DAY 9: INDULGE IN WATER SPORTS AND OTHER ACTIVITIESThere are a number of water sports activities that you can indulge in on Lake Wakatipu and few other touristy activities like penguin reserves, in Queenstown. From getting ice creams and standing in queue from the best burgers to jet skiing and paragliding the day went by just being around in town on a fine sunny day.
Kawarau Bridge Bungy - AJ Hackett Bungy
Queenstown offers you an abundance of Bungy Jumping opportunities for whatever thrill or scene that suits your fancy. The most famous is the Kawarau Bridge Bungy that is just outside of the town. This is the location where in 1998, AJ Hackett and Henry van Asch launched the World’s first Bungy Jump. It became an international sensation and took the World by storm. Today the sport in internationally recognize and extreme and the best place to partake in it is right here in Queenstown. They offer 3 different sites to give it a try ranging from 40m to 134m.
DAY 4: EXPLORE TOWN AND WINERIESWanaka is a charming little town built around the beds of the spectacular Lake Wanaka.This day we walked around touring the town, trying out restaurants and explored a couple to wineries in the area. Later spent the evening indoors with a bottle of delicious riesling from one of the vineyards.
We woke up the next day and got prepared for the Heli Hiking at Franz Josef. After having a delicious breakfast cooked by our host, we bid good bye to Hokitika and drove towards the glacier. It was drizzling and that enhanced the picturesque beauty of the place. Low clouds, high mountains, greenery all around, and roads that seemed to have led to infinity. All this happiness turned into a sad expression when we got a call that the Heli Hiking was cancelled due to bad weather conditions. Well, that was a moment where I really didn’t know how to react. Whether to be happy about the mesmerizing beauty all around or to be sad about the cancellation. Well, then we realized that New Zealand is a place of innumerable activities. We headed directly towards Queenstown and decided to go for one of the most daring adventures, bungee jumping. It was the first time that we were planning for a bungee, and I had a wish to touch the water. So, the only option for that was the Kawarau Bungy at Queentown. We registered and waited for our turn. It was Samir who took the first plunge and looking at him I felt it would be a cake walk for me. Then came my turn. I was harnessed and completed the safety check. It was my turn for the jump. For few seconds, I had no idea what was I blabbering (I heard all those blabber in the recorded video) and I asked the crew to push me. He did so. The next moment I was there screaming and enjoying the jump. That was an experience!
Heart-thumping adrenaline rush awaits you at 134 metres above the Nevis River, only 45km from Queenstown. It's thrilling and is sure to leave you will memories of a lifetime. The drive from Queenstown to the bungy site is a 45 minutes long sightseeing tour in itself.Other bungee sites around the country are the Auckland Harbour Bridge, Toupo Bungy near Huka Falls and the bungy site near Waikato River.
Gibbston Valley Winery
DAY 8: EXPLORE OUTSIDE TOWN AND WINERIESThis day we planned our day around visiting as many wineries as we could. The out of this world drive along side the never ending Lake Wakatipu was my favourite part of the day. The stunning vineyards with spectacular view overlooking lakes, mountains and the delicious wines confirmed that we were in our happy place. It was Pinot Noir season, we sampled some with beautiful flavours and bought bottles from the vineyards we really liked.After stopping at cherry fields, sampling and buying a bunch we also spotted a sign to view lavender flowers carpeting the fields in soothing purple on our way back to Queenstown.
Shotover Canyon Swing
These guys are crazy. Since I had bungy jumped forward, they thought I should go off the Canyon Swing backward. Unlike bungy, where they tie your ankles, in the Canyon Swing, you're in a climbing type harness to keep you safe. Whereas the AJ Hackett folks tell you how safe bungy jumping is as they bind your ankles, these guys put the feat of God in you. Just when you think you're ready to go, they pull you back in. I asked if they wanted to know where I'd like to hit the water, because I'd told the AJ Hackett people I'd like to hit at boob level. They said: "Oh, you're supposed to stop about 100 feet above the water, so if you touch the water, something has gone horribly wrong." I immediately said: "I don't need to touch the water."
The Heritage Resort
We reached here tired, hungry, and totally drained of energy after 5 hours of driving, exploring in the hot sun, and full of dust. The Resort was like an Oasis in the desert. It is situated at the backdrop of the Badami caves, away from the hustle- bustle, green and very welcoming. We freshened up and settled for the South Indian thali which cost INR 90. The food was good.
The next day, we explored the whole city. It’s a small beautiful place where you get the best of city life. You look around and you get to see mountains and lakes. That again inspired us to go for another activity. We thought of speed boat ride and chose Shotover River and I think it was one of the good decisions that we took. The bus ride from the pickup point to the base was one hell of a ride. It requires years of training to drive on a wet muddy road wide enough to fit one bus plus when the visibility is less. The Shotover jet ride was very thrilling, especially the 360 degrees turn.We didn’t had much to do that day and headed towards our Airbnb. As informed earlier by our host, we were greeted by their dog Joe, who welcomed us much like the way a human would welcome somebody. We then met the cats KK and Coco. We had a good time with them and after few hours the host arrived and we had a good chat over coffee.
AJ Hackett Bungy Ledge Bungy and Swing
AJ Hackett and Henry Van came up with the first bungy jumping operation in Queenstown in 1980. Since then this stunning city has become a hub for commercial bungy jumping, attracting visitors from all across the globe. Ledge Bungy at Queenstown is the best pick for your first free fall adventure when in New Zealand. And the best part is, it's even open at night!
Skyline Gondola Base
Walk to the Skyline Gondola (which is a cablecar, not a Venetian boat) to head up the hill for a stunning view of the lake and the town. Once you've had your fill of the mesmerizing view, you could while away time lunging down the hill (trust me, it's addictive!) or bungee-ing into the forest below. 'Central Queenstown' is a short walk away. Walk around the lakefront or take the popular Catamaran cruise. And do not miss out on this lovely little place called Fergberger that serves the best burgers in town.
Bespoke Kitchen is essentially a vegetarian/vegan cafe serving the most epic breakfast/brunch in Queenstown. The design of the cafe is modern to the core and like most other 'hipster' establishments, it offers free WiFi.All hotel prices are approximate and on a per day basis. They were last updated on April 12th, 2016.Have you been to New Zealand recently? Share your itineraries, reviews and photos with 20 million travellers on Tripoto.
Wine Tastes - New Zealand Wine Experience
Queenstown is located in the area called Otago Central. This area is well known for it’s wine production and a short drive outside of the city will find you in the heart of wine country. You will find the beautiful vineyards are hard to miss and a great way to spend the afternoon. There are a couple options for checking out the wine areas, either by renting a car or joining a wine tour. Most of the wineries offer wine tasting during the day so don’t be shy, set off on your own and make some stops. Their tastings include their full line up for a small fee and an opportunity to grow your palette.
Arrowtown-Lake Hayes Road
2. Cycling Trails/ Heritage walk: Once you get down from your bus or car, go to the lakes district museum which is also an I- centre from where you can get the map for walk. You can also hire bi-cycle to drive on the guided cycling trails or just simply Stroll the river front of Arrow. The beauty of Arrowtown is captivating and you cant get over its spell for many days.3. Chinese settlement: The Chinese people came to #Arrowtown during gold rush in 1860’s and build their own settlement. The present settlement has been actually restored and is now a tourist attraction. The huts are constructed with mud bricks, corrugated iron and mortared stone. It has become a historic place that reminds us about the sacrifices Chinese made during gold rush.4. Jade & Opal Factory: It’s the only regional jade factory where you can see the traditional local jewellery and get mesmerized with the large collection of jade, pearls, opal and Paua. The shop is situtated in the centre of Buckingham street.
AJ Hackett Bungy
DAY 10: ADVENTURE SPORTS AND WINERIESThe famous Hackett bungee jumping, sky diving, gondola rides disclosing amazing view of the town. Also, indulge in advanced three wheeled luge cart rides which just might be the most scenic luge track in the world.We of course ended the day with more wine tasting with cheese platters in Rippon Valley.