The landscape of Queenstown on the south island of New Zealand (south of Christchurch) is much like the mountainous areas of BC and what I had expected to see in New Zealand. i also learned that New Zealand is located on two faults and has about 1000 earthquakes or tremors per month .Queenstown reminds me of Lake Louise and Banff. The town is a bit larger and attracts skiers in the winter and adventure seekers in the summer. Unlike Auckland that had hundreds of backpackers roaming the city, Queenstown has a lot of young people but they have money as all these adventures have a price tag. You can do anything here from rafting, bungy jumping, zip lining, numerous water tours and adventures, kayaking, mountain biking to dancing and partying in the evening - oh to be young again. For Lord of the Rings fans this is where it was filmed and you can also get a tour of the area where filming was done. My adventure yesterday was to ride up the mountain on the gondola. Now this may not sound too exciting but when one is attempting to conquer their fear of heights this is quite a challenge. Some of the pictures below are taken from the lookout at the top (taking pictures while hugging the building) note the palm trees on the side of the mountain I don't think we have palm trees in the Rockies. I then took another gondola to reach the area for the luge ride (what was I thinking). The ride was more like downhill soapbox derby but i managed to get to the bottom without crashing or sustaining major injuries.
I found a lovely park area in the middle of town. The entrance to the park has an archway that says Service Above Self - it is a war memorial but i thought any rotarians following my blog would appreciate this
The park had many trails plus tennis, lawn bowling club and disc golf which is very popular here. The hotel I am staying at is about a 25 minute walk up the side of a mountain. When booking, it seemed like a good idea as I would get a good walk in each day. Well after walking around town for about 5 hours I started out on the trek home up the mountain- ok today I will take the bus home.
One of the advantages of getting old is that you don't party late at night so you can get up early in the morning. So after walking DOWN the mountain and working up an appetite I found a lovely little pub on the water and I am enjoying a delicious breakfast and cappuccino while listening to great music (I am the only person here) before going on my next adventure since i have done zip lining (thanks to vernette, erica and joan) as well white water rafting with the boys in the past, today's adventure will be jet boating in the canyon. Sean and Aaron my insurance is paid up and the papers are in the security tub!