Our day off (i.e. no coach time) in Queenstown has been laid-back and de-stressing much unlike the thrilling activities all around us.
After a late breakie (seven-ish) we did our laundry and then headed down the steeeep road into town.
The "early-bird" activities were already on, like the paraflights over Lake Wakatipu.
A new and more aggressive watersport was possible using this monster being launched.
A waterjet-driven, shark-formed, closed-cockpit, sea-breaching contraption with pilot and passenger in tandem. Aptly named "Hydro Attack".
|Brown Kiwi (Apteryx australis).|
Our first stop was at the kiwi park where we wanted to see a real live kiwi. As kiwis are nocturnally active and sleep in burrows during daylight hours, "our" kiwis' diurnal pattern has been offset by 12 hours, so they are up and about when we are. However, the kiwi display was kept in almost complete darkness so the camera was performing at its very limit. The above photo is the best, but the experience to be next to a live kiwi feeding and digging in the soft ground was a highlight.
|Kaakaariki, Yellow-Crowned Parakeet (Cyanpramphus auriceps).|
The voluminous and well-fed New Zealand mega-pigeon, the Kereruu.
|The flightless Weka (Gallirallus australis).|
|The endemic Headless Thinga (Ralligallus decapitatis).|
The gondola elevated us to the very top of Queenstown.
At 465 meters above Queenstown the view over the town towards the Remarkable Mountain Range was absolutely stunning, especially on a fine day like this.
At the top of town, paragliders, lugers, bungy jumpers, edge jumpers, ledge swingers, mountain bikers and other daredevils were milling around to meet their destiny.
|Paragliding in tandem.|
|Lots of traffic: Paraglider, ledge jumping and gondola.|
A young lady plays with gravity.
|The platform from which you can opt to jump – if you have nothing better to do.|
Gravity is almost deleted/inverted in this tank where an upwards windtunnel will keep you "afloat" as if you'd be skydiving (without a parachute).
Late afternoon we took the 107-year-old steamship SS Earnslaw across the lake to spend a wonderful evening with good people, good food and a good farm show.
After sunset we headed home on the steamer while we were singing old folksongs and watching the Remarkables and the stars.
By 10 pm we reached the peer in Queenstown ...
... and got back to the hotel after yet another long, sunny and adventurous day on the South Island.
. . .
Tomorrow will take us to the wild and wet west coast.