Let's go run off the side of a mountain

Queenstown Travel Blog

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Sunrise over the Remarkables

After our wet and wild morning, Lauren and I headed back to our hotel for a luxuriously hot shower and rested up to go run off the side of a mountain this afternoon.

We’re going paragliding!!!  

I was very scared of doing this a few days before, but then I spoke to someone who had done a paraglide and they told me it’s just like you are running down the side of a mountain and then you are just running in the air. I thought, “I can do that.” So, I stopped worrying.

We met our pilots at the paragliding base, and then made our way up the very steep hill to our launch place. My pilot was the very cute Thomas, I learnt on my paragliding ride that he is married, the very proud father of two children, he was born in Denmark and came to New Zealand as a young boy. He was still very cute though.

At the launch spot, the handsome Thomas strapped me into my harness, ran through what I would need to do, walk when he told me to walk, run when he told me to run, then he lifted the paraglider, told me to walk, then run and we were off.

Wow! How wonderful! You float off the side of the mountain and out over Queenstown, just floating and looking at the view... The view is magnificent. I love paragliding, I would love to do this again and highly recommend it if you ever get the chance.

And Thomas... ah...

shirlan says:
From the back yard of our accomodation we could watch the paragliders that took off from the gondola/skyline. I could hear one woman screaming!!!!!! I laughed when I heard someone yell out "If you don't like it, get off!" The other place we watched them take off from when we were out one day, was Coronet Peak.
Posted on: Dec 03, 2008
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Can you guess which one is me?

Today was a fantastic day, all thrills and spills, fun and laughter and one big adrenalin rush. First up was the ‘Shotover Trio’. We needed to be in town by 7:30am to check in for our trip which included a Jet boat ride, Helicopter ride and river rafting. While waiting outside the meeting place drinking our early morning fix of coffee, Elvis from yesterday came by, and stopped for a little chat before he headed off to work.

While waiting for the Shotover Trio, Lauren and I were expecting Magnus from yesterday to show up as he had told us he was also doing the Shotover Trio. However, he never showed. We came up with all sorts of scenarios for why he didn’t show. I think the most likely was he was too hung-over. Hey, I’ve been on a Contiki tour, I know what they’re like, but I prefer some of the other scenarios, like.

Our raft
.. he got lucky with another tourist girl, or after the Fly-by-wire, he was too scared to try anything else. It turns out there was some sort of mix up with his group and he did show up after Lauren and I had just finished the Shotover Jet and were getting ready for the rafting and helicopter ride.

The Shotover Jet was probably the most fun we had on our New Zealand trip. Lauren and I were sitting up the front with the driver; I was on the outside of the boat and Lauren in between the driver and me. We laughed the whole way. I think we were feeding off each other’s laughter, the more Lauren laughed, the more I laughed and vice versa. Goodness knows what the driver was thinking, with Lauren and me laughing our heads off next to him.

We rode up the river over rapids and through canyons, getting really close to the canyon walls and then stopping suddenly while the driver put us into a 360 spin, all the passengers screaming while water splashed all over us.

Paul the Policeman from England
  Ollie, our driver showed us the final stages of the rafting trip we will be taking. The final stages of the river raft will take us through a tunnel dug out of one of the canyon walls by an Australian.

After our Jet boat ride, we walked up to the base of the river rafting where we kitted out in our rafting gear. First up were the black wetsuit, then the red spray jacket, black booties, and yellow life jacket and helmet. We looked great! It was just the gear for a helicopter ride up the river to the starting point of our River raft. On the helicopter ride, the pilot did a few sharp turns and all onboard screamed into their headsets, so our ears were ringing when dropped by the edge of the Shotover River to wait for the second helicopter group and the rafters, guides and rafts who arrived a few minutes later in busses.

Adam, our rafting guide

After the safety and instruction demonstration, we divided into team and Lauren and I were in a team with five others and our guide, the only kiwi guide we had our whole time in Queenstown, all the other guides were mainly either Aussies or Poms (English).

Our guide, Adam was very serious about his rafting, which was great because we really picked up on all his instructions and when we looked at the other rafts, they looked like a bunch of misfits who didn’t know what they were doing. Adam was also fun and started our trip out by telling a joke about Australians, which we here in Australia have as a joke too but aimed towards the Kiwis.

The gorgeous setting of the Shotover Jet and our rafting tour
So I hit him with my favourite Kiwi joke, now I will tell you but I must ask anyone to turn away who may be offended. Ok, ready? How do New Zealanders find sheep in the long grass? ........................ Delightful. Hehehe, I always get a laugh out of that one. Adam didn’t like my joke but everyone else on the raft did. Well, he told me I had better watch my back and that I might be the first to end up in the water.

The rapids ranged from grade one to four so we had quite a ride. Some of the other rafts lost people out of them and one raft even tipped over. However, we were too good, and the only time anyone got out of the raft was when we were going through some gentle rapids and Adam invited anyone who wanted to, to have a swim. Three people jumped in the water and the rest of us helped them back into the boat, I think it was also Adams way of having us practice pulling each other into the raft, just in case anyone did fall out.

Pretty. From the meeting point for the paragliding.
The person I pulled into the raft was a policeman from England, Lauren later said I had performed a police rescue. :) There was one point where we thought we were going to go over, however the quick instruction of our guide and our quick responses saved the day.

The rafting was the best thing I did on my holiday and I can’t wait to do it again.  We got good and wet, but had the best time.

rotorhead85 says:
Keep that adrenalin coming!
Posted on: Dec 21, 2007
Jerry29 says:
Hi Elke

Brilliant blog - isn't Queenstown and Fiordland sensational!! Your pics bring back some great memories.

How do you pick the New Zealander in a shoe shop?

He's the one with an erection looking at the Ugg boots !!

Cheers
Jerry
Posted on: Dec 13, 2007
Sunrise over the Remarkables
Sunrise over the Remarkables
Can you guess which one is me?
Can you guess which one is me?
Our raft
Our raft
Paul the Policeman from England
Paul the Policeman from England
Adam, our rafting guide
Adam, our rafting guide
The gorgeous setting of the Shotov…
The gorgeous setting of the Shoto…
Pretty. From the meeting point for…
Pretty. From the meeting point fo…
A couple of Aussies who were on ou…
A couple of Aussies who were on o…
Lucy from England
Lucy from England
Shotover Jet
Shotover Jet
Shotover Jet
Shotover Jet
Sunrise over the Remarkables
Sunrise over the Remarkables
Sunrise over the Remarkables
Sunrise over the Remarkables
Starbucks, the only coffee shop op…
Starbucks, the only coffee shop o…
Yummy!
Yummy!
The Station, the meeting place for…
The Station, the meeting place fo…
Lauren browsing through her photos
Lauren browsing through her photos
Magnus
Magnus
How cute!
How cute!
Look what I found. I am going to m…
Look what I found. I am going to …
Whos shy?
Who's shy?
About to descend the mountain.
About to descend the mountain.
Somebody just jumped, you can make…
Somebody just jumped, you can mak…
Stunning view
Stunning view
This oval was our landing site for…
This oval was our landing site fo…
Pretty little hotel with a Remark…
Pretty little hotel with a 'Remar…
Queenstown Mall
Queenstown Mall
Lake Wakatipu
Lake Wakatipu
Lake Wakatipu
Lake Wakatipu
Should I state the obvious again?
Should I state the obvious again?
Queenstown Mall
Queenstown Mall
The steps to the base of the Gondo…
The steps to the base of the Gond…
NZ sheep from the Skyline gondola
NZ sheep from the Skyline gondola
NZ sheep from the Skyline gondola
NZ sheep from the Skyline gondola
The Luge chairlift, you should rid…
The Luge chairlift, you should ri…
Ahhhh...
Ahhhh...
Paraglide base
Paraglide base
What a great spot to sit and conte…
What a great spot to sit and cont…
What a great spot to sit and conte…
What a great spot to sit and cont…
What a great spot to sit and conte…
What a great spot to sit and cont…
Queenstown Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Dinner this evening was in one of the places Paul from the Fly-by-Wire recommended. Of all the places I ate in Queenstown, I would go back to Speight… read entire review
Queenstown Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Go to Licks! ... Oh, you want me to write more... ok I’ll write more. Go to Licks... NOW! Don’t wait another minute. This award winnin… read entire review
Queenstown
photo by: genetravelling