After several days of flying and a trip to the Tasman Sea, we have a
day to kick back and do whatever we want to do in Queenstown.
Most likely, wandering around eating and shopping.
So today we had nothing in particular planned, other than to check out
Queenstown and do some souvenir shopping. Jen had scoped things
out before we arrived and found out that there is a recreation facility
on top of one of the mountains in town where you can go Luge-ing, Bungy
jumping, and Para-sailing. And the view should be
incredible. So Jen and I decided to do that, while Mom was doing
We took the gondola ride up to the summit - here's what it looks like
during the ascent.
The Bungy platform is just attached to the building. Shucks, but
it didn't open until 4....
It's true - the view of the Queenstown area, and Lake Wakatipu in
particular, are absolutely stunning. Here's the view from above
the luge tracks:
From the same area, looking to the east, here is most of the tourist
area of Queenstown with the luge lift in the foreground.
A better shot of the mountains to the southeast. What more can I
say - stunning barely describes the scene.
A pretty good shot (if I do say so myself) of the southern part of Lake
Looking into Lake Wakatipu - it doesn't come out great in the small
photo, but the water color is so blue, and so clear, that there are
these amazing shades of color as you look into it.
A wide-angle shot of the downtown area. It looks pretty similar
to the shot from the Ministry of Tourism on the 9/6 page.
While we were up there, several people paid the $189NZ to go tandem
parasailing. Looks intense, but everyone appeared to enjoy
Yes, we did the Luge, though no one was there to document our journey
into the Xtreme Sportz. We rock.
After the trip up top, we hooked back up with Mom and showed that we
survived the experience. We spent some time enjoying the nice
weather (about 52 degrees) and watching the people and the ducks.
Yes, that appears to be a regular mallard duck hanging out
Some more shopping and wandering ensued. We ended up in the wharf
area by the lake as we were getting ready for dinner. You can see
in the pic how the town has gotten pretty built up on the hillside and
physical space is at a premium.
Before dinner, Jen went and checked out a bar where the entire bar is
made of ICE - and the whole place is at 5 degrees below zero
(celcius). The glasses are made of ice, and you wear special
garments to keep warm. She can provide more info on that.
Dinner was at a local Tapas restaurant called Brazz. Good food -
Mom had a skewered shrimp item while Jen and I had small flat-crust
Tomorrow we're off to Christchurch.
Updates since our return home
We received several questions about the bar made of ice. Here's
what Jen has to say:
"It was based on a
hotel in Sweden where all the walls were put together with large bricks
of ice. Everything in there was made of ice, including the bar,
chairs, cups, tables, benches, etc. and they dress you up like an
eskimo to go in, with two pairs of gloves, ugg boots, and a big ass
wooly jacket with a hood even though the Fahrenheit equivalent to minus
5 is only 24."
Here's some info off a postcard from the bar, which is called "Minus 5"
. The brown things in the
foreground are deer skins. Otherwise everything is ice.