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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Queenstown

I've posted heaps about our summer trip to New Zealand with Nani and Papi (Rob and Rhona). We visited AucklandChristchurchMilford Sound and Lake Wanaka. Our final stop in the Land of the Long White Cloud was Queenstown.

As noted in a previous post, Queenstown is built around Lake Wakatipu and, though not very high above sea level, is surrounded by mountains for great skiing (so we've heard; we were there in December / summer!). Adventurers flock to Queenstown for skiing, snowboarding, jet boating, white water rafting, bunny jumping, mountain biking, paragliding, sky diving and so much more.

We had a few days in town and it was amazing. Great food, lots to see, shopping galore, and so much to do. We spent an entire day on Bob's Peak. Though I'm sure it's a spectacular and challenging hike to the top via the Tiki Trail, we opted for the gondola ride. 

Aaron and Micah on the gondola!


Marketing material for the gondola notes, "When you get to the top of the Gondola you are rewarded with some of Queenstown’s most spectacular views. From Bob’s Peak you can see Coronet Peak to the north and the iconic Remarkables mountain range to the east, both of which are ski resorts in the winter. Across the deep blue waters of Lake Wakatipu to the southwest you see Cecil and Walter Peaks. It’s truly awe-inspiring!" Yep.



Our original purpose for venturing up Bob's Peak was to ride the luge. We figured we'd each do a ride or two and then head back down. 

Have you ever luged? I hadn't and it was a ridiculous BLAST! Our plan turned itself upside down and we ended up each riding 3+ times. We had lunch up top, visited the Jelly Belly shop and luged until our pockets were empty. That is some fun stuff!

To get to the luge track you get to take a chair lift. That was just as fun as the luge!



E and I taking a selfie on the chairlift!


This photo so accurately captures Micah, IMO - his incredible love of life and adventure!

At the top of the chairlift you divide into lines based on which course you plan to do - the blue or red track. The blue track is described as "a leisurely ride with gentle gradient, easy bends, tunnels and dips, " while "the red track has a steeper gradient and is a more adventurous ride with the thrill of banked corners, tunnels, dippers and cuttings."

All riders start on the blue track. On your first ride, you're given instructions and you have to pass a "test" to ensure you know how to work the luge. Your hand gets marked denoting you've passed the test and can ride wherever you'd like from then on.
Papi took Micah down the blue track!

Eytan rode solo down the blue track; I was meant to stay near him and totally failed. Aaron rescued him. Luckily he had a blast despite my parenting fail!

We let Aaron ride solo a few times!

We did more than just luge, but this was a highlight for most of us. From Queenstown we said goodbye to New Zealand. Or maybe just "see ya later!" We returned to Sydney just in time to ring in 2018 and play in the sun for a few days until our next trip. Stay tuned for more!


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