Jet boats, Burgers and Canyon Swings…probably not three things you are used to hearing in the same sentence all too often…
But that is the best way I can describe my recent trip with my girlfriend to Queenstown in New Zealand’s South Island (watch the video above and it’ll all make sense…sort of…)
Queenstown New Zealand is one of my favourite travel destinations and was a place I used to visit a lot as a teenager and my early 20s as it was a favourite holiday destination for the summer New Year period
It had been many years since my last trip there but I was pleased to say it has retained its charm and it was nice to be able to take my girlfriend there and show her some of the best scenery and activities that New Zealand has to offer, and have an excuse to do all of the touristy stuff again which is so much fun!
The Jet boat is one of New Zealand’s inventions and a popular tourist attraction in Queenstown so of course we took a jet boat trip across Lake Wakatipu and up the Kawarau and Shotover rivers. I was blown away at the power of these machines and their ability to travel in such shallow water. When we weren’t speeding terrifyingly close past the sides of the river, bridge pylons, trees, submerged logs, rocks and the like, we were sometimes skimming through literally just a few inches of water, so shallow that you could sometimes hear the bottom of the boat sliding across the stones on the riverbed!
You had no choice but to trust the skill of the driver and they didn’t disappoint. Throw in some 360degree spins and being sprayed with water and you got yourself a white knuckle ride good enough to write an article about…if ya know what I mean…
Anyone who has wandered around Queenstown would have noticed the seemingly perpetual line of people leading into the ‘Fergburger’ store. Having only opened as recently(ish) as the year 2000 before the whole ‘gourmet burger’ trend had become mainstream, Fergburger is now a Queenstown institution and tourists from around the world all have it on their bucket list for their Queenstown trip. There is LITERALLY a line outside all day, every day (at least there was for the full 5 days I was there!), and it usually takes a minimum of 30minutes to place and order and collect your delicious Fergburger. In fact…even the Google Earth image of the shop front has a line of people outside haha
So are these burgers worth the wait? Are they expensive? I’d had Fergburgers on two previous trips to Queenstown. Even after the first time, I remember wondering if they would taste as good the second time around as they did the first time, or if it was just nostalgia. At the time, I was pleasantly surprised and I was hoping it would be the case the third time around too. Annnnd…while the wait was long, it was amazing! First I had the namesake ‘Fergburger’ which is an affordable NZD$11.50 for what is quite a large burger. It was very good. We went a second time and I tried a ‘Cock Cajun’ which is a cheeky name for their spicy chicken burger, and I actually enjoyed this even more and the NZD$13.50ish price tag was well worth it! Do it, it tastes amazing and it IS worth the wait!
Queenstown is also a famous extreme sports destination, so if you enjoy scaring the crap outta yourself, you will LOVE Queenstown! Up the top of Queenstown’s ‘Skyline Gondola’ (or where the cable car takes you to the top of the hill that backs onto the town), is a bungy jumping platform that hangs precariously out over the edge of a cliff with a steep drop below. You can also do a ‘canyon swing’ off this where you become a human pendulum and get to swing above one of the most amazing views in the world. If this isn’t enough, you need to try another famous Kiwi (New Zealand) invention and visit the world’s first bungee jumping site on the Kawarau bridge, or one of the world’s highest bungees (104 metres! My mum did this actually) called the Nevis Highwire, which is a bungy platform hanging over a gorge on cables with a river below. There is also an option to splash in the river when you jump if that’s your thing. Feel free to also white-water raft, parachute jump, do canyoning, take a helicopter ride, mountain bike down from the tops of the hills or skifields in summer, and then there’s the whole range of winter snow activities for the snow season!
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