Day #91 - Zipping off to Paradise

I didn't take the photo & it's not me - but I can say
I did this and it was amazing fun!
Let the adrenaline continue to flow! Today we were booked for yet another thrill experience (still not skydiving; still not bungee) - zip lining!! 

New Zealand is filled with dramatic canyons and gorges and if people aren't bungee jumping off of them, or swinging on them or rafting down them, then they are probably zipping down them on steel cables. 

We drove to the charming little town of Glenorchy that is north of Queenstown, still on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, just before the River Dart enters the lake.  It was lovely to see the lake being enjoyed by people, including a guy doing backflips off of the dock. The photo I managed to grab however, makes it look like he's face planting - but I can assure you, he entered the water gracefully.

There were also these interesting trees on the lakeside that just had to be photographed.

We then had a quick bite to eat before the bus came to pick us up to take us to zipline centre located up a side valley. 

After the obligatory signing of wavers, safety briefing, donning of harnesses and a practice run to familiarise ourselves with clipping on and off the cables, it was time to hike up the valley to our first line. 

It was quite a steep climb since the top of the valley is 351 metres above sea level. 

Our first line took us off the cliff, soaring high above Oxburn Stream, offering a stunning panoramic view of the course and the surrounding mountains made famous by Lord of the Rings (of course!).

Our next two lines were a canopy tour through the pristine native beech forest over the canyon, weaving up the stream.

At halfway, on our fourth line (known as the 'Orc Chasm'), we zipped 200 meters through a tree-tunneled slot canyon, over a waterfall, only meters above the alpine stream's chasm. This was breathtaking and so exhilarating.

The next three lines also wove us downstream just meters above the rapids, following the curves of the alpine stream deep within the canyon, bringing us to the final line, the stunning 'Blue Lagoon'.

After Blue Lagoon, there was only a 100m flat walk back to base where our lovely guides took off our gear and took us back to Glenorchy.

After such a thrilling day, we felt we deserved a rather nice late lunch at a local establishment - which served an interesting mix of Asian flavours blended with traditional pub food. Sweet and sour tacos anyone? Every mouthful was watched by a pair of adorable soft eyes.

We then took what was on the map a short drive, but in reality due to the poor, dirt track style road turned out to be a longer drive to Paradise. 

This isn't an actual town, but more of a description of the region. Nevertheless, it's worth the trek to enjoy the amazing scenery.

Then it was time to head back to Queenstown, following the edge of Lake Wakatipu. We did stop off at Bennetts Bluff viewpoint because, well, it's a viewpoint! Great view across the lake. 

Back home, we enjoyed a simple roast chicken dinner and got on with our next installment of Lord of the Rings:

We also got on with some packing. We're staying away for a couple of nights for two rather special adventures. More about that tomorrow.