New Zealand. 2011.

Queenstown – Omarama – Lake Tekapo – Geraldine – Ashburton – Christchurch

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I thought, in the blog world, it was about time to venture overseas. During July of 2011 I decided to go on my first overseas skiing trip and chose New Zealand as my preferred destination. Being economically respectably and with ease of travel it made it the perfect place. In fact it cost a similar amount to spend two weeks in NZ (including flights) as it did to spend one week at Mount Buller in my home state of Victoria.

Problem A became apparent the minute we touched down. It was balmy, warm and quite pleasant. As such, our two-week stay involved no skiing, as there was a significant shortage of snow. In fact, it was the latest start to the season they had had in 10 years. Lucky us. We very quickly put our disappointment to one side and very easily found other activities to occupy us.

Of course, there are the classic activities for sight seeing, go-karting, skydiving and as we are all well aware Queenstown is known as the adventure capital of the world. I can testify to this fact. Here are a few of the activities that I found to be the perfect amount of extreme.

BUNGEE JUMPING

It was in Queenstown that AJ Hackett pioneered the adventurous activity known as Bungee or Bungee Jumping. In celebration of that fact we decided to have a go at the oldest bungee jump, in existence since 1988: the Kawarau Bridge Bungee. It is a 43-meter free fall above a beautiful cascading white water river. In all a terrifyingly fantastic and exhilarating experience. Something I hope to repeat at some point in my life!

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ARROWTOWN

This was more of a historic adventure than anything else. This is one of the original gold mining towns around the Queenstown area. This town offers a trip into the past on the banks of the Arrow River. It is a small, and still largely in its original form with a fantastic pub and a sophisticated culture. There is of course a museum and activities such as gold panning. It also has a small section of the town left in its original state where you can see what it was like to live as a Chinese gold-miner during the 1860s.

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BUS TRIP TO CHRISTCHURCH

Although predominantly a long 8 hour drive in a bus, this trip was memorable for the spectacular scenery. It is where most of my photography was done. The bus travels through the towns of Geraldine, Omarama, Ashburton and Tekapo and provides misty mountains and luminous lakes on both sides. Let’s not forget the memorable locals who travel the roads with Mountain Goats in the back of their trucks.

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Although I’m yet to do it (its on my list!), I definitely think it is worth travelling every corner of this beautiful nation. It was also a great way to begin my overseas adventures.

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