After a short domestic flight to Queenstown, we hailed a cab to our apartment rental and bam! “Can we move here.. for good..tomorrow!?”
Check out the view, from our living room!
It was immediately clear to us why all the hype surrounds South Island. With less than a third the population engulfed by multiple national treasures, New Zealand is very much a real life screen saver!
Upon checking in, we loaded up on adventure pamphlets to weigh our thrill-seeking options. With so much to choose from, we started getting hungry and shuffled into town to see what was on offer. Our cab driver dropped what later would prove to be the preferred meal for adventurers, tourists and locals alike: Fergburger …but more on that later.
Stuffed to the neck with Ferg, we staved off impending food coma with an impromptu stroll, doubling as recon for our new neighborhood. Curiosity, as it were, killed the fat as we contemplated a gondola ride but instead honed in on an unassuming staircase at the entrance of The Tiki Trail. Why not walk off more of our gluttonous regret, right?
Over two hours later, on what was falsely advertised as being a one hour hike, (in our defense, we often stopped for pictures) it was simultaneously the best and worst decision we made (apparently when a Kiwi says, “we’re taking the tiki trail”, it is a cry for help because they are indeed lost). Reaching the top of Bob’s Peak, we were blessed with remarkable views, as one of the mountains was literally named. We also had a great view of Lake Wakatipu, which connects many of the sites we visited throughout our stay. These are both a part of the same site viewed from our apartment as well.
Name your mode of adrenal stimulation, it was on the menu. Off-road mountain biking, paragliding, bungee jumping, bungee swinging and zip lining. Check, check, check, check and check. All available for the right price. What did we decide would be most appropriate to whet our appetite for the adventure capital of the world?
Psych! Here is what we really did
After speeding the course downhill, riders would take these lifts back up for seconds, thirds, and so on..
Sorry if this falls short of Ripley’s status, but we’ll have you know that halfway into our hike, there soon developed a slight rain cloud and the mild precipitation made for road conditions we wouldn’t hesitate to file under “slippery when misty”.
Adrenaline tank half full, and evidence to prove it, we gathered ourselves and prepared for the even more humbling descent. We were easily lapped by other trekkers, including local athlete grandpas skipping down the trail faster than Tarahumara. Attempting to mimic them, one of us (remaining nameless) slipped and fell while closing in on the last few yards.
Tired, abused, and half embarrassed, we snaked into town for some groceries and returned to Pounamu Apartments, where we immediately KO’d.