••• tiff firth photography •••

Saturday, August 10, 2013

New Zealand Day 9 10th Aug

We are absolutely stuffed. We had a bit of a lay in this morning (not as much as I would have liked lol) and by 9.30 we were down the street to book our day of excitement. Kym went up to the car rental place so he could present his license so he could drive the car too. Then he met us up at The Ski Station where we booked our Shotover Jet Rides for the kids and me, the Gondola passes and the Luge rides. We left it up to Annie to have a look at the Queenstown Swing before deciding if she wanted to give it a go.

By 10.35 we were on the bus and heading out to the Shotover River and the Jetboat ride. I’d been advised to put the snow goggles, beanies and ski gloves on the kids. I wished I wore the neck gaiter as my chin got really cold. I couldn't even feel it at one point. I sat in a seat and the two kids sat in behind me. Not the way I would have liked it, but that’s just the way it worked out. They LOVED it. A lot. I bought the video and photo package as they were so keen about it.

We headed back to town after taking a few iPhone shots around the Shotover location as I had left the camera locked up in the car back in town at the Gondola carpark.

We went to Fergburger for lunch but it was sooo busy, (there was a queue out of the door) we went next door to the Fergbaker.

I grabbed the camera and bits out of the car, dropped off the things collected so far and then we headed up the Gondola. Sean had the GoPro on his head, Annie was conducting a TV interview of us in the Gondola while Kym and I took in the scene.

Once out of the Gondola we walked out to the Viewing Deck to take in the gorgeous vista.

We browsed through the souvenir shop for things. The kids wanted something to show their classmates, I wanted embellishments for scrapbooking. Annie watched someone drop on the swing and decided that’s perhaps it’s not for her.

The Luge was the next big thing on our list. Sean and Kym headed off on theirs, and Annie and I left after them on ours. The first run is a slow one so you get used to the cart, the brakes, the turns and how it all works. Annie had a couple of big stacks that really rattled her. The last one scared me too to be quite frank. I had to drag hers and my luge off the track and sit with her offside while she got herself composed again.  It really frightened her. But she squared her shoulders, took a deep breath and go right back in that Luge and off she went. Atta girl.

You go up on a chairlift up to the beginning of the Luge run and we took each moment to clown for the camera.  

On the next run, which is the more advanced than the introductory one, I followed Sean while I wore the GoPro and Annie went with Kym. I managed to keep up with Sean and only squealed a couple of times on the unexpected drops.  What a hoot. The others went on to do another three runs while I went to a couple of strategic spots above the track and filmed them zooming past for the video montage.
Everything is very well set up to capture photos for people to buy of themselves. From the Shotover Jet, the Gondola, the Swing, the Luge. So I didn't take any shots of the family today. It was all film and I bought the selected ones, which are also available for download once purchased. Made my job easy today.

Annie's thoughts of the Luge.

By now it was later afternoon and the kids were hungry. Rather than stay up at the Cafe/Restaurant and pay for the expensive food, the kids wanted Maccas. So down the Gondola we went. I didn't get the chance to do the late afternoon/sunset photo of Queenstown that I had hoped for so I bought a postcard showing it instead. That will do.

Kym took the car back to the apartment with all the gear we didn't need and met us back at Maccas. And a warm fresh cookie.

We all felt pretty brain dead after our day so we headed back for hot bubble baths, flannel PJs and just to slouch for a bit.

Something I have noticed here is how early people eat dinner. By 5pm the eatery area of the food court was chock a block. Skiers start coming off the slopes around 4pm and are back in town by 5pm and they are hungry. This is rush hour for town and business. They are all open to at least 6pm on week nights because that’s when the people are in town.

We pack our bags tomorrow, chuck them in the car and we are going ice skating as our last big thing before heading to the airport.

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