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Day 13 : Thursday 17th March 2005

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When in Queenstown....

Queenstown is renowned throughout the world as one of the great centres of adventure sports activities. Being a self-confessed scaredy-cat, I was not about to go mad and throw myself off a tall bridge attached to a bungy! But there were a few activities that had caught my eye amongst all the tourist leaflets the day before, so today wasn't going to be totally without thrill!

We started off the day with a quick brunch breakfast in Vudu Cafe, before heading up the Gondola. The gondola ride itself is one of the steepest rides I have taken. But the view from the station at the top is worth it, with magnificent views over Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables mountain range in the background. At the top of the mountain there are a number of activities, of which the most scary would seem to be the paragliding. Gondola up, paraglide down. Not the way I intended to get back to the town!

The other activity looked altogether more gentle, although still with its fair share of thrills. At the top of the mountain was a Luge track, two tracks in fact! So we had a few goes on the Luge, which involved sitting in a plastic cart with steering handle bars and a brake...and a downward sloping track in front of you! It was great fun - with a chairlift ride back up to the top to start all over again.

After this little diversion, we had booked to go Jet-boating! This is an exciting ride along the Shotover river ... through two canyons ... at 80km/h ... in a boat! The ride takes you, at speed, very close to the canyon walls and the speciality of the jet boat is the 360 degree turn, which is completed at some speed! The ride lasts about 25 mins and was pure exhilaration from start to end, I heartily recommend it to anyone coming here, although be prepared to get wet, those 360s can be fairly spectacular!

After all this excitement, we headed back to the hotel to change and freshen up. We took the long walk back into town again in the evening and visited a Thai restaurant. Unfortunately I made a very bad menu choice and really didn't like my food at all . As this was St. Patrick's Day, the town was buzzing with many people wearing the green colour of Ireland. Unfortunately all the Irish pubs were far too busy with long queues to go in, so we again went to the Loaded Hog and had a pint of Kilkenny (they don't sell Guinness unfortunately) to celebrate!


Shotover Canyon & Jet-boating