Our trip to the Adventure Capital of the World!
We arrived in Queenstown on Friday after our beautiful bus ride from Dunedin. Settled in between New Zealand’s Remarkable Mountains is where Queenstown sits and Lake Wakatipu. This fresh water lake provides opportunities for water sports such as jet boat rides and scenic paragliding over the city. As we looked at the countless brochures, we knew Queenstown would hold great memories for us.
Saturday and Sunday were days of much adventure. Different groups had different activities that they participated in but each took in Queenstown in a way that would not be forgotten. Our first adventurers were Meredith, Megan, Lauren, and Brinn, who all bungee jumped overlooking the city. Each raved about the experience with no regret and a bunch of smiles. In two separate groups with a total of 11, paragliding became a reality. Kristin, Lexie, Claire, Tyler, Ryan P., Kayla, Carolyn, Brinn, Phil, Sarah, and Cody all jumped off the mountainside that overlooked the city to land smoothly at the bottom. It was amazing! We ended the weekend by taking the Skyline Gondola up to the top of Queenstown to engage our competitive sides racing on the concrete luge and ate at the Taste of New Zealand buffet. There, we enjoyed New Zealand delicacies of different assorted cheeses, meats, and our favorite desserts. We left not having much room in our stomachs for the next few days but man was it good!!
Monday was all about Milford Sound and boy was it rainy. The day started early with boarding our bus at 6:45 in the morning. From here, the bus took us through the New Zealand landscape. This is where we saw beautiful lush but very wet forests and a plethora of waterfalls supported by the abundance of rainfall. After almost five hours of stopping to see different sites, we hopped aboard a vessel that would take us through the fjords towards Milford Sound. Now the waterfalls kept multiplying as we went through the rain filled fjord however the scenery was spectacular. Once we hit the sound, the waves took us for quite a ride as we went up and down. Heading back towards the harbor on this two hour excursion, we sat some nocturnal sea lions sitting on the rocks taking in their day time sleep. Besides the regular sheep, red deer and cattle that we have constantly seen, these sea lions and the stingrays at Lochmara are the only animals we have seen. After the cruise it was back on the bus towards Queenstown. When the day was said and done, we were all in need of some sleep.
Today being our last day in Queenstown it was filled with our final activities that we have been waiting to do. For some of us it was more shopping, while Megan and Lexie through canyons, Tyle and Ryan P. partook in cannoeing, and Elliot, Ryan J., Jacob, and Kyle explored the Lord of the Rings tour. Each were fun and exciting to lavish in as we await for our departure. We had a class to end our experience of New Zealand with a discussion on our reflections as well as cultural appropriation which is very apparent in the commercializing of rugby. We related this content to United States in the fact that places like North Dakota Sioux and that whole fiasco. After class, we went to dinner at Sasso, a fancy Italian restaurant. We had a great class and dinner with each other. We can certainly say that our time has been well spent and that we all are thankful for this trip opportunity. We grew closer to each other and to our professors and we will certainly enjoy this last night together.
This was definitely the best city of our trip! We all had quite the array of experiences and each very fun and very exciting. With our last night approaching, we cannot believe that our time in New Zealand is coming to a close.
Stay tune for a final blog which will contain each member on our trip detailing their personal highlights and reflections.
Mā te Wā