mirages of paradise

Queenstown Travel Blog

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(another old entry out of the archives)

December 16th 2004

At times life can be slow, relaxing; however, the past couple days have to be far from anything considered slow.
My journey on the Intercity bus from Christchurch to Queenstown was filled with hazy semi-concious mirages of  paradise of mountain flowers with majestic backgrounds of snow capped mountains and rolling contours. Once again the colours of NZ continue to broaden their horizons and shock. Queenstown, small, was nestled amongst the broad shoulders of mountains and quite litterally just ooozed an excess of thrills and adrenaline.  By Queenstown one has already grown accustomed to the very typical NZ souvenir shops and after the many information and adventure booking shops (for everything from Bungy/White Water Rafting/sky diving/para-gliding/scenic flights.....), after the cafes there is nothing left but a nice view and a waterfront packed with hostels.
I have been meeting a few of my internet friends, which proves to be rather fun in itself.  I went White Water Rafting on Monday in the Shotover River of Queenstown.  The ride through the Shotover Canyon proved to be more death defying than the actuall rafting, however, the whole experience was absolutely captivating. I went with two good friends, a professional photographer from California and a local Kiwi student of Dunedin.

Even though I was expecting alot more in the almost drowning department it was well worth the money and was an experience I won't forget.  The water was cold however the multiple layers of wetsuit and waterproof clothes kept us warm.  A few Japanese fell to the mercy of the river and  had to be thrown a rope in attempts to get them back.  No rafts tipped, which I was mildly disapointed in. It is pretty exciting to hit the rapids, to only see white water and rocks jutting out of the river.  There were 8 people in each raft and it was our guides first time guiding on the river. I could go on forever about the rafting trip, however I don't have that much time on the net, so I must move on.

Left Queenstown on Tuesday with Dara and Rachel in a rental car to Fox Glacier.  We stopped at Wanaka to do some hiking, which ended up being the most amazing picture perfect little town surronded by the most brilliant of blue lakes and a wonderful mountain chain that just wrapped itself around the town as if hugging it. Now this entire time Dara was letting me use her Canon back up.... with a 15 mm fisheye lens and I felt once again like a kid in a candy store.  Wow.... it felt so nice to once again hear the snap of the shutter and I was even more thrilled at the prospects of using a fish eye for the very first time.  Dara's webpage is :


We arrived at Fox Glacier late on Tuesday and were lucky enough to get a good hostel for a good price.

Fox Glacier was amazing.  Nothing like the Geography trip of Grade 12 I find.... but still amazing.  Dara and I did not get to really get ontop of the glacier because of a lack of crampons and the lack of will to pay for a guided tour.


We managed to get some awesome photos, which I hope to forward at a latter date, and got to climb a good ways up and past the terminal moraine.  The transition in landscape from Queenstown to the West Alps was beautiful.  From a lack of trees to an abundance of temperate rainforest that looks to be out of some Lord of the Rings (most likely because it was in Lord of the Rings) and the ocean .... just the most amazing sites you will ever see.

I was dropped off at Franz Joseph on the 15th..... and here I am at present.  I am awaiting my starting date as a waiter I believe.  There is a local pop. of about 200 here but there are about 2000 tourist that come through this town daily.  I am going to love it here.  There is just the mere basics along with everything outdoors you could possibly want. I will be paying 75 dollars a week (NZ) for 3 meals a day and accomadation.  Ontop of that I will be paid my 11 dollars an hour.  3 free meals a day! Anyone who knows me, this is a feature that I can't stop smiling about. Since I will be working here, free guides of the glaciers and major discounts on the sky diving/white water rafting/horse trekking .... awww I am in a paradise for now.  I will be here for 3 months.... which should be followed by some more interesting prospectives that I will be keeping to myself for the present time.

I hope everyone enjoys there Christmas holidays.... I will most likely be working through the holidays, and in all reality I can't seem to put myself in the festive mood without the snow and christmas lights.  I wish everyone a merry christmas with lots of love.

TXWildflower says:
Enjoyed reading about your time in paradise
Posted on: Jul 06, 2008
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