Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Zealand Road Trip - December 11, 2007 (8)

December 11

On the road again....
This time heading northeast to Christchurch.

It's a long day's drive from Te Anau to Christchurch, and in fact we didn't quite make it. But there were a few interesting things of note along the way.

Population about 10,500. Queenstown is a bit like Banff in that it is a tourist town known for its "adventure sports" such as bungy jumping and I believe skiing in the winter, among other things. It is situated along Lake Wakatipu. As you can see by the pictures, the weather wasn't too good when we got there, we couldn't find anything other than a 30 minute parking spot, and we really needed to get to the coast as we had another reservation to keep. So... we parked for 30 minutes and walked around, but didn't stay after that. No adventure sports for us this trip! If you want to know more about Queenstown, try this link.

It is a pretty town, and several friends suggested it was worth stopping at. We would have liked to have spent more time there, but just didn't have it.

Joe doesn't like having his picture taken, but I try to sneak one every once in awhile. :)

Words to live by - if you're a beer drinker!

Due to our inability to find parking (we did look - the place was busy!), we drove down the road a bit until we found a picnic place to stop for lunch. It was located by a restored bridge.

Here comes lunch!

Bungy Jumping

Apparently bungy jumping was invented in New Zealand and we stopped at the place where it all started. There are certain things you will never get me to do and bungy jumping is one of them. However, we did stop to take a quick look at the spot.

The Kawarau Bridge Bungy - home to the original 43-metre Bungy Jump. If you've heard of Bungy, you've heard of Kawarau.

The world's first and most infamous of leaps is still going strong, with tens of housands Bungying each year.

We just missed a jumper, and in spite of the enthusiastic advertising, there was no one lined up to jump - just people like us who had stopped to take a look at the site.

This is the pick up boat.

Gold Mining

Down the highway a little further.

Located on the banks of the spectacular Kawarau Gorge, the Goldfields Mining Centre is a historic reserve, protected by New Zealand's Department of Conservation to depict the life and working conditions of Otago's early goldminers.

Rental vans are quite common and many are painted in rather unique ways, to say the least. This one I particularly liked. It was in the parking lot at the Gold Mine.

Throughout this region, we were reminded of the interior of BC - there were vineyards and the same sort of landscape. Unfortunately, I don't think we actually got a picture of a vineyard, we wanted to keep going. So you'll just have to take my word for it - or do a bit of quick wine research. This would have been the Central Otago/Canterbury region.

Back on the road....

We made it as far as a little place called Geraldine that night.

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