7 April 2012

JUMP! [Queenstown pt. II, New Zealand]

After Milford we drove back to Queenstown, again to stay with Jamie and Maree. It was so handy having relatives living in Queenstown! It meant we could base ourselves there, then go off and do little side trips, but always have a comfy bed to come back to.

One short trip we did was to drive in to Skipper Canyon. The ride in is kinda scary; a narrow, winding dirt road. On one side a massive cliff face and on the other a huge drop off into the bottom of the valley. But the view is pretty stunning, and being the extremely skilled driver I am; it was not a problem. We drove past the Skippers Jebtboat again and watched it roar up and down the river. If it wasn't so expensive I would have been keen to give it a go.

Nearing the camp ground there is an old wooden bridge that crosses the canyon. It was only just wide enough for us to drive the truck across, and was making all kinds of creaking sounds as we did. I was sure it was going to fall down.

Skippers was once a small mining town, and some of the buildings in the area have been restored. It is quite interesting to wander around and look at the old photos. There are a few ruins of old buildings scattered around also. But most awesome? All the wild Raspberries! We had a field day picking and eating them. We camped on a small open field and watched the sun set over the hills. The only thing we could complain about was the sandflys! They were everywhere; a huge pain in the ass.

We made it back to Queenstown before the weather turned... and it really TURNED! The day after we got back there was a massive storm and huge snow dump. You couldn't see any of the mountains surrounding Queenstown. But when the cloud cleared the mountains were all coated in a thick blanket of snow. We took a drive up Coronet peak to have a play in the snow... not so much a novelty for Julia coming from Sweden, but it was still fun. We took a whole bunch of photos of Queenstown and the surroundings - Coronet peak provides a pretty spectacular view.

We also made a trip to Mount Cook, which I will cover in the next post, but when we returned to Queenstown we decided to go skydiving! Well, Julia wanted to go and decided it was going to be my birthday present. We jumped with Nzone from 12,000 feet. It was so freakin' cool. Jumping out over Lake Wanaka and the huge mountains was really amazing. I totally recommend.

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