At night, it was still raining, so we continued our lazy day and watched 'The Kids Are Alright' at Cinema Paradiso, Wanaka's art house cinema where you can watch the movie from a sofa and enjoy freshly baked (huge) cookies during the interval.
|Every cinema should serve these!|
|At Wanaka Beerworks|
Still on a high from doing the Nevis bungy jump in Queenstown, I decided to do my first skydive with a company in Wanaka. My efforts to persuade Pam to give it a go fell on deaf ears, but she agreed to come and watch. Luckily, the rain from the previous two days had cleared and the sun was shining.
|The nervy wait before the jump...|
|On my way back to solid ground!|
When the plane was high enough that the fields below looked like match boxes, the door of the plane suddenly slid open (at this point, I really hoped the instructor who I was attached to hadn't forgotten the parachute). Before I knew it, I was hurtling through the air, woohooing my way back to the ground! With my arms held out wide, it felt like I was flying! I could feel the wind through my shoes and I had time during the 60 second free fall to look around and take in the spectacular scenery.
|Exploring the glacier|
|In one of the deep crevices on Franz Josef Glacier|
From Wanaka, we drove up the West coast to Franz Josef Glacier, where we had signed up for a full-day trek on the ice. Kitted out with our thermal jacket, walking boots, woolly hat and crampons, we definitely looked the part, though standing at the base of the glacier, we wondered if we would be able to keep up with our super-fit guide.
Thankfully, we did, and when we reached the glacier, it felt really strange to be able to walk on the ice without slipping around (though Pam still managed a couple of falls!) After a steep climb up the hard-packed ice, we explored the huge crevices. The biggest one we climbed in was called 'Blue Ice', where the walls of ice either side of us reached up to 40 metres high! Our guide told us it took a week to fill in the crevice and that chainsaws had to be used.
The day was a real highlight of our time in New Zealand, made all the better because our ticket included entry to the local hot pools where we could soothe our aching limbs!
|Franz Josef Glacier|