We arrived in Auckland and were met by Kiran from BUNAC/IEP...the most enthusiastic Kiwi I think we will ever meet! Everything was 'sweet as' and everyone was a 'dude'. It was the start of a period that was very action packed! We had our orientation...setting up bank accounts, tax numbers and stuff. But more excitingly, we went on a ferry to Rangitoto Island, which was only formed 600 years ago from a volcanic eruption, and was an amazing day out.
Next day we signed up to a free bus tour of Auckland, not quite knowing what to expect, and thinking it would be fairly rubbish, but was worth doing as it was free. The first stop was the Sky Tower, where they offered a free Sky Jump off it! We were both unsure of what a sky jump was (we thought it was bungee jumping, not a controlled jump) so we didn’t volunteer, so we watched Alan (from BUNAC) do it. It looked ace and we both regretted not volunteering! Another stop of the tour was Auckland Harbour Bridge, where we were harnessed on and walked along the construction path to a bungee pod. We watched people throw themselves off this, even being dunked into the water below, before heading back to the hostel
In Kaikoura the major activity we did was whale watching, which was also very fun. We managed to see five whales so we were pretty lucky. The best bit was when they spot one (from it blowing up water) and then go racing after it, as they are only on the surface for up to 12 minutes. The only down side of it was that the waves were very harsh on the journey over there, and we did feel a little sea sick, but with some fresh sea air we soon recovered.
Next stop – Milford, which was amazing, we got to see dolphins and seals, and the boat drove under a large waterfall (Dan got soaked) before going to an underwater observatory where we saw marine life that you would not normally see until 500m underwater (but because of various conditions certain coral and other creatures come to more shallow waters in Milford). Following our Milford experience we set off for Queenstown.......
Our final adventure stretch began with Queenstown, which is known as the adrenalin capital of the world - so it doesn't take a genius to figure out what type of thing we were going to be doing there… One of the main attractions was the CANYON SWING. This basically a swing into a canyon. It starts off with a 60m freefall followed by a 200m arc that happens as soon as the swing kicks into action (thankfully it did!!). That was really fun although it only lasts a few seconds really, the best bit being the fact that the staff are pretty cheeky and like to have fun by pretending to push you and then pulling you back. Julia was sat on her chair for about 5 minutes before they finally let her go, as she was too scared to push herself off. Dan however decided it would be better to hang onto a rope until he lost his grip. So with him they let him hang over the cliff for about 2 minutes waiting before they eventually pulled the lead to release him! As if chucking yourself off a cliff was not enough excitement for one day, we though we had better do a spot of white water rafting in the afternoon…intense!
The next thing that we wanted to do was luging, which is a cross between a go-kart and a toboggan. It's right at the top of a mountain and you can only get to it by gondola. So we raced down this hill on a very challenging track, and nearly came off a few times. Got to say its cheap and very fun so would recommend it to anyone!
Wow what an experience!
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