24 January 2011

Bungy, burgers and beauty: the wonderful Queenstown

On route to our campsite
Ah Queenstown... I really can’t praise it enough, but I will have a go anyway! We arrived in the city of extreme sports on a sunny Thursday afternoon after a picturesque drive along Lake Wakatipu and are still here five days later - our longest stop by far in any one place on our road trip.

Being in Queenstown meant one thing to James - the chance to do something crazy! A sky dive was considered, as was a canyon swing but James being James decided that if he was going to do any of the extreme sports on offer, he may as well do the most famous and scariest one - Australasia’s highest bungy jump.

The nervous wait...
We had a two-for-one voucher but after a brief attempt to persuade me, he realised he was not going to get anywhere - there was no way I was jumping off a platform 134 metres high! Rather than think it over, he went for the ‘book it straight away’ approach for the following day, giving himself no chance to back out!

On the cable car to the jump pod (Pam's white knuckles just out of shot)
We were driven up in a 4x4 truck up a narrow cliff side track (I was already refusing to look down by this point) and when we reached the top of the summit, you could smell the fear in the bus as the small group prepared for their crazy jump.

Crazy man!
We were given harnesses and taken across to the bungy pod by cable car… and then it was time to jump. I was the most nervous person there (and the only one spectating). James was playing it cool, although I reckon he definitely had the fear factor in those long minutes prior to the jump.

As they called his number, he was taken through to the ledge where he was attached to the rope. I briefly peeped my head over and saw the drop towards the river below. My hands were shaking and I could feel the tears welling up, and yet when I looked across, there was James smiling at the camera and walking calmly towards the platform. And then he did it: three, two, one… and he was off!

I watched the jump on the TV screen and was relieved when he flipped the right way around and began the ascent back to the pod… and he was still smiling!

One of Queenstown's café-lined streets
 After the eventful afternoon, I put in a request for a large glass of wine and we enjoyed an hour in the sun beside the harbour absorbing the dramatic day!

In the beautiful Botanic Gardens
Aside from the bungy, our visit to Fergburger has to get a mention. As we wandered around the town, we couldn’t help but notice the ever-present crowd around the local burger bar. Before James took part in a Sunday afternoon’s backpacker football competition, we decided that a visit to this local icon just had to be done. Let’s just say that we weren’t disappointed! It was the best burger I have ever eaten in my life. Even James agrees which is really saying something, as he has certainly devoured a fair few thousand in his lifetime!

At the holiday park: Barney sandwich!
There always seemed to be something happening in Queenstown. In the Botanic Gardens one afternoon, there was local theatre in the park, and, just a five minute walk away, a skateboard competition was in full swing. Queenstown really is such a nice place, perhaps even our favourite place we've been to so far. It has the buzz of a big city but the beauty of a small town.

Our next stop is Wanaka, via Arrowtown and the Gibbston Valley, where James is already contemplating a skydive - here we go again!


At our spectacular (and slightly more spacious) campsite just outside Queenstown


  1. Queensland sounds fab! Still got a knot in my stomach over the bungy jump - think you should quit while you are ahead! xxx

  2. Makes me queasy just to look at it! More Meg's thing than mine! We only visited the historic site where bungy jumping started - much less high! So glad you enjoyed Queenstown!


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