Friday, April 22, 2011

Christchurch-Queenstown

Good Friday

Another early morning with crisp, clear weather.  The holiday park is quite large with spaces for campers as well as motel units and dorm rooms.  After breakfast we headed out at into empty streets and we were quickly reminded it is a holiday.  Most all businesses (except tourist places) are closed until Tuesday for Easter, and Monday is Anzac Day, more on this later.  The drive from Christchurch to Queenstown is about five hours with a scheduled arrival at the bungy jump at .  This is the most scenic day so far and spectacular weather.



First stop was Lake Tekapo for pictures.  A glacial lake, the water is a pretty blue/green color.  Here we walked into the small Church of the Good Shepherd and saw the sheep dog monument.



Back in the bus and our next stop was for lunch by the side of Lake Pukaki.  Bread, cheese, salami and fruit—another great picnic. 


Game of touch rugby

Unfortunately Mount Cook (12, 246 feet) was covered by clouds at the other end of the glacial lake but the rest of the Southern Alps were beautiful.  Aidan said we were among the 80-90% of people who do not get to see the mountain.  Pretty impressive range, there are 20 mountains over 10,000 feet!  As it is fall, there were lots of yellow leaves in the countryside as well as grapevines that have turned yellow with grapes ripening on the vine, like these being protected from the birds with netting.


We arrived at AJ Hackett Bungy.  Cost is $180 to jump—we had 9 brave jumpers, who all had a blast.  The bridge is built over the Kawarau River, about 130 feet above the river (like 13 stories!).  Dave was our first jumper.



They have cameras set up to take great pictures and sell the photos and a DVD if people would like to buy them.  Here are a couple taken by the bungy company--excellent camera set ups!




About a 15 minute ride into Queenstown, a super resort town of 15,000 that swells to 81,000 during the Dec-Jan (summer).  There is every kind of adventure activity imaginable here, and you can even mine for gold.  The town is at the edge of Lake Wakatipu, the country’s 3rd largest lake—it is over 1200 feet deep.  Our accommodation at Pinewood Lodge is really nice, the kids have a house to themselves with a private kitchen and dining room.  Aidan cooked our dinner--grilled hamburgers and sausages, yummy!

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