The day started with “Crap, clothes in the dryer are still wet. Turn the dryer on again. It’s already getting late; we need to get out of here in an hour to catch the tour bus”.
And the day ended with “Wow, what a fabulous and adventurous (and also exhausting) day this turned out to be”.
After getting dressed that morning and packing up the bags, we literally ran to a café that was open at 7 in the morning. We ordered our morning drinks – mocha and cappuccino and a Denver breakfast.
Though Queenstown had woken up already and there were tour buses running through the town center picking up travelers who were yawning and trying to ease into the day, the café itself wasn’t bubbling with patrons. There was a group of 3 people already seated in the café and we were probably Bob Weigh’s second customers.
I normally scan cafes and restaurants, looking for décor ideas and admiring how they are adorned. This time around, my eyes were fixed on the time in my cell phone. We had to reach the bus stop at 7.50am and it was already 7.25am and coffees hadn’t arrived yet. After a few minutes, the drinks were served. Not too impressed, but it was one of those days I just needed the kick from the coffee and wasn’t too concerned about the taste itself. That’s how sleep-deprived I was!
Finally the breakfast plate was served. I literally started a 5 min timer on my cell phone to gobble up the breakfast. Then we ran to the bus stop, from where our tour bus was going to pick us up.
Our tour bus reached within a few minutes and we hopped in. It took us some time to settle in and then we started to enjoy the drive along the gorgeous Lake Wakatipu.
Within almost an hour through narrow and circuitous roads, we reached Glenorchy, where we jumped into our fleece, wetsuits, life vests and boots, and got ready to take the jet boat. Our jet boat driver started out slow to make us comfortable. Then he did a couple of awesome spins before heading on the Dart River towards the glaciers.
From what we heard, normally the water is crystal clear, blue in color and calmer. However the recent flooding brought the water gushing down the stream, making our jet boat ride rougher than usual. It was fun nevertheless, especially, the 360 degree turn. Yippeee!
After over an hour of ride on the jet boat, we stopped at a junction to jump on our kayaks to kayak our way back. Since we were kayaking downstream, it was so much fun, light and easy. We stopped on the way for a short hike to see the Rockburn Chasm and enjoy a picnic lunch by the river banks.
Then we continued our journey back on the kayak, slowly and steadily, while enjoying the lovely glacier covered mountains all around.
The jet boating and fun-kayaking is certainly one of a kind experience and I couldn’t recommend it enough!