Day 35 – Queenstown

Posted: December 6, 2012 in Travel

Today’s planned all-day trip to Milford Sound was cancelled due to rocks on the road, so we got up at 6.00am for nothing. For the first part of the morning, I was feeling rather morose because the NZ leg of the holiday seemed to be falling apart; all that remained now would be the two day trek back to Christchurch and then home. After an exhausting few weeks, I now felt as if I was running on empty and badly in need of a stimulus. Then the stimulus duly came. We were able to bring forward an excursion to the Dart River valley for what I thought was to be a leisurely cruise to see the locations used in the LOTR films and “The Hobbit” which was shooting here just a few months ago. If I had even the slightest understanding of what was actually involved, I am sure that I would have opted out, but ignorance is bliss and it turned out to be an experience that I would not have missed for anything. We started with what I can only describe as a 90 minute theme park ride, only for real – a jet boat moving at breakneck speed up the river, weaving in an out of narrow spaces between huge rocks, sand banks and various debris, spinning full circles and occasionally stopping to allow us to appreciate fully the spectacular scenery of steep mountains covered with thick greenery and capped with snow, cascading waterfalls and huge jade rocks. We emerged dizzy to embark on a marvellous escorted walk through the rain forest. Wow! After such an unpromising beginning, what a day!

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