The sharp peaked Southern Alps gave way to rolling hills and massive lakes as we drove through Haast Pass on our way to Wanaka. It’s amazing how each lake and river has it’s own unique color, from the milky gray of glacial run-off to the melted raspberry popsicle of a lake whose name I’ve already forgotten.
Since the borderline unfiltered sunlight was baking us in our car, we were desperate to go jump in a lake. The town of Wanaka provided the perfect option. And of course, it was as scenic as it was refreshing. Trees angled to dip their leaves in the clear water and the distinguished pyramid peak of Mount Aspiring watched over the town from across the lake.
The next day we took a quick trip down the road to Queenstown, checked into the Bungi hostel and seriously contemplated dedicating the entire day to coveted matress sleep. After a quick nap, we decided to check out the town, herelded as New Zealand’s answer to Aspen and the like. The town caters to upper-class tourists, but not exclusively. Backpackers are never neglected in New Zealand.
Queenstown is also known as the adventure capital of the world. Do you want to bungy jump from a parachute over a lake? You can do that here. Molly figured that if she was going to jump off a bridge with a pile of rubber bands attached to her ankles, this was the place to do it. Since bungy jumping combines two of my least favorite activities (spending copious amounts of money and jumping head first off bridges) I thought my skills would be put to best use as lead “Molly’s First Bungy Jump” documenter. She jumped without hesitation and in perfect swan dive form. Nice work, Molly.
Then, seeing as it was Superbowl Monday, we had to hunt down the one bar in Queenstown that gave a crap, and watch the Patriots slip into the dynasty category. We had one more night in Queenstown and the gondola was calling our names. This is no ordinary gondola, this thing shoots up the mountain at an 80 degree angle. The views were spectacular. We stayed until the sun went down, reflecting off the Remarkables, until the city turned into scattered dots of light.