Being tame in Queenstown

Queenstown Travel Blog

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Shotover jet boat

At 9.30am I left the snoring boys to their lie-in and headed off to the Shotover Jet. This is a high-speed jet boat experience through a narrow canyon on the beautiful Shotover river. We were kitted out with splash jackets and life-jackets, clmbed into the boat and hung on tight! The jet boats have a powerful V6 engine and work by firing out a high-speed jet of water that propels and steers the boat. They only need 10cm or 4 inches of water to float so they can go in very shallow waters and very close to the bank! As we zoomed through the rocky canyon we were passing outcrops of rocks with less than half a metre to spare, narrowly whistling past them and certainly getting the adrenaline pumping. The driver would hand signal when he was about to do a 360 degree turn and we would spin round in a circle, spray flying everywhere and soaking us all.

The beautiful Shotover canyon
It was a great ride and I highly recommend it.

Back at the hostel Caroline and I felt the need for some healthy eating and we set off for some salad at a nice cafe down the road. Queenstown is only 4 roads but has some great shops, eating places, bars, plus obviously a lot of adventure toursim, what it is most well known for. The town itself is set into mountains and borders a river, and when the sun shines, which it was, it is a beautiful place. Ironically in the Aventure Capital of the World we were being quite tame, having done much of our activities in other towns, so Caroline and I agreed that money we would have spent on throwing ourselves off something should be spent on shopping! We had a great day being girls and forgetting about being on a tight budget.
The view from our hostel in Queenstown!
It was nice to do something so normal after so many thrills and spills.

We found a little shop called the Remarkable Sweet Shop which sold hundreds of traditional sweets from past times and I was amazed to see sweets I didn't even know I hadn't remembered until then. The best thing was finding Edinburgh Rock though, something I first had when I was 7 years old and have pined for for the past 20 years, waiting to do a trip to Scotland to buy some and ironically finding it on the other side of the world!

We met Paul and Sam at 4pm and headed up to the Skyline gondolier, possibly the steepest cable car in the world which takes you high above Queenstown and to the Luge; 2 cliffside tracks you hurtle down on gravity-powered go-karts. This took some clever seating on my part to keep my dignity wearing a dress, but I soon forgot any prissyness as we raced down the tracks, 2-wheeling past each other on the curves and accelerating wildly down the slopes.

View from the Luge cable car
Overall I think Sam won with her clever driving, followed by Paul with the weight adventage, followed by me with new-found determination to drive like a wild-thing, followed by a more tentative Caroline....

After changing we headed out for dinner and after a long wild goose chase ended up at a restaurant that was too expensive for our travelers budgets but we were too tired and hungry to search anymore. The food was fantastic, with chocolate chilli, vegetarian satay, honey soy chicken and drunken vodka and lime chicken. We then headed to Altitude, the backpackers bar and danced and drank like mad things to the live music. At about 1.30am when it shut we went on to World Bar where it was still rocking, and people were donating money to postate cancer research for Movember by giving money to have their heads shaved into a mowhikan! We were all so proud of Lukas for going for it, and discovered a hot, new haircut and a new side to his personality! After that it was like he was liberated, all his inhibitions and quiet side cut out with his hair and we saw a new decisive, bossy nature emerge!

At about 3.

One crazy night in Queenstown - all my favourite people
30am we realised we had to be ready to load the bus at 6.30am and made an executive group decision just to stay out all night. So we headed to Tardis, a tiny out of the way drum'n'bass club, and then later onto Barup which was packed literally to the rafters with the bar staff who had clocked off in all the venues we had visted and more. We finally left there at 5.30am and went back to pack and annoy a sleeping Paul before getting on the bus still drinking....

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Shotover jet boat
Shotover jet boat
The beautiful Shotover canyon
The beautiful Shotover canyon
The view from our hostel in Queens…
The view from our hostel in Queen…
View from the Luge cable car
View from the Luge cable car
One crazy night in Queenstown - al…
One crazy night in Queenstown - a…
photo by: genetravelling