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The perks and thrills of Queenstown life

Posted by Dave Fahey: 12th Jul 2016 @ 20:21:54

I have now lived in Queenstown on an off for over 12 years. In this time, I have been fortunate enough to work for some of Queenstown biggest and best tourism operators in some exceptional jobs. One of the perks of the Queenstown tourism trade is the opportunity to experience the activities and tours first hand, to increase knowledge so you are qualified provide information to guests...yep it's all part of the job!

Through these channels I have come pretty close to experiencing almost everything Queenstown has to offer. Last Friday however almost topped the cake. Thanks to the team at Queenstown Combos, myself and Kate were provided the opportunity to experience the Shotover High Five and the Ledge Bungy. For those of you outside the Queenstown bubble, this involves combining Shotover Jet, a Helicopter flight up to the Skyline summit, the Ledge Bungy, the Luge and the Gondola in one day. All packaged together so that you seamlessly flow from one exhilarating activity to the other but also help save you some dollars.

Our day started at Shotover Jet on the 9am Jet boat departure. We were lucky enough to be looked after by Andy, who drove like a man possessed. I've spent my fair share of time in Jet boats, as has Kate. So when a driver can produce a scream (from Kate of course) and have me convinced that we are about to become one with the canyon wall before skilfully dancing the boat into a planned 360 spin, he has more than done his job. I'm not going to lie, being the middle of July it was somewhat polar in the canyons, but Andy’s driving kept my mind off the fact that ice was growing on my jacket - literally. Needless to say if you are jumping in a jet boat in the middle of winter put on every layer you have and then add another layer and you'll be right!

From the jet boat we stepped onto a bus and were escorted via the Coronet Peak road to our awaiting helicopter. From half way up the mountain we were loaded into a 6 seater Squirrel enroute to Skyline. The flight from Coronet Peak is breath-taking. Traversing the mountains, we were able to take in endless views into Skippers Canyon, looking down on Ben Lomond and Bowens Peaks and all the way across the expansive waters of Lake Wakatipu.

From here the big kid came out in us both. Because no one should visit Skyline without trying the Luge, we also tacked three rides onto our day. It’s hard not to become fierce competitors as you accelerate down the track only inches from the concrete. Think life size Mario Cart!

Now all this hard work does wonders for the appetite. Thankfully Skyline more than caters for this with the Stratosphere Buffet lunch and dinner. The menu is the perfect mix of good old Kiwi grub, infused with international fare. And the phenomenal view is only matched by their quality local beer offering. And good beer is exactly what the doctor orders when you have somehow decided to tie a glorified bra strap to your ankles and throw yourself off of a perfectly good tower with the team at the Ledge Bungy.

The Ledge Bungy is a personal favourite. Unlike most Bungy’s, for the Ledge you are in a full body harness meaning that your feet are not tied together. This provides the jumper a little more freedom to get creative with a jumping style, or perhaps more opportunity to flounder. Either way the added illusion of height that is created from being up a hill, combined with the picture perfect view back over Queenstown makes for one heck of a Bungy experience.

With days like that you become even more thankful that you have chosen to make Queenstown home. Thanks again to the legends at Queenstown Combos for looking after us so well - Good on ya mate!

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