“Wake up! You need to pay!” Those were the words that woke Mirte up at 6 o’clock in the morning. We were staying at a campsite which was literally just a grass field and we had to pay $10 each. We took the risk of not paying which resulted in this harsh wake up. Didn’t really matter, since we continued sleeping and eventually brunched at 12 in the afternoon. We said our goodbyes to Jakob and went to Queenstown “City of adrenaline!”. Because we were quite late, our afternoon consisted of checking out some popular shops like ‘The Remarkable Sweetshop’ and ‘T2’. In the hostel we were staying we spend our evening with some Italian friends and went to bed quite early to be fit and prepared for tomorrow.
Because it’s Canyon Swing day!! At the beginning Mirte was the one enthusiastic and boldly saying she wanted to do the scariest one. Miriam, at first hesitant, eventually was up for everything and was quite relaxed when the employees said the scariest one was jumping yourself. Mirte on the other hand, was constantly yapping trying to control her nervosity. When we were all set up and ready to jump off a cliff, Miriam was calmness itself while Mirte was nope’ing away. THEN WE JUMPED! This really was a bizarre experience. Firstly screaming because… well… you’re jumping off a cliff and then feeling how long and fast you’re falling. For Mirte this was a once and never again experience, Miriam however is even more excited for her skydiving. Afterwards we went back into Queenstown going for a taste at the Cookie Time Cookie Factory Shop. Of course it was heavenly, so we couldn’t contain ourselves at the Pak ’n Save when there was a $1,00 deal on the cookies. Being the tourist we are, of course we had to stop at Ferg Burger. Yesterday we already saw an enormous line blocking every pedestrian, so we took our chance when we saw a short queue. It really was amazing. Also we went to Otautahi Tattoos to make an appointment for Mirte.
We wanted to do the Ben Lomond track this morning, but we couldn’t find a parking spot anywhere. Instead we drove to Glenorchy to the lovely Mrs. Woolly’s campground. After settling down we drove to Paradise, a place known to accommodate a lot of Hollywood stars and where a lot of famous movie scenes have been shot (of course LOTR but also a Milka commercial for instance). The drive there was already stunning (and adventurous with all the fords again) and when we did a small hike we saw even more of the diverse landscape. There were mountains surrounding us, a forest and golden grasslands that we had to cross to get there. We went to do another small hike around lagoon Glenorchy which was also really breathtaking. Back in the enormous kitchen we made our chilli con carne with our self-made wraps, which always get a lot of appreciating hmm’s, and talked with two Israeli people till 1.30 in the night.
In hindsight, it was wasn’t that smart really to go to bed that late, since we had to get up early for the famous (for NZ travellers) Routeburn Track. The track itself was challenging and the views were amazing. The weather was a bit drowsy this day which gave the mountains this gloomy vibe with their dark low hanging clouds. On our way we made some friends giving us Fixomull (for Mirte’s everlasting blisters), gingernuts, recommendations and great company climbing our way to the second hut (more like villa…). Exhausted we ate our leftover wraps and amazingly baked pancakes by Mirte. Meanwhile Miriam got a very useful tip for parking our car to be able to do the Ben Lomond Track after all.
We got a recommendation to go to ‘The Argonath on the Anduin River’ (LOTR scene of course), so that’s what we did. After viewing this beautiful location we went and have lunch while watching people jumping off a bridge (AJ Hackett bungy jumping). We already got an adrenaline rush by watching them and were really happy we weren’t them… However, then it was time for our own adventure. At the tattoo shop Mirte told her ideas and soon the design was ready to be immortalised in ink. Cursing and getting paler and paler Mirte sat on the table but fortunately she was still able to laugh. Miriam had her fun watching (read laughing) and being paparazzi. As a treat we went to Mrs. Fergs Gelato.
Yuck, it was dark when our alarm went off. It almost felt like winter. However, we did have our breakfast at sunrise, surrounded by pink glowing mountains. Why were we so early? We had to fight for a parking spot (Queenstown is ridiculously busy) so we could do the Ben Lomond Track. The track was only ascending and was physically challenging as well as mentally. We cheered ourselves to the top where we had an amazing view. Totally worth it, but we won’t hike for a while now. When we almost got back to our car we ran into Tobi (we met him in Franz Josef) and hung out with him and his friends playing soccer in the park (yes, we are crazy doing this after a 6h hike…). Afterwards we made dinner with Marina from Canada and met Zach from Australia, with whom we decided to meet up the next day for some disc golf.
Since nobody had played disc golf before, it was a hilarious experience trying to get our discs in the chain baskets. Afterwards we went for a comparison burger at Devil Burger and ate it whole at the lake front. We made a plan with everyone to meet up at 8 and have a festive night together. While we were already having a lot of fun, we joined the Pub Crawl people and had an amazing night getting free stuff and playing games.
Love Miriam & Mirte