Unreal Scenery and the Ultimate Adrenaline Rush

Franz Josef > Wanaka > Queenstown

8/9 Feb

Done some beautiful hikes in Wanaka. One lead us to a stunning mirror lake that created the most perfect reflection. Another hike was on a day that I had so much energy it was overwhelming. Josh was convinced that I had taken a short cut, but I hadn’t, just bossed it.

Unfortunately my energy faded away after only 3 hours sleep last night due to dinosaur snoring. Ah, hostel life.

Cranky Liv’s mood picked up though with a honeycomb Magnum. Definitely recommend.

A few more restless nights sleep lead me to start missing the comforts of home. I don’t want to go as far as saying I’m homesick… But my own bed would be nice. And a decent cup of tea. And maybe a cuddle? No, it’s not that bad. Let’s toughen up. All I need to do is step outside and be blown away by the turquoise lakes and mountains so perfect, they look like a film set. My photos aren’t edited I promise. This is real life! I soon forget about my crazy craving for a Yorkshire brew. I didn’t forget about Mummy Mulligan and Papa M though – gave them a little Skype. Top tip: if your hostel doesn’t have wifi, go chill out in another hostel and use theirs. Us travellers all look the same.

As I say goodbye to the beautiful Wanaka (a tiny town with an après ski kinda feel), we make the journey to Queenstown. We had heard great things about Queenstown, so our expectations were high…

10 – 13 Feb

QT did not disappoint. It was better than I imagined. It’s a place that anyone could fall in love with. It’s insanely good if you wanna do extreme sports / hike / party & get smashed / relax & sunbathe by the lake… There’s something for everyone.

It was so good, the fact I was sharing a room with a couple of crack-heads didn’t put a downer on the experience. Instead it makes me smile and think – oh Queenstown, you crazy, crazy place. Angela & Martin stumble in at 4 in the morning, acting barely human. Angela comes in naked and then starts crying. Martin, after dancing around the room like a gorilla, eyes bulging, can’t be arsed with Angela’s sobbing and so clambers onto the top bunk and puts his headphones in, his music on full blast. When we all woke up that morning, we had to discuss – did that even happen? Yes. Yes it did.

Crack-heads aside, I had my own crazy experience bungy jumping. I had signed up to do the Nevis (biggest drop in Australasia at 134m). My stomach was doing acrobatics just thinking about it. I was SO excited and SO scared. I’d run it over in my head, trying to imagine the feeling of jumping off. My heart would start to race. I love that feeling.

***

Today’s the day. Filled up with toast n’jam. Had about 10 nervous pee trips and then was ready to sign in. I was going with the awesome Georgia and Brit – also on the Kiwi experience.

Breathe. Breathe. I handed over my pass, then did the medical questionnaire: all ok. The final thing before getting on the bus was hopping on the scales…

“I’m really sorry but you’re not heavy enough.”

“Ha. You’re kidding right?”

“No. I’m really sorry.”

“Are you joking?” I had to ask again. I couldn’t believe it. My whole chest sank and felt deflated. I was gutted. All the build up – for nothing. Then my thoughts changed. Shit! The $250 is non refundable! Luckily, I got it back. And although I couldn’t do the Nevis, I could do the bridge bungy or the ledge freestyle bungy. I was drawn to the freestyle one because it has the highest jump off point – a mighty 400m! It’s a real shame about Nevis, but I guess I can’t regret not doing it because unfortunately, the weight restrictions are beyond my control.

***

LET’S GO. Got some free stuff too because my Nevis disappointment face worked a charm (free Gondola trip, free photos and free spectator trip for Nevis). Because of the whole Chinese New Year malarkey, the gondola queue was MASSIVE. Disaster! I wasn’t going to make it in time. However, I explained the situation to one of the security people, tried to look adorable and got escorted to front of queue. From what started out as a very disappointing day, things were going ever so well! Let’s hope death / paralysis by bungy doesn’t put a dampener on this sunny Thursday.

As soon as I arrived at the ledge I was pumped. Fear vanished and I just wanted to jump. I couldn’t wait to feel the rush. Because it was freestyle, I decided to sprint off and dive. THREE, TWO, ONE, BUNGY!

What a feeling. When you release your feet from the edge, it feels like everything goes in slow motion. Your stomach rises, and as you fall, nothing else matters. Your body is in shock but you feel invincible. It uses up more emotions than sky-diving. Don’t get me wrong, tandem sky-diving is great, but in my opinion, it’s not scary, just epic good fun. With a bungy it’s all you – it’s all in your head. YOU have to jump. Therefore the feeling afterwards of accomplishment is much higher.

Anyone who is thinking about doing a bungy… Do it.

Seriously do it.

Quote from Queenstown (from Annie): “I’m scared that when I go back home, I’ll never be this happy again.”

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