As I said before, the drive from Christchurch to Queenstown was lovely. The day was crisp and the skies were blue. The conditions were perfect for viewing Mt. Cook, the tallest mountain in Australia and New Zealand at 3755m (12,319ft). Also seen along the way were lakes (including the largest one in NZ), lots of sheep, and of course the Southern Alps, a mountain range running along the west coast of NZ.
Queenstown itself is a quintessential ski town. It's cute and quaint and the streets are filled with tourists going into and out of the overpriced shops. It's very pretty, though, and everywhere you look you can see snow-capped mountains. My hostel is a bit further out of the town center than I'd like, but the price was right and I'm only staying for two nights so it's not a big deal.
Today I slept in after being kept awake for two hours by a drunken roommate who made her appearance at 4am this morning. Dorm life is grand, eh? Then I. . .well, actually, this is where fathers and grandmothers - or at least MY father and MY grandmother - might want to stop reading or skip ahead quite a bit. Queenstown, after all, is the extreme sports capital of the world.
It's the extreme sports capital of the world AND the birthplace of the bungee jump. Which means that I did what my father couldn't comprehend and "emulate[d] bird poo." I took a 40 minute drive out to the Nevis river and the world's first gondola bungee jump. It also happens to be one of the tallest jumps in the world at 134m/440ft. There were two guys riding out with me who were clearly very nervous and they kept asking me if I was scared or anxious. And actually, considering that I do have a little fear of heights, I wasn't really nervous at all. That is, until I was standing on the ledge, about to make the leap overboard. I may have uttered a few words that are blog-inappropriate. I may have screamed my head off. Then I was falling and bouncing and the skies were blue today also so the scenery was amazing. It was perhaps one of the craziest things I've ever done and I can't wait to do it again sometime.
Once back in town, I treated myself to a glass of mulled wine to take in the scenery. Oh, okay - and bring my heart rate back down, too. It's an early night for me because I have an 8am bus tomorrow to Franz Josef Glacier. I've never seen a glacier in real life before, so I'm looking forward to some good photo opportunities.