Published on March 19th, 2012 | by Emma Hackwood0
New Zealand: Adventure Land
Jumping off bridges and canyons? Sounds like a New Zealand adventure! Flight Centre’s Heather Worth got a taste of adventure when she headed down to New Zealand with Contiki Holidays and shares her experience with us:
Every place I’ve travelled to through the years have all evoked different feelings and emotions; some more relaxing, some more intriguing, some challenging, and some frustrating. New Zealand evoked a feeling in me like no other place, I felt INVINCIBLE, like I could jump off bridges and platforms into canyons. Literally!
I arrived into Christchurch after a long journey from Canada, and felt like I had been tricked. The scenery looked JUST like British Columbia, but slightly more extreme. The hills were just a little taller, and because it was fall, the colours of the leaves were just a little brighter. The restaurants in Christchurch all had great atmosphere and service. I sat at a table outside on the patio (it was raining and about 5 degrees outside) and in the middle of the table there was a small fire pit. Just big enough to keep myself and all my friends toasty warm and cozy while we ate our lunch.
The next day, my friends and I poured ourselves onto our Conitki tour bus for the twisty, turny drive to Queenstown. One of our first stops was the oldest church in New Zealand, situated on a calm peaceful lake.
The water was a cloudy jade colour and proved to be the greatest backdrop to some amazing photos. Our drive that day was pretty long, but our tour guide did his best to make sure we were all entertained. We played games, did whole bus introductions, and even occupied our time with some movies.
Once arriving in Queenstown, I quickly realized that this little tiny town was going to fill my time there with adventure and thrills! First thing on the agenda; jump off a bridge! Then a little jet boating, followed by the most terrifying but amazing adventure I have done to date, the CANYON SWING! Not to mention white water rafting, and for some of my group, sky diving, horse back riding and more. Besides all the adventure, the town itself was great. Good restaurants, good people, and pretty fun times.
We had three jam packed days of adventure in Queenstown, and then moved on the Franz Joseph Glacier. After a long hike up the side of the mountain, we reached the breathtaking icy peak.
I felt like an authentic glacier hiker with my ice pick walking stick and my metal clamps on my shoes to ensure I don’t fall into one of the giant crevasses. The views from the top of this peak were like nothing I had ever seen before; a large valley, and down the middle of the valley an ice formation that is thousands of years old. The guides told us the ice flows down the valley like water, which is so hard to believe, but you can kind of see it in the ice’s formation. Just amazing.
After one night at the glacier, we travelled back to Queenstown, to fly back to Auckland for two days. The south Island was an amazing place, full of nature, adventure, and beauty. Auckland, however, is a place I could live in. I sometimes judge the places I visit by its livability, and Auckland is a VERY livable city. The people were friendly, it’s a fairly easy city to navigate through, the waterfront area is beautiful, and there were a lot of neat things to do while being there. The pride that Kiwi’s have about their culture and country is immeasurable and frankly contagious. One of the only items I purchased in New Zealand was an All Blacks rugby team shirt (I’ve never even watched a rugby match in my life, but I couldn’t help but cheer them on). We had the opportunity to do some great activities in Auckland as well. We raced two American Cup Sailing boats in the harbour (my boat won!!) and travelled a little out of the city for an adventure I highly recommend, ATVing. If you like speed, adventure and a little bit of fear, ATVing is a must do in New Zealand.
My adventures in New Zealand were awesome and I would love nothing more than to go back to the land of the Kiwis and experience even more of their culture, food, and endless hospitality.
Looking for more information about travelling to New Zealand? Contact one of our Travel Consultants at 1-877-967-5302 or search for a store near you.