This picture does little justice...but what I was trying to convey was that no matter where you look in Queenstown, there are these amazing mountains! Landing at the airport was incredible too. It was quite cloudy when we flew in, and all the sudden bam, we pop out of the clouds at around 7,000 feet or so and we are over this large valley with a lake totally surrounded by mountains (some higher than the plane is at this point). The plane then goes into a downward spiral for its final approach...wild.
Queenstown itself is very, very tourist oriented. There are soooooo many foreigners here, even a lot of the locals are originally from overseas somewhere. I can see why they moved (or just stayed) here though; the town is beautiful and there are tons and tons of things to do. Qtwn is also the thrill seekers capital of NZ, with all your extreme activities like skydiving, bungy jumping, valley swinging, street luging down a mountain, and white water rafting...and that isn't even half of what they offer.
I must say that I like Qtwn the most so far just for its laid back, calming atmosphere and amazing scenery. I was lucky though, the weather was amazing today with clear skies all around. Perfect for my first bungy jump...
The Remarkables: Queenstown's nearest mountain range. The Southern Alps here in New Zealand are so different from the Rockies. They are so much more dense (as in amount of mountains in any given area) and steep and craggy. They are also a lot more intimidating to look at for all of these same reasons. I can't imagine climbing these like I did the peaks of Colorado.
The view across Lake Wakatipu from Qtwn's city center. Sooooooooo beautiful. The lake is pretty cool too. It is really, really deep and super clear.
This was my view of the Remarkables from the airport when I first landed. It is no wonder these were used as some of the Misty Mountains for Lord of the Rings. Once again, the sheer magnitude and majesty of these mountains cannot be captured with a camera.
This afternoon I took a walk through the botanical gardens, seen here across the lake. The Kiwis are very good at many things, two of which being scenic overlooks and beautiful botanical gardens. Most of NZ's towns and cities have both of these things. Queenstown's are particularly stunning though due to the mountainous backdrops.
That little speck in the middle of the canyon (at the end of the bungy of course) is a person. This is where I did my bungy, the Kawarau Bridge site. This is the "Original Bungy Site" and it was AWESOME! The fall is 43 meters which works out to just under 150 feet, and you even get to dip in the river at the bottom of your first bounce. I wasn't nearly as scared as I thought I would be up there, and when it came time for it, I just jumped...easy really. I got the dvd too with the movie of my jump for those of you that would want to see it when I get back!