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“Which way to the bungee jumpers?” – Overheard by us, coming from an adorable 4-yr. old toe-headed Australian (say it again to yourself with the accent, this time with a high pitched kid’s voice, it’s fun)

The Drive – It was blissfully short and sweet and gorgeous as we approached Queenstown. That water that is the color of the Caribbean Ocean is actually fresh water – Lake Wakatipu. See for yourself:


Our Lodging – First, let’s explain the circumstances leading up to this…how to describe…barely legal accommodation in Queenstown. For starters, QT is pretty much the most popular destination in NZ. It is also a place where you don’t do just a little bit of anything – everything happens to the extreme – i.e. extreme height, extreme speed, extreme consumption of alcohol (more on this to follow). Last but not least, we were there over the weekend.

As you may recall, we were quite fatigued from our aquacize through Milford Sound the day before. So, we didn’t think to book ahead for accommodation in QT. We threw caution to the wind, backpacker style!!!, and waited until Saturday morning to inquire. Turned out a few other people wanted to spend the weekend in QT as well…

Time spent on phone (aka minutes lost from Nikki’s life): 47 minutes. Number of calls placed to find a vacancy: 8. Booking secured: A “twin” room, called “The Bungee Room” with bunk beds (we rock, paper, scissored for top bunk…Marin won!), $55 a night NZ dollar, which is about $40 US…for those of you who subscribe to the “you get what you pay for” religion, you’re right -- bathroom down the hall, but centered in the heart of QT. Oh wait, our room is right next door to the 24-hour kitchen and the common room, and this place is jammed to the rafters with teenage Australians and one middle-aged man/serial killer of unknown descent, well… okay… this won’t be so bad…


Saturday night: We enjoyed a lovely dinner at an awesome Thai restaurant (amaaazing green curry) and headed back like true old people to retire before 11 PM. As we came in, we were a bit distraught to discover that “the kids” – the aforementioned thrill-seeking 18-yr. old Australians – were just on their way out for the night, bottles of brew in tow. Fast forward to 3 AM: “WHERE’S MY CHOCOLATE CAKE???!!!” spouted Drunk Lass, from the common kitchen just next door, after 10 too many ciders enjoyed that evening. Nikki’s retort, spoken like a chanting monk from the bottom bunk, in a tone angrier than the one she uses when I drive too fast and careen ever so slightly off the left side of the road: “GO. TO. BED. GO. TO. BED.” They did not go to bed until the wee hours of the morning – so imagine, if you will, this scenario repeating itself over. And over. And over.

And we’ve not even addressed the layer of crumbs, sticky jam, toilet paper, cigarette ashes and unidentified backpacker funk the place was covered in when we “woke up” on Sunday morning. Lucky for you, no pictures.

Our Activities – We had a rather funny stay in Queenstown because we decided this was the time to take a break from the adventuring and just have 2 days to sit still, not drive, and enjoy a bit of town living. The town is a lovely, upscale for New Zealand mountain town – kind of like a lower-key Banff or Boulder, CO. But funny because Queenstown is the adrenaline junkie capital of the world – every 5 feet you get an offer to go bungee jumping, sky diving, off-roading, jet-boating, canyon-swinging, paragliding or any number of crazy activities for which you need to sign your life away before undertaking. It’s amazing what bored but smart people will do with a few feet of rope and some rubber. During the day everyone is jumping out of planes – it’s not uncommon to look up and see a tourist mid-flight (see below) – and at night everyone is drunk, detailed above.

Instead of all this, we enjoyed a lovely jog by the lake and a walk through the QT Gardens with our fellow elderly:



A trip up Queenstown Hill on the Skyline Gondola, thus fulfilling the extreme-height requirement:


A luge ride – didn’t quite fulfill the extreme speed requirement, but fun nonetheless:


Sunday night started out innocently enough, imbibing a few pints of NZ’s finest beer, Monteiths, at a neighborhood pub…but quickly descended into sinful debauchery: fulfilling our consumption of alcohol requirement, stumbling our way to the tourist casino and big wins at the Blackjack table!!! Unfortunately no pictures of this but it was grand, and paid for our dinner that night! This is where we got our adrenaline, and now we’re on the lookout for casinos in every city we’ll visit. Sunday night was more restful than Saturday, though Nikki did wake up with her infamous “meat sweats” from the 2-lb. burger that seemed like a fabulous idea at midnight as celebration of our big casino win high.

Did you know it was possible to hike up a glacier and then enjoy the sunset on a pristine beach in the same day? Tune in next time to hear all the deets. And yes Moms, we found MUCH nicer places to sleep. xoxo Marin & Nikki

Posted by Marbert18 00:44 Archived in New Zealand Tagged queenstown new_zealand

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