With only a few days left in Queenstown and deciding to not go Wanaka or Mount Cook so I can bring forward Fiji, today is my last tour and ad reliance trip. Choosing to do the Skippers Canyon instead of the shot over tour as it has the drive that is part of the tour which looks pretty scenic and interesting in itself so makes it better value.
Picked up at 9am it is a early start so that I can make the most of the day and luckily the weather is sunny, as the rest of the day is forecasted to be wet and cold not good for picture taking. First stop is midway on the Coronet Peak where only 4×4 cars are able to pass as it off road and is the start to the Skipper Canyon an old gold mining town. The view here is of arrow town and the village below apparently full of big mansion houses and wealthy kiwis. Usually a ski resort the coronet peak has lots of winding roads that you can see from the lookout point and it all just looks like a painting. Taking the bear out he looks good with the beautiful backdrop a very traditional south New Zealand view.
So heading into the winding road it is super narrow and being right at the front of the bus gives great views of the turns. Always looking like the bus might go over the edge and it is a steep drop too. An American lady behind me is really freaking out as very scare do, but I have total trust in the driver haha.
We pass a lot of big rocks which apparently were filmed in the Lord of rings as the gates of mororbike. Must watch them all when I get back to see what is familiar. It is a very impressive canyon and goes on for about 45mins until we get to the jet boat going very high and then down to the river so great views.
The jet boats look cool and there are 2 groups . One has a cute dog in it, but obviously that stays behind. The weather just stats to rain and all need the hoods on the jackets they give as it blows into everyone’s face as the boat goes so fast. Our driver is good although we don’t get as many spins as on the jet Queenstown jet probably because it is much narrower and shallower. The water is quite rough and more Rapids than usual due to the previous day it flooding from the rain, so lucky it is on today. Sitting not at the front like on the jet also makes a difference as can’t see him trying to avoid the walls so much although don’t think again he he doing that so much. Still fast and fun with it going through the very narrow canyons and we pass under the old Bungey bridge. Very quick feeling as only 25 minutes (apparently!) and so you appraise the Queenstown lake one, but since you get the cool drive to it the tour is worthwhile as seeing 2 things not just one.
On the way back we stop at the office for some to pay and usually where you would get photos too. The site is interesting to check out as it is the Bungey bridge I went under on the jet. Only used for 9 years it is now all shut off as dangerous. It looks pretty scary and does remind me that of all the nz adrenaline tours that Bungey is the one I can’t do as you have to do the jump.
The rest of the bus ride home is cool and this time I’m in the side that the is near the edge and cliff drop so good for pics and makes a bit scarier although I’m not feeling scared at all. Just in awe of the amazing views and interesting listening to the tour guide telling the history of the mines about deaths as such hard terrain to mine, how it worked and landmarks like Mary’s cabins and the pub which is just 2 pillars now. The pub in its day was well known for its pretty bar maids as the miners used to marry them within 2 days, so they sent a telegram saying stop sending attractive barmaids to the office in Dunedin sending them. Where the term gold digger comes from.
Other cool thing on the way back is a hare racing the bus for about 10mins and even stopping round the corner to wait for the bus after doing a stop off. Very fast and never seen one in the wild before just the fake ones at the greyhound races. Just before we exit the canyon and Barack onto normal roads we pass the mountain bike trail that looks so much fun really winding and all downhill so you just need the lift up and a pick up from the other end. I’m sure there are tours that do that and I remind myself to send the pics to Welsh Harry as he is a keen biker since he is going to be living there. Back into town by lunch just as the heavens open the rest of the day looks like an indoor day researching and booking Fiji instead of doing the Queenstown gardens originally planned.
12th May 2016