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Published: October 19th 2010
Spot the difference!!!
It took us six hours to drive from Franz Josef to Wanaka, our final destination for the day.We had planned a few stops along the way but the weather was awful so we plouged on through over the Haast Pass and on to the Southern Lakes Region of the South Island. Not only did the weather get better the further on we travelled, the scenery did too until we hit the jackpot - we arrived in Wanaka. Situated on Lake Wanaka the views were just stunning - a tree lined lake with snow capped mountains all around us, it was just beautiful. We would never tire of looking out at this. We had found our paradise, in fact it's one of only a very few places so far that's made us go 'Wow! I could live here'.
We settled into a campsite called Aspiring Caravan Park, recently voted the best in New Zealand, and as we relaxed in the spa we took in the views around us. As the sun sunk lower and lower in the sky, eventually the last bit of daylight gave a beautiful pink haze over the mountains of Mt. Aspiring National Park.
The following day,
propping up the leaning tower of wanaka.
with the weather perfect, Ste decided to do a skydive, the last thing on his long list of must do's in NZ. With no time to spare he was packed into a tiny plane all kitted out in his jumpsuit, harness, hat and goggles with an instuctor as well as a parachute (it has proven useful to have one of these it seems).
.....'the door flies open and you are edged towards the rushing air outside. While sitting with your legs hanging out of the plane at 12000ft, looking at the earth below, all you can think of is how glad you are that you are wearing your stainless steel underwear (and that you have a spare pair in the campervan below). Then it's out the door and you are rushing towards the world below at over 200kph, screaming as loud as you can, and nobody can hear you. Not even the guy attached to your back. 45 seconds freefall feels like an eternity and is the greatest feeling ever. The adrenilin rush is immence and when the shoot is pulled, you try to catch your breath. Then the scenery hits home and you just enjoy the spectacular views
Me at the top of the gondola with Queenstown below.
below. You land safely and go change your shorts......
Still shaking with adrenelin we made our way to the Wanaka Puzzle World. Here we had a fun few hours trying to get ourselves into and then out of a very complicated maze before wandering through a few rooms with some very cool illusions, some very confusing. After puzzle world we took a short hours walk up Mt.Iron which gave us some spectacular views of Lake Wanaka. We ended our day by relaxing in the spa- again (This time cracking open a bottle of wine).
Not ones to sit around doing nothing, the next day we made our way to 'have-a-shot'. This is an activity centre focused on golf, cropool and a shooting range. Here we had a crazy game of mini golf and played a game of cropool (Playing pool on a giant pool table and using crochet mallets to pot the balls). After lunch we rented kayaks and got out onto the lake. We had a lesiurely hour paddling on the lake. This was topped off by relaxing in a lakeside bar in the sun, me with a giant hot chocolate and ste with a giant beer-
Ste sporting a wonderful pink parachute!
The very next day it was onwards to Queenstown, via a shortcut from Wanaka over the Crown Ranges (A far better route with some beautiful views of the valley below us). We only spent one night in Queenstown, weather was changing and Milford was calling. We has also done most of our thrill seeking activities else where in NZ. So we made time to go up the gondola and did a spot of luging which is always fun! We also had a few drinks (a must in Queenstown) and we made a stop at the almighty ferg burger establishment which had a burger so big I was exhausted half way through and needed to call in backup - (A-Team music) enter 'The Ste'!
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