Day #90 - The Need for Speed!

Riding the Gondola
As you will know by now, Queenstown is a hub of adventure, nestled amidst the stunning landscapes of New Zealand's South Island. After a quiet day yesterday, it was time to once again embrace what this adrenaline-packed paradise has to offer.

Our day began with a surge of exhilaration as we strapped in for the iconic Shotover River jet boat ride. This, as you might have guessed, is a fast boat ride on the Shotover River - the same river we were on for white water rafting on Day #88. In fact, today's ride, picked up where we ended that journey and we were to travel a further 7km down the river, but at quite a difference pace. 

Our craft this time was not powered by paddles, but by a water jet engine:

These engines can power the boats up to speeds of 90 km. They do this by sucking up water from under the boat and then propelling it out the back with great force. This also means, because they don't have a propeller, they can ride in remarkably shallow water.

We were following in the footsteps of some very famous people. In the booking office, there was a Hall of Fame that was littered with pictures of what seemed like every actor and singer that has passed through the town - including royalty! 

Soon after we boarded our craft, the anticipation began to mount as our driver revved the boats engines, ready to conquer the narrow canyons and rushing waters of the Shotover River. The jet boat's powerful engines roared and suddenly, we were off, racing through the narrow gorges at exhilarating speeds, with water spraying in all directions!

The sheer thrill of hurtling through narrow canyons at such speed, the boat executing heart-stopping spins and turns, were an absolute rush. As we navigated through the river's twists and turns, the sheer beauty of the towering cliffs and rugged terrain was a mesmerising contrast to the adrenaline-fueled ride.

We did purchase a video of our experience for you. So climb aboard with us!

After the pulse-pounding adventure on the river, we sought a different perspective of Queenstown - a bird's eye view. Ascending via the Queenstown gondola, the town's panoramic beauty unfolded beneath us. The gradual ascent offered a serene transition from the adrenaline rush of the river to the serene heights overlooking Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains.

The view from the top was nothing short of breathtaking—a picturesque panorama of peaks, the glittering lake, and the charming town nestled below. It was a moment to pause, take it all in, and appreciate the sheer majesty of nature's grandeur.

But the day was far from over. Descending from the gondola's heights, we found ourselves at the Queenstown Luge—an irresistible combination of go-karting and tobogganing, set against a backdrop of stunning alpine scenery. We were joined by Jo and her children James and Charlie. 

Racing down the winding tracks, the wind in our faces and the thrill of controlling the speed around each curve was pure exhilaration. Of course, we were overtaken by those younger and more experienced (just like the ski slopes) but it was thrilling nonetheless. So much so, we did it again, but this time tackled the slightly more challenging track. The luge offered a playful yet adventurous experience, allowing us to channel our inner speed demons while soaking in the stunning vistas that surrounded the track. 
We had a quick snack in the summit cafe after our karting runs and enjoyed a well earned drink Adorning the walls was some spectacular mosaic artworks. These images are made from over 20,000 jelly beans and took more than 100 hours to complete each. Painstaking work. I wonder if the artist ate his/her materials or has not wanted to touch a jelly bean since!

Time to return home and after all that speed, there was really only one way to spend the evening -