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Published: March 26th 2018
After a chill travel day to Westport followed by a Brewery Tour (luckily they had cider), it was time for an activity that almost makes canyoning seem boring.
When I arrived in Franz Josef, I had exactly half an hour to get ready to jump out of a plane. Yes, seriously: I was about to do a skydive! My expectations were sky-high (pun intended) and I was not disappointed. We had to dress up in the most charming jumpsuit and helmet and then boarded a very tiny plane. The view from the plane was almost already worth the money I had paid for the skydive, seeing Fox Glacier and Mount Cook rising above the clouds. When I thought we were almost there, my instructor told me we were about halfway to the jump altitude of 13.000ft
. I thought I would be absolutely terrified, but I was only scared for a couple of seconds. When I was sitting on the edge of the plane and felt that we were falling forward, I’ll admit my heart skipped a couple of beats. After those seconds, I felt like I was flying. It was an amazing feeling and I actually loved
it even more than I thought I would. I was up so high that the fear of actually hitting the ground seemed unrealistic, we were nowhere near there yet when the parachute eventually opened. Flying with the parachute was fun as well, the views were amazing, but I’d have to say that the freefall was definitely my favourite part.
A rainy day left us with no choice but to have a chill day, spend mostly in a coffee shop and our fashionable “glamping” tent (huge tent with actual beds in there). We also went to see the West Coast Wildlife Centre, where we were able to see a kiwi! It was a pretty adorable bird, I hope to see a wild one at some point! We ended the day with a short walk where we were supposed to see glow worms. They are so tiny, and it felt a bit weird to turn off all lights in the middle of a forest at night, but it was a pretty interesting sight.
I got a lot more rain in Wanaka, forcing me to rest a bit more and walk around town to some
of the shops. Fortunately, my hostel had a very cozy atmosphere which meant that most people chilled there and everyone talked to everyone. So despite the rain, I was never bored. Luckily, on my last day the sun came out and I walked around the lake to the famous Wanaka tree (which is incredibly tiny but it grows in a lake so people take pictures of it).
On the day I was going to Queenstown, I got up extra early for yet another exciting activity. This time, I would not jump out of a plane, but I would fly it
. There was a copilot next to me who could always take over, but in general I could do pretty much everything myself. He guided me through it and allowed me to do the takeoff, flying and even the landing! The views, again, were gorgeous and it felt surreal that I had the controls of the tiny airplane that was keeping us in the air. In some turns, it seemed as if the plane was almost vertical, yet we were still flying! It was a great experience and I can’t exclude the possibility that I’ll be trying
this more often.
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