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Queenstown: Adventure Capital of the World!

Posted by Jakusz, Emily M - April 28, 2014 - Emily J., Featured, Students, Study Abroad

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emilyqueenstown201404kOn my Easter break I decided to venture down south to Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world. They get this name because they are notorious for their bungee jumps, canyon swings and extreme sports. Queensland is also a great location to experience some New Zealand kayaking, biking, canyoning and tramping.

Not only is Queenstown famous for their sports, but also Fergburger. It’s a burger joint in downtown QT that has so many guests wanting their food, they actually wait up to TWO HOURS for their burgers and fries. So of course I had to try one of them. The chicken burger ended up being larger than my face and I was unable to eat the entire thing. But it was delicious!

Fiordland National Park

Fiordland National Park

I took a day trip to Milford Sound and the Fiordland National Park, a beautiful fjord full of seals and dolphins. Unfortunately it rained the entire time I was there, but I still had amazing views since the rain created waterfalls along all of the mountains. Apparently it rains around 270 inches each year! We got to take a small cruise ship into the fjord and see all of the rocks and waterfalls, and I ended up befriending some folks from Sydney!

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To start off my adventure sports, I took the Skyline Gondola up the mountain and to get down I rode a luge on a track! I might have been the only adult other than parents, but I had no shame – it was great fun! Then I decided to step it up a bit and do the Nevis Bungy, the world’s third highest jump at 134 meters (440 feet) off of a small cable bridge in the middle of the mountains! It is an 8.5 second free fall plummeting towards rocks and the river. The entire jump didn’t even last a minute but after I felt so alive!

Lake Wakatipu

Lake Wakatipu

Lake Wakatipu

Lake Wakatipu

While in Queenstown I also had the opportunity to do some biking around Lake Wakatipu, NZ’s third largest lake. Many lakes and rivers that surround the Southern Alps tend to be a very bright, aqua blue which shows that the water is fed from the glaciers upon the mountain tops.

Arrowtown

Arrowtown

About 30 minutes outside of QT there is a small town called Arrowtown that is full of history. The river running through Arrowtown was at one time rich with gold which attracted many foreigners to the area. Of course, now the gold is all gone, but the diverse culture still exists in Arrowtown. In the city center the original Chinese settlement is still in place with a quick outdoor museum along its path. Along with its interesting history, Arrowtown is also astonishingly beautiful, especially now that fall is arriving.

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Chinese settlement in Arrowtown

While I was in Queenstown I ran into a bit of a dilemma, I actually didn’t have a place to stay for a few nights. Typically when backpacking you can just show up at a hostel and they will have a bed available. But since I was traveling during the Easter holiday every hostel, hotel, campground, you name it! was booked. Fortunately, there was a last minute cancellation and I ended up getting a room but I knew many people who did not and had to sleep in tents in parks. Moral of the story, plan ahead! Traveling will really teach you how to plan and organize! But it is all worth it!

Cheers!
-Emily

Emily Jakusz is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point majoring in health sciences-health care administration. She is blogging about her study abroad experience in Australia and New Zealand.

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