Mum and the kids in NZ – Day 6

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Some members of the group had been finding car travel on winding mountain roads less than pleasant so a day in and around Queenstown with minimal driving was welcome. We woke at our regular time, around 6:00 am, but, despite having slept on the sofa bed in the lounge room, we lay in for a while longer before rising and showering. By the time we had done that the others were up and about.

We ate breakfast together and talked about the day. Our major targets were the Shotover Jetboats and the gondola up the mountain in Queenstown itself. Glen and Debbie had expressed interest in the Shotover. We had done it with Pat and Laura in 2008 and John had done it some years ago but we thought others might need to see what was on offer to make a decision. We put the Shotover to the top of the list for the day.

After breakfast we climbed into the Estima and headed for the Shotover. We arrived there about 9:00 am and Glen ascertained that the earliest they could book was 9:45 am. We headed to nearby Cavell’s, part of the same business, for coffee (or hot chocolate or mochacino) while we waited.

I drank my coffee and then headed out to look for a place to grab some pictures of the ride. I finished down on the lowest level beside the river. The midges were a nuisance but I managed to avoid being bitten in the hour or so that I was down there.

Shortly after 9:30 Glen and Debbie were down there to get their gear and briefing and then they were on their way. I managed to catch some good action shots of smiling faces as they rode for about 30 minutes. By 10:15 am the ride was done. They had a ball!

We headed back to town and up to the departure point for the gondola. John dropped the rest of us there and went to look for a park. It was a while before he returned, having parked in a yard where he could get most of the day for $5. The street parking was packed solid.

Some of us enjoyed the ride up in the gondola more than others. Once there we spent some time looking at the bungy area but it was a slow day for bungy jumpers. We did see two but it seemed that one may have been staff rather than a customer. We wandered around to look at the luge where there was a good deal more activity.

John had already decided that he wanted to ride the luge and Majella decided to go along too. They headed down to catch the ride. I followed for photos from that angle while the others stayed above to watch and catch photos from that angle.

Majella and John collected their helmets. Majella was disappointed that all the helmets in her size were red – that was not a good match for her blue outfit. Boarding the chairlift to the top of the luge run looked like fun but, according to Majella, the ride itself was not all that exciting but rather sedate.

Majella was keen to fill in the rest of the day with a Fergburger for lunch and a visit to the original bungy site – not necessarily in that order. John and Helen fetched the car and drove us into town. There was a long queue at Fergburger and parking was impossible. We decided against that and headed for the supermarket where we picked up the makings for lunch. Along the way we decided that we did not need the 24 km each way trip to the bungy site since we would pass it in the morning on our way to Twizel. We headed back to the unit and ate lunch.

Mum had a rest while the rest of us wandered up the street in couples at our own paces. Majella and I had ice creams at Patagonia and walked to the Botanical Gardens before heading back. We checked out the Bath House Cafe which had been built in honour of the coronation of George V and had a varied life since.

We got back to the unit shortly after 4:00 pm. Sometime after 5:00 pm we all  walked into town where we bought and ate our Fergburgers. By that time the queue had diminished considerably and the wait was just 15 to 20 minutes for food to be cooked. The burgers were large and tasty.

After dinner we took a walk along the waterfront before returning to the unit for evening drinks and photo of the day. Winner today was Debbie for the photo she took of Glen wearing his award at lunch time today.