Travels in Glenorchy, New Zealand
So, I am in NZ, in the stunning area, Glenorchy and I am about to jump out of a perfectly good aeroplane. Why?! In fact I have paid very good money to jump out of this perfectly good and very safe looking aeroplane. Why on earth am I doing this?
Well my travel buddy Steph really wanted to do it, and she’s been kind of awesome about coming on this big trip with me, especially considering my terrible planning, my forgetfulness in booking her a gluten free meal on the long plane journey and us wrecking the hire car in Australia (Coke can of a car + unmarked sharp bends on dirt roads = unintended off road experience). So I kind of figured I owed her this one! Anyway here we are again with me about to do a sky dive and me hating heights.
Tumbling out of the plane everything is chaos, after a few nauseating seconds, I hear my instructor yell in his Austrian accent “BE THE BANANA!”*
*Here I should probably point out that on the ground we had a briefing on what to do on the jump: Get strapped to the instructor and let him do all the hard work getting out of the plane, keep your arms and legs tucked in, then when told, try to make your body like a banana (this should stop the tumble and out you in ‘sky-dive position’). Then once again let the instructor do their thing and relax. Ha.
I banana as hard as I can, I Am The Banana!
And what do you know, suddenly we’re not tumbling horrifically anymore and we’re free falling over the most stunning scenery I think I have ever seen. Mountains with glaciers, an aqua-marine lake surrounded be dark green forest and patches of purple, that I know to be the flower meadows we drove past earlier.
All of a sudden, I’m not scared at all, I realise I am no longer in control of anything and there’s absolutely nothing I can do from this point on, except enjoy the moment and hope the chute opens. I feel totally free and it’s the best feeling in the world! (Adrenaline may be playing a slight role here, but hey.)
Then we promptly fall through a cloud with ice crystals, that feel like freezing sand paper. Major exfoliation I’m telling you!
With a not so elegant landing, we are back on the ground and I giddily meet up with Steph on wobbly legs to chatter excitedly and recap every detail…
It’s some 10 years later and I’m back again, this time not to sky dive. My partner Mike, ex-special forces, has solo sky dived plenty of times before and thinks that doing tandem jump would seem a bit tame. Ye Gods! I do surround myself with crazy people!
This time we are just in the area between dive destinations, I remember the area being so stunning that I wanted to share it with Mike and also visit Fergburger in Queenstown, for what are surely the best burgers in the world. My memory was correct and both the scenery and burgers were as good as I remembered. For anyone visiting NZ, I would say Queenstown and the Glenorchy area are absolute musts, not just for the huge array of extreme sports, but the hiking and wildlife as well. If you want to do a multi-day hike, quad bike, white water raft and top it off by bungee jumping off a bridge, you can. Want to have a wander round town, take some nice landscape or wildlife photos and finish with a delicious meal and wine?
This is the place to do it.