New Zealand: Queenstown


Day 5

Free morning after our hang gliding session was cancelled due to strong winds, so we took a walk around Queenstown to get our bearings.

Queenstown Gardens


We checked out the shops then headed further out and made our way to Queenstown gardens for Frisbee Golf. It was a lot harder then I anticipated! Throw a frisbee and try to get it to land on the net within the set number of throws, using the golf scoring system (par, birdie etc).


After failing miserably and exploring the gardens we headed back to meet the others for our Canyon Swing.

Canyon Swing
We were weighed and loaded on to the bus which would take us up to the Shotover Canyon. I was excited at first, but after seeing footage of grown men almost reduced to tears (why would you show us!?) I stated to become increasingly nervous.


Safe to say by the time we got to the top I was starting to question why on earth I’d signed up in the first place!

I’d originally talked myself into the canyon swing as I naively thought it to be like a giant playground swing; I was under the impression it was a shorter drop compared to the bungee jump Midge had opted for. Little did I know what I’d signed up to…


The swing platform

The Shotover Canyon Swing company have over 70 different styles of swing, so if you wanted to be strapped to a chair or a kids trike, they’ll just push you right over the edge!

I later found out it’s one of the world’s highest cliff jumps at 109m over the Shotover River. You have 60m vertical freefall down the cliff face before swinging 200m over the Shotover River… And I had voluntarily signed up!?

After looking through the jump book and delaying the inevitable, I eventually opted for “The Elvis Cutaway”, where I would be harnessed up, dangled over the cliff, laying horizontal, then they’d cut the rope and let me drop.


Sounds like a strange choice, but by having them cut the rope, there would be no chance of me bailing out. You can check out the video here.

After the jump we got a group photo to prove we’d survived. I was glad I done it in the end, nothing brings you closer as a group then the fear of falling to your death and surviving.


Ice bar
After a gigantic pizza at Winnies we headed to Below Zero Ice Bar for a few drinks. They have different packages available, so you can choose one to suit your budget. They provided us with Parker coats and gloves then we made our way in. We were only here for 45 minutes so we were sure to make the most of it.


Once inside, we grabbed our drinks (in glasses made of ice) from the bar (also made of ice) and took a seat in one of the booths. (Three guesses what they were made of…)There was also an ice/air hockey table which was pretty fun.



After a few more drinks, someone had the bright idea (can’t quite remember who…?) to do a shot of Jägermeister through the moose head ice sculpture at the end of the bar. Seems like a good idea at the time right?



Then things escalated pretty quickly as the staff decided to host a clothes-swapping contest in teams of two. I’ll let you figure out the rest for yourselves but it was pretty amusing.

After our allocated time was up, we left the ice bar and thawed out. Some of us called it a night but a few others continued to party elsewhere.

Day 6

Today we decided to take the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak and check out the views of Queenstown from above.


Once at the top, you could simply check out the views, or ride the Luge, or there were mountain biking and bungee jumping excursions. They also operate the paragliding and hang gliding from here.


There’s also a cafe and restaurant, and they host stargazing tours and nightly Kiwi Haka performances up here. Thats pretty good going if you ask me!

What’s one of the most tempting things to consider when your on a huge hill? I suspect most people will agree that gliding from, or riding down the hill are up there with jumping from it.

Well after yesterday’s big thrill I was more than happy to settle for few gentle rides on the luge track. If you’re not sure what a Luge is, check it out here. It was one of the most fun things I’ve done in Queenstown that didn’t involve me fearing for my life.


You queue up, get into your Luge then you’re given a brief demonstration before they let you lose on the track. Ok I should point out there are two tracks, the beginner and the normal track. It’s compulsory that you take the beginners track on your first lap, but after that your free to choose between the two.

Once we’d got a taste for it, things got competitive and before long we were racing each other like we were in real-life mario kart.

We grabbed a coffe and snack in the cafe which was a little pricey then we checked out the observation deck, before heading back down to the town and get ready for dinner.




Fear factory
Something else terrifying that I’d voluntarily signed up for… (What was I thinking!?)

Ok I may not have been fearing for my life here, but it was still freaky! Before I get carried away with myself I’ll fill you in.


Fear Factory is one of the places in Queenstown that you keep hearing about. I suppose it would be classed as a haunted house, but it deserves more credit than that.

You can enter through the ominous looking red door and try to find the exit through a maze of obstacles, all the while trying not to get grabbed by creepy people that hide in there. Not scary enough? Well did I mention that it’s pitch dark and you can’t actually see where you’re going? Not exactly a stroll in the park…


And of all times to go, the majority of us wanted to wait until the evening so it would be dark outside… Cue night of the living dead nightmares.

Ok so let me be the first to admit I’m a complete coward when it comes to things like this. The guy behind the counter did tell us we were free to leave at any time by using their safe word and we’d be taken to the nearest exit. Sound fair? Well you can go in groups of 5 max, but the rule is if one of you calls out the safe word, the WHOLE group is kicked out. Trust me, no one wanted to be that guy. Us cowards would just have to man up… So with that in mind, I made Lee go first.


After being scared out of our wits we went on the search for dinner. We found a little place called The Cow down one of the side streets. A few others from the group had joined us and after we’d told them about our traumatic experience at Fear Factory they didn’t want to do it… can’t imagine why?

Midge then said that it wasn’t that bad and she could do it on her own., and she somehow ended up having to go in on her own so the rest would do it.

Don’t worry… she survived!


Further Information:
Shotover Canyon Swing
Below Zero Ice Bar
Skyline Gondola
Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park



One response to “New Zealand: Queenstown

  1. Pingback: Em’s Big Bucket List | Em meets world·

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