Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Exploring Queenstown

We had one full day to explore Queenstown and decided to spend the morning at the Skyline Gondola, Restaurant and Luge. As far as attractions go, this one is pretty unique! The luge in itself sounded fun and the ride up in the gondola seemed like a good way to get a bird's eye view of the city. We decided not to take a scenic flight on this trip, so this was the next best thing!

First, we took the gondola up to the viewing area and restaurant, where the luge track ended.
We decided right away that the view alone was worth the ticket price. I've also concluded that Queenstown might be the closest thing to Heaven on Earth. It's such a cute little town and reminded me a bit of Breckenridge, Colorado or Bozeman, Montana. I definitely wouldn't mind waking up to this view every day!

We haven't quite mastered the art of excluding the selfie stick from the photo. Prediction: in, like, 20 years our future children will look at these pictures and think we are the oldest, nerdiest people in the world. I'm sure by that time they'll have personal selfie-taking drones or some such ridiculous contraption and a selfie stick will be the equivalent of a typewriter. 
When we got to the top, we headed for the viewing platform, where a nice man offered to take our picture. Based on his accent, we could tell he was also from the Upper Midwest. Before I could even ask where, he jokingly zipped up Peter's jacket to hide the Vikings shirt, outing himself as a Packers fan from Wisconsin. We don't run into too many Americans over here, let alone Midwesterners, so that was kind of fun! 

After looking around for a bit and taking ten million pictures (I really exercised restraint putting together this post), we got in line for the chairlift to the luge. When I saw that we had to wear helmets, I was a bit worried I had inadvertently signed up for some extreme sport experience. We hadn't actually seen the track at this point and all I could think about was the Olympic luge event where they go like 100 miles per hour and I was slightly concerned. Thankfully, that was not the case. 

I snapped a picture of the end of the luge track above and the middle part below. There were two courses, one a beginner/kids track and the other a faster, advanced track. Everyone was required to do the beginner one first and then you could choose which one to take on any subsequent rides. We purchased three runs, so we did one on the beginner and the remaining two on the advanced. What can I say, we're expert lugers. Just kidding. I got stuck on the curb on our second run and had to get out to free myself. 

Right before our first run. Never looked cooler.
On our last run, Peter and I decided to race. Peter won, but in my mind I didn't lose since I beat the middle-aged man who had started right after us and was trying to catch me the whole time. He was weirdly competitive for being a complete stranger. Actually, I think he was a little bitter. He not-so-subtly ran into the back of my luge when we were supposed to be slowing down at the end. I think this is what they call karma, though, because I once potentially injured a man at a go kart track when I barreled into his kart at the precise moment he was standing up to get out. I was supposed to stop behind him but realized I actually had no idea how to brake and by the time I figured it out, it was too late. I apologized and my mom ushered us out of there quickly, which I thought was just out of embarrassment at the time, but was probably more likely an effort to avoid getting sued. The man hobbled away clutching his lower back and I always sort of wondered what became of him. Sorry, random guy! Note: this was circa 2001 and is in no way a reflection of my modern-day driving abilities.

After our three runs, we got coffee and split a cake in the restaurant before heading back down in the gondola.
Peter was fiddling with the GoPro here and managed to take this picture of himself, which I found mildly amusing. 
And finally, a video! We passed the bungee jumping platform on our way down and I think I spend most of the video brainstorming ways in which one could die bungee jumping. I may just be the least fun, most morbid person on the planet, but it sounds like a terrible idea to me. I don't think you can actually hear me in the video, though, so I'll fill you in on my theories:

1- The cord snaps (obviously)
2- You trip and fall off the platform before you're even connected to anything
3- The cord wraps around a vital organ (eeeeeeek!)
4- You fall out of whatever harness you're supposed to be locked in
5- The platform itself breaks off and the whole thing comes crashing down
6- You die of a heart attack because it's that scary 
7- The cord is too long
8- The person who is supposed to hook you up is actually a serial killer and pushes you off (it could happen!)

Far-fetched? Maybe. But you won't catch me jumping off of anything any time soon.


More New Zealand adventures:


  1. Absolutely beautiful scenes. So fortunate you were able to go!

  2. I love taking the cable car! And these views are amazing!!! Plus, I can totally see how you needed a selfie-stick in the gondola! Such a pretty pic!

    1. It was so fun! Such a good way to see the town from above

  3. Hahaha! We got stuck in those gondolas for 1+ hour after the whole system broke down. I started crying because we were dangling so high up in the air and it was pretty windy. It was definitely my most memorable experience in Queenstown :)

    1. Oh man, I would be so freaked out of ours would have gotten stuck! We stopped for about a minute halfway up and I was worried we wouldn't start again ;).

  4. Oh that looks like a beautiful time! I love taking lifts like that to see beautiful views! And the luge part looks like such fun! I did a similar track called the alpine slide in California and its such a fun time to go down in a bobsled like manner! I def have to check this place out though!

    1. The luge was awesome! The slide in California sounds fun, too. It felt a bit like we were skiing but in warmer weather and going down a bit slower in the luge ;).



Welcome! I started Laura and Peter Down Under in July 2014 when my husband and I moved from the States to Melbourne, Australia for his job. I blog about expat life, our travels, food, and whatever else comes to mind. Follow along on our adventures Down Under!



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