16.01.2007 - 19.12.2006
We flew from a cloudy Christchurch today to Queenstown. The flight was good though - over Mount Cook and the glacier lakes - really good to look down at!
Flying into Queenstown was one of the best flights we did - it was such a pretty setting for the airport in the middle of the Remarkables.
It was great to drive in Queenstown such a lovely setting along the lake side. The hostel (Discovery Lodge) was fine decent room - not the quietest hoste but decent location to everywhere.
We went for a wander down to the lakeside - such an amazing view of Mountains and lakes.
It was pizza for dinner and a few drinks before bed.
Had breakfast at Naff Cafe around the corner from the hoste - really good strawberrry milkshake l may add! We then booked our Milford Sound trip for Thursday and then booked a jetboat and funyaks trip on Dart River in Glenorchy for Friday.
We went up on the Gondola Ride up the mountainside to view Queenstown from a height - l couldnt believe the Gondola was so steep. Which l found a bit scary! There were great views from the top of the mountain side. We went for a walk up to the top to watch the kids big and small on the luge and then watch the paragliders.
It was still really lovely and sunny so we went down to the lakeside to read and lie in the sun. Dinner was at Pog Mahones Irish bar - for stonegrill prawns & scallops.
Really early start today 6.50am to catch the bus to Milford Sound.
We were haded to Milford Sound for a cruise and a stop off at Te Anau. The driver offered additional trips - one being a helicopter trip for NZ$250 - £90 - too good an opportunity to miss so we signed up for it!
A few photostops later myself, Paul & another man from Australia were aboard the helicopter - my first time! We flew over the snow capped peaks in and out of clouds toward the mountain peaks - it was simply specatular - l am usually never stuck for worlds but l could not speak - truely amazing. We landed on a glacier - in thongs - our feet were freezing! It was phenomenal - the ice blue of the glacier snow and the views simply were mind blowing.
After meeting up with the coach again and covering everyone in dust we had another stop before arriving in Milford Sound to get on our ferry. We had made a pack lunch to eat on board. I was dosed up on sea sickness tablets which luckily worked this time!
We cruised up to the Tasman sea - past Mitre Peak and seal rock it was a nice journey but after the helicopter ride it was a bit under whelming to be honest!
The bus journey back was a long 4 hours and l napped for most of the way!
We went out for Italian food - Fatz Catz that night. We gorged on the rest of the champange chocolate from Marlbourough whilst watching a moving on the telly!
Another early start this morning. We went up to the bakery for food - a big cream bun! Then to the funyak place on the main street all by 7.50am
We were bused to Gelnorchy and into wetsuits for the first hour or so jet boating. The dart river was another spectacular setting and lots of the views can be seen in LOTR. The guides were amazing blokes really funny and helpful. We got soaked a few times!
We then had to hop out and pump up our kayaks. It was then out on to the river. I think a fair assessment of our abilities on the river in the Kayaks would be DIRE! We were awful - even the american pensioners who could barely walk were better than us!
We went the opposite way which we were supposed to - causing Fletch our guide to have to run after us before we were swept away by the current! Then trying to get back enroute we capsized then Paul fell on top of me - soaked and my sunnies disappeared into the deep! It was glacier water too - looked beautiful and blue but by god it was freezing.
So in light of our crappness - l insisted we were clipped on to Fletchs kayak for the rest of the journey!
After lunch we floated down into the chasm - a wee area of the main river which was beautifully serene!
When we got back to Queenstown (shattered after our adventures) we packed for another flight back to Auckland and the start of our long flight home!
It was an Indian for dinner - quite nice!