Guest Blog: The Thrill Seeking Kiwis of Auckland and Queenstown

07Apr
Guest Blog: The Thrill Seeking Kiwis of Auckland and Queenstown
Here is the latest post from our guest bloggers John and Cathy, who recently returned from an epic RV adventure in New Zealand…
*
We were able to spend some time in two of New Zealand’s cities.  Auckland, the largest city, is situated on the North Island and is home to the major international airport where we landed.  The other city, Queenstown, is on the South Island.
*
The Kiwis are a thrill seeking and adventuresome people, so it is no surprise that bungee jumping, the practice of jumping off a high structure with a rubber band tied around your feet, began in New Zealand.  Why?  I’ll never understand.  But even in these two large cities, you will find people bungee jumping.
*
Flying for 12 hours, overnight (I can’t sleep on planes) and jumping right into a motorhome is not a good combination, especially when it has to be driven on the left side of the road.  We decided to spend our first day and night in a hotel, and our travel agent at Air New Zealand Vacations put us up in one of the really nice ones in Auckland.  We arrived too early to get into our room so we left our bags with the front desk and went for a coffee, called a flat white.  But more about coffee in a later post.
*
We sat in a small coffee shop across the street from the hotel, Sky City.  We were just settling into our cups when a person fell past our window…surprised we were!  Upon closer examination, the person was wearing some kind of jump suit and a harness with a long cord from somewhere near where God probably sits.  There was a young person helping the person out of the jump suit (appropriate name, jump suit) and a sign.  The sign advertised, “New Zealand’s best adventure activities.”  A “Sky Walk” and a “Sky Jump.”
*
Advertisement for jumping in Auckland
*
The Sky City hotel is named for its space needle which is a full 192 meters (630 feet high).  People can pay to either walk around the outside, or walk around the inside for free.  I’m not sure what’s wrong with walking around the inside, don’t they wash the windows?  Or, if you are more adventuresome, you can jump off the top, on a cord, and fall the 630 feet.  While we were there, they were very busy, and it was a Wednesday morning.  I can’t imagine what the weekends are like.
*
Auckland Jump from top
*
Towards the end of our vacation we found ourselves in Queenstown, on the South Island.  Queenstown is a very pretty city perched between mountains and Lake Wakatipu.  One of the more sedate things to do there is to ride the gondola nearly to the top of the mountains.  I’ve never liked heights, but the ride seemed safe enough and there were a lot of other people placing their lives in the hands of the cables that hold the gondola on track, so I agreed to go up.
*
But wait, why are there people in bike riding outfits and helmets clamping their bikes to some of the gondolas?  And what is this luge thing?  Well, the gondola took us the 1500 feet to the top of Bob’s Peak where we watched not just bungee jumping and hang gliding, but a wheeled luge that you could ride down the steepest gondola climb in the Southern Hemisphere–or you could ride your bike down.  Some people bought an “all day bike pass” which meant they could ride up on the gondola and down on their bikes all day.  I think that if someone managed to get me to do that once it would be enough.
How high the gondola
*
None of that for us, thank you.  We enjoyed the view, took pictures of our hosts, Chris, and his daughter, Ria, who was our former exchange student and her husband with the mountains, the Remarkables in the background.  We had a coffee and rode the gondola down to bottom, only to marvel at the people who were taking their lives in their hands on those bikes, luges, bungees and hang gliders.  The Kiwis are an adventuresome folk.
*
Hamish, Ria and Chris top of Gondola

*

US on top of Bob's Peak

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Official Sponsors

Sign up for our newsletter

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this podcast with your friends!