The capital of all things extreme
Queenstown Travel Blog› entry 36 of 47 › view all entries
August 20th, 2008 – by: manuel_s
I hung out with my roomies Swaantje from Germany and Elano from Brazil, had drinks, had a few awesome Fergburgers (for sure the best burgers on the southern hemisphere), and right, also had a day or 2 of flue after some of the Queenstown activities.
I went with Swaantje to check out Arrowtown, an old goldminers not too far away. It's not that big but it's quite amazing how much information they still have about the 2nd wave of Chinese miners who moved here in the 19th century. For example for each little shack on the river is recorded which miner lived there. And it's pretty apparent how tough life must have been here, just imagine yourself stuck in the middle of nowhere, living in a 2m by 1m shed, working the river for gold about 20 years, and then hoping to return home to your wife in China with your small fortune and not sinking on the way over - which seemed to have happened a lot.
It's also quite amazing to see in the museum there how shortly ago Europeans actually settled here, all the explorations and settlements seem to date from the mid 19th century.
And of course you can't have been to Queenstown, the "birthplace of bungy", and not jump off a bridge. In the meantime another group of Brazilians had arrived in the hostel so all the Portuguese speaking people (that's including me) took the car and went to Kawarau bridge, the site of the first bungy jump (if you discount the original version where tribesmen of Vanuatu island would jump of a platform with vines attached to their legs). We were all pretty excited and scared. And especially the fear didn't decrease once I stood on the little platform looking 42m down to a shallow stream with the rocks clearly visible on the bottom. Jumping off such a height feels completely counter intuitive, unnatural and just plain wrong.
And for good measure I went to do a skydive the same afternoon. That seemed a lot easier, 12000 feet is so high it doesn't really register, and anyway I was strapped to my dive instructor who pushed me out of the plane whether I wanted it or not. We jumped over Lake Wakatipu, which is probably one of the most beautiful places to jump out of an airplane.
I took a day trip to Doubtfull Sound, a huge fjord (the difference being that fjords are created by glaciers and sounds by rivers, a technicality Cook overlooked when he sailed by this huge inlet and named it) with more stunning views of mountains and tons of marine wildlife.
Remembering how overcrowded Holland is I wondered how people can actually live there, compared to this place it's like an anthill with millions of people running around in a frenzy colliding every other second. Besides the fresh air here you can actually breath without being bumped into all the time.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!