Sunday, March 16, 2014

What do gondolas, luges, lake cruises and a plane have in common?

Not much really except that we went on all of those things during the last 2 days of our brief little jaunt down the line. So yes, the last 2 days of our Queenstown holiday was a "touristy" type affair. It was a cold morning with low hanging cloud when we made our way to the Skyline gondola.

Jef and Rob were doing the Bike Park, and Phillippa and I with the kids in tow went up to see the sights, and get some luge action.

That low hanging cloud was persistant.

So Kien and I definitely got some luge action. It was way way fun!

Taking the lifts back up was nearly as much fun as going down.

Unfortunately the luge was for persons 2 years and over, so this time Phillippa and little Emily couldn't partake. Jef took a photo of them partaking in exploring the surrounds instead.

Then it was a cuddle for Daddy so he could go down the bike park again.

Kien and I hung around up here for quite a while. Kien would pose and I would take photos of him and the scenery.

I love these types of signs telling us how far away we are to places.

Then we tried to race Jef down - him on his bike and us in the gondola.

Hi Daddy. Good to see you! We won, right?

In the late afternoon we went to the Kiwi Birdlife Park so we could see these creatures getting fed. That was fun but for obvious reasons I have no photos to show you. There were also a bunch of other native birds we saw, most of which were very beautiful, and I took a few photos but it made me sad to see pictures of wild birds in cages so I haven't even processed them.

We made our way to the waterfront for dinner. One thing we've noticed recently is how he's taken an interest in colouring in. So it's great that restaurant we go to have this available, and he happily sits there and scribbles for all of 5 minutes.


The following day was our last in Queenstown, and it was overcast and foggy. After dropping our rental car off we went back to the waterfront and the next available cruise on the lake.

Kien insisted on being inside, and then he got restless. So we quietened him down with some electronics.

We hadn't realised that the cruise we took, called "Million Dollar Cruise" was not referring to million dollar views of the wilder side of Queenstown, but rather the expensive waterfront homes. It was fun nonetheless as the captain/entertainer told us some interesting facts about Queenstown, so it was relatively educational.


Our flight home - I've ticked something else off my list of "must do in my lifetime" - I was fortunate enough to be able to catch a ride in the cockpit right behind the captain. Here he is doing the overhead transmission to the rest of the passengers on the plane.

"This is the captain speaking..."

It was such an amazing experience. As we flew over regions he would point them out and tell me some facts. Besides the take off and landing, the other highlight was flying over Golden Bay and seeing the sandspit, then looking to the right and seeing Wellington, then seeing Mt Egmont and New Plymouth ahead of us. It was breathtaking.

We had an awesome landing. I loved how the runway was right in front of us and then next minute we were down on it.

Wow-wee, we were only away for 5 days but it felt like a true holiday, and I feel so rejuvenated and enthusiastic - so much so that I've booked us in to go back to Queenstown for the winter festival in June!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Passing through Wanaka

On Saturday we dropped Jeff and Rob off for the Motatapu Speight's Summit 47km high country mountain bike event. The race started at Glendhu Bay on the shore of Lake Wanaka, near the Wanaka township, and finished in Arrowtown. We set out fairly early and it was a beautiful drive from Queenstown to Wanaka, but unfortunately I wasn't able to get out and take any pictures since the boys wanted to make sure they were not late for registration. We made it in plenty of time.

We were there to see the start of the triathlon. It's amazing how a flock of swimmers can make quite a decent amount of sound as they all dive into the water jostling for positions.

We finally said goodbye to the guys and wished them well for their ride. "See ya both at the other end, whatever time that may be".

The rest of us headed to Puzzling World, and it was a heck of a lot of fun. We spent a lot of time in the illusion rooms.

Tilted at an angle of 15 degrees my brain was working hard the entire time we were in here. Pool balls and sliding chairs that rolled upwards - I asked Kien what direction he thinks they will go and was flabbergasted to see the objects moving in the opposite direction.

Kien was fascinated with the plasma globe and the effects of his hands as a conductor.

We went through the maze and made it to 3 out of 4 coloured stations, but by this stage it was getting late and the younger kids needed a nap. We headed to Arrowtown via Cromwell way, and stopped briefly along the way.

I'm proud of Jef for doing the event. He came 9th in his division, and considering he hasn't done any serious riding since Kien was born he did exceptionally well.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Point and shoot

I keep forgetting just how beautiful NZ is, especially the south island. The terrain is quite different to that of the north - it’s mountainous, wild and rugged - and the lakes; so still and clear. Seriously, if you point your camera anywhere and shoot you will get a perfect scenery shot. Queenstown is a fantastic place to visit, as evidenced by the number of tourists passing through this area on any given day.

On Friday morning after we picked up our rental vehicle we took a drive up to Coronet Peak looking for some snow. Yeah, no. There is no snow at this time of year, although you can see some on the higher mountain peaks.

It was a bit of a hazy day, but there was a slight breeze, and that was good enough for the paragliders to take off. It all happens so quickly. We saw them set up, and within 10-15 minutes they had taken off and all was quiet.

We then went for a drive to Arrowtown, but then Kien fell asleep so we did a ticky tour back to Queenstown. We stopped at some nice spots, and we did a bit of off-roading as well.

We drove out heading toward Sunshine Bay. We ended up stopping at Wilson Bay. It was such a beautiful spot; a perfect place to skim stones and wade in the freezing water.

We came back to Queenstown township and went down to the underwater observatory. It was interesting to see the creatures lurking right under the pier not so far from shore, and although I thought it was a bit pricey we all enjoyed the experience. Kien loved feeding the fish from the dispensing machine and seeing the scaups dive deep to get the food. The salmon and trout were massive - I was wishing they were on my stove top being cooked for our dinner.

That was day two sorted.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...