Since visiting Queenstown back in July of 2016 I have wanted to come back, basically every single day of my life. The previous time I was here I skipped out on the major adrenaline stuff such as sky diving bungee jumping and paragliding. So I planned to do one of those three on this trip.
Day 1 – Late Arrival Plan for Tomorrow
I arrived around 20:00 after a four bus trip back from my amazing trip to Te Anau, which included both Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound. Since I had not booked any adventures for the Queenstown trip I went up and down the main street with all the tourist trap sensibleness looking for good deals to get my adrenaline going for my two-day stay.
I came across several tourist agencies but I didn’t see any good deals, eventually, I passed by Happy Travels and a sales rep asked what I was trying to do and said he would look up some “good deals” for me. I was skeptical but the canyoning saved me NZD 40 but later on, I found out about “Book Me” which if you book in advance I could have saved another NZD 25 and then saved me another $30 on paragliding, which unfortunately ended up being canceled.
After booking out my adventures I went to my Airbnb changed and headed out for dinner. You can check out the Airbnb I stayed out here and if you’re new to Airbnb and want $50 off us my referral code. The town was thriving and quite busy and it was good to see how many more businesses have been added to the city since the last time I visited in July 2016.
Day 2 – Canyoning & River Surfing
Up early and out ready to go Canyoning, which is my favorite adventure to do when I’m traveling to a location that offers it, it is a must if you haven’t tried. 10 degrees Celsius (50 F) and the water is 6 degrees (42 F), probably not the smartest idea but it was a lot warmer than I had anticipated with the wet suit on.
This canyoning was done with Canyoning New Zealand and was just a half-day, the trip went faster than usual since there were only 4 persons including the guide. I prefer the canyoning that is jumping off the waterfalls as I did in Lake Bled, this one was more slides and a little bit of abseiling. Still had a great time and this would be a good course for beginners.
After canyoning, we got back to town a little earlier than anticipated and I had nothing else to do, I went back into Happy Travels to see if they had any other water activities to do for the day and they did, they had rafting and river surfing, which according to them is only in New Zealand. I ended up going with their recommendation of river surfing and that got my adrenaline pumping.
This was very interesting, you go into class 3 rapids with just a bodyboard, life vest, and helmet. Then you jump in the water, have a quick training and then you’re expected on your own to make it down the river, they do have two guides but I think they might need more haha. I did this with River Boarding NZ.
The beginning is the toughest part and if you make a mistake you end up going into a whirlpool and then sucked under and spit out from the river 10 seconds later, good news if this happens you panic a lot as I did, survive a near-death experience (in my mind anyway) and then come out a tiny bit stronger haha.
After the intense start, it is quite refreshing and fun, you go through 3 more sets of calmer rapids and then a nice 5-minute relaxing ride down the river. My legs did get really cold and tightened up my muscles so it was very hard to kick which you need to be able to do to be in control.
Day 3 – Zip-Linning
Today was supposed to be the day that I conquer my fear of heights, I had booked a paragliding trip which was going to put me 1250 meters (4100 feet) in the air for up to 20 minutes.
I made my way to the shuttle only to find out the winds had changed and they were no longer offering paragliding for the day, I leave at 8 AM the next day so I can’t reschedule. I went to go get a refund but they offered me a slight discount to go zip lining, I figured I had nothing better to do anyway so I decided to go, but in my head zip-lining just didn’t seem like the adventure and fear of heights I was looking for, and wow was I wrong.
Off to Glenorchy with Paradise Ziplines it is, this was pretty interesting as we drove through some of the locations where some scenes from Mission Impossible 7 and Lord of the Rings were shot. The place is stunning and worth the 45-minute drive from Queenstown if you’re in the area.
This course was built by two guys by hand and from scratch without the use of helicopters and large machinery equipment, which is neat, it took them 3 years to build. We start with a hike up the hillside and once we get to the top you find out the first zip line is 200 meters (650 feet) across and 300 meters (985 feet) above the ground, fear of heights, checked.
A little hesitant at first, I watched a 10-year-old go, so I figured I couldn’t back out now ha. And wow I will say this was one of the most entertaining events I have done, going 2 hours through the forest and canyons on 8 zip lines, covering over 1000 meters was amazing. The views were stunning checkout my video below.
Had a fantastic trip to Queenstown and I look forward to going back in February 2020 when I make my final trip through New Zealand and head back to the United States.
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