn’t even hesitate and when the man shouted 5-4-3-2-1 off he jumped! As I walked up to the bungy platform I noticed I wasn’t that nervous but when I started having my legs wrapped in a towel and bound with rope and realised that was all that was keeping me from hitting the ground I got a little bit nervous. Not wanting to look like a whimpy girl I decided as soon as he counted down to 1 I would jump….and I did! In the first few seconds before the rope gets tugged you forget that there’s anything holding you, it’s a really strange feeling. Once I’d stopped bouncing and had to wait for someone to come and let me down I felt like my feet were starting to slip out and by the time I’d been lowered my legs had started shaking from the adrenaline. If we had more money we would both definitely do it again!
As soon as we arrived in Queenstown we went to book a ski trip and found that the prices had just gone up $90! We still booked a 3 day 2 night package which included ski pass, accommodation, shuttle buses, equipment, clothing, night skiing and tubing for £380 for us both. We don’t go skiing until Thursday so we’re currently relaxing in Queenstown and have met up with a friend from Thailand who is living here at the moment. Its quite a nice city with lots to do although it is a little bit pricey.
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