NEW ZEALAND ROADTRIP – PART 2

We drove north and passed by Invercargill for the third time. This time we took highway 6 north west toward Queenstown. Finally arrived we stayed at a peaceful campsite a few miles west of Queenstown, beside Lake Wakatipu. Queenstown is NZ’s ”outdoor-sports mekka”, a busy town crouded with tourists and hip people, totally the opposite of Stewart Island. Anyway, lots of fun stuff going on around Queenstown and for me it was a good opportunity to try bungy jumping for the first time.

I signed up at AJ Hacketts shop in town which offers a variety of bungy jumps, swings etc. I chose the ”Nevis bungy”, NZ’s highest bungy jump, 134 meter high from a wire cable above the Nevis river. The center is located a few miles out of town up in the mountains. Just the bus ride to get there was an adventure it self with narrow winding gravel roads. Up there we were equipped with harness before we entered the lift cabin which took us out to the platform were we would jump from. Ginni joined me as well for taking pictures. After a short instruction and mounting of  the bungy cord around my legs it was time for the jump. I hold a GoPro camera in my hand to film it. The instructor lead me out to the take-off platform and first at this point I started to feel how deep the abyss was below my feet, this was a contrary to all logic. The instructor told me to smile at the camera in front of me and start counting down. No problem, my eyes refused to look down anyway, I smiled and jumped. A shortcut in my brain made me turn off the camera in the air but I turn it on again just after. I falled for a few seconds and after a while with hardly knowing if I was on the way up or down, but what a nice feeling! On the second bouns I released my feet with a string which turned me into an upright position instead of hanging upside down. A steel wire was send down along the cord and hoist me up again. Next mans turn. Back at the center we looked at the film made by the organizers of my jump and I was impressed how good they made it.

The weather had been great since we arrived in Queenstown and the next day we went for a few hours paddling on the lake Wakatipu. After that we started driving up north, following highway 6 toward the westcoast. We stayed at a campsite beside Lake Hawea for the night, then we continued up to Haast on the westcoast. Even here we were lucky to get thru the mountain pass before they closed the road because of too much rain. At the lodge in Haast we met two Swedish girls who been bicycling along the entire New Zealand and now had the last leg down to Invercargill. We kept driving north along the barren west coast which is windswept by the Tasman sea. We stopped by at Fox glacier and hiked up the trail to the foot of the glacier. From there you can sometimes see Mt.Cook but now it was too cloudy. Further up north we checked out some rare rock formations, were the limestone been shaped from the rough Tasman sea. Some of the trees even grows in a horizontal way because of the wind. From Westport we followed the road north east toward Nelson.

In Nelson we stayed for a few days, partly because some car repairs but also check the place out. Nelson is located on the north part of the south Island and despite the Tasman sea and Cook strait Nelson has some really nice climate. This is also a popular place for art and micro breweries which fits us good. Of a coincidence we met a kayak friend to Ginni in a bar, Oscar from Mexico and his working partners. They work as a kayak instructors in this area and gave us some advice for good paddling places. We went further east to Marlborough sounds which is a muddle of islands and peninsulas. Here you can drive forever on small winding gravel roads, very stunning. French pass and Titirangi to mention some great places we visited during the days in Marlborough sounds which also provided good kayaking. From here we continued to Picton and catched the ferry up to the north island again.

Ginni preparing dinner, outside QueenstownCamping outside QueenstownLake Wakatipu, outside QueenstownFlowers at sunset, OueenstownMetal art, QueenstownReady for bungy jumpbungy jump platform on wire cableFirst guy outView from the platformGetting ready for the jumpDown I goUp I coming againHappy bungy jumpersHappy Henrick at happy hourLake Wakatipu outside QueenstownLake WakatipuPaddling around the small Islands in Lake WakatipuGinni paddling, Lake WakatipuGinni facing the windLast bit to the camping ground thru a cow pastureOn the mountain pass over to Haast, short later they closed the roadSwedish girls we met in Haast, they bicycling thru the entire NZAlong the barren west coastGinni checking the horizon on Tasman seaFox glacier hikeMountain face below Fox glacierHiking up toward Fox glacierLower part of Fox glacierFox glacierGuided glacier tourSpecific rock formations on the west coastStriped limestoneTasman sea beating the NZ west coastWindswept trees on the west coastWindswept of the Tasman seaCoast around WestportSuspension bridge, LyellStreet musician, NelsonStreet art in NelsonWood house, NelsonCamo tree, NelsonOscar and his working partners we met in NelsonAlong the roads in Marlborough soundFrench pass, Marlborough soundsWest part of Marlborough soundToward French pass, Marlborough SoundThe winding gravel roads requires some good concentrationKayak sailing in Marlborough soundsFresh water creek, Marlborough soundsHiking up the fresh water creek, Marlborough soundsFern tree, Marlborough soundHours of driving on gravel roads makes everything dustyThe bay of Titirangi, were we also did some kayakingNarrow passage, TitirangiSome where in Marlborough soundsPaddle thru tunnel, Marlborough soundsThis cave went about 30 meters thru the entire rock

 

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