Read the previous post here.
After cruising on Milford Sound and watching dolphins and seals, we headed back to Te Anau, passing the mountainous road once again. On our way to that small town, we made a stop at The Chasm — a 15-minute return walk where you can see a spectacular view of Cleddau River and waterfalls. In Te Anau, I ate one of the biggest burgers I’ve had in my life! 😀 (is it really important??) We then travelled to Arrowtown, a historic gold mining town located on the banks of Arrow River. The town was also famous for The Lord of The Rings film location. Ok, honestly… I NEVER watched any of the movie’s trilogy (and I was not even interested in watching it), so when I went to see the site, I was like.. “yeah? so what?” hehehe. I think I remember the tour manager told us that the site was used for filming a number of hobbits hopping and passing the river. I also found out from some websites that the location — the Shotover River at Skippers Canyon, Arrowtown — was filmed for Liv Tyler’s confrontation with the Black Riders at the Ford of Bruinen. This was what we, Indonesians, called sotoy :P.
Afterwards, we stopped at Karawau Bridge Bungy, home to the 43-metre Bungy Jump. No, I didn’t do bungy jumping! I just didn’t like the idea of jumping upside down. For me, it was not worthwhile to spend almost a hundred bucks for this and you could only enjoy it for few seconds. But anyway, we stayed there for quite long, enjoying the view of beautiful Kawarau River and watching all of my fellow travellers who bravely did bungy jumping. It was indeed quite fun to watch people doing the bungy jumping and SCREAM 😛 . I loved the scream! One of the girls told the crew prior to the jump that she wanted to touch the water. Surprisingly, the touchdown went for the whole body!! She was entirely wet. Can you imagine that it’s winter!!! Good job, Katie! 🙂 At the bungy location, I saw a young boy did the jump. And then somebody asked his mom, “Is he an Aussie?” Then his mom answered, “Yes, but he was born here. He’s a Kiwi.” I was a bit confused… hah? a Kiwi??? That’s the first time ever I heard somebody described someone using a bird’s name!! Hahaha. FYI, Kiwi is a famous native bird of NZ that has a long bill and cannot fly (don’t confuse this with kiwifruit). I came to know later on that New Zealanders often call themselves Kiwis whose name was derived from the bird itself (in the case of Australians, they use the term Aussies). Isn’t it cute to say, “I’m a Kiwi!”??? Hehehe.
After the whole bungy jump thingy, we arrived in Queenstown at 5-ish. The town was known as a centre for adventure tourism. You could find all sorts of things here! From skiing, skydiving, bungy jumping, tramping, and many more! We stopped in the town for a little while. Some people who wanted to do skiing (including me!) went to a ski shop to register and arrange for ski equipment and clothing. We then headed to our accommodation, Queenstown Lodge, where we stayed for 3 nights. Location wise, the Lodge was not my preferred place to stay. There were no shops or mini markets nearby. It’s located about 40 minutes to 1-hour walk to the town. It usually had a coach which ran every hour to the town, but unfortunately, at that time, it broke. It was quite troublesome everytime I wanted to get something to eat for dinner — there’s no public transport, so the only option to go there was by taxi, which was of course expensive. I usually had a full-day “energy wasting” activity, so the chance of walking to the town was just not possible. Everything else was fantastic. I couldn’t say the room was good, but I didn’t give a damn about it. As long as I could sleep and took a hot shower, then I’d be happy! 🙂 The room had two bunk beds for 4 people which reminded me of my high school dorm. I occupied the room with 2 other girls, Katie and Shelly.
The next day I woke up, I was sooo excited of skiing. I had never done skiing before, so can you imagine how excited and thrilled I was??? I got my ski jacket and pants in the morning. I put on as many layers of clothes as possible. I just couldn’t imagine how cold it’s going to be. I wore 3 layers of clothes underneath my ski jacket and jeans underneath my ski pants. We departed at about 9 am and I saw sooo many people on the street carrying ski equipment. Queenstown had 4 main ski fields; one of which, The Remarkables was a skifield we headed to. Once I arrived, I rented all the required equipment. Fortunately, the 3-layer-clothes worked really well for me. I didn’t feel cold at all. But one thing was: part of my face (from nose to chin) was freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezing. I’m telling you, THAT part was horrible and became so dry! I didn’t know that it was gonna be like that, otherwise, I’d brought something to cover my mouth. Anyway, I applied for a ski beginner course. Our British instructor, James, taught us basic stuff on how to ski. It was SOOO fun, although I was sucked at it! Hahaha. I fell down on many times! I needed more practice and he was kind enough to let me do that (therefore he had to divide his time instructing me and the other group 😀 ). When I succeeded, everyone who was in the same group with me was clapping! Hahaha. You can’t imagine how many times I failed!! 😛 James also lets us used a ski tow; a kind of ski lift which required us to grab hold of the rope and stand on our skis while we’re being pulled. I was quite nervous about it, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought when I first tried it — although, yes, I fell down again (this time my skis were out of place LOL). But the next time I tried it, I always succeeded. Yay! The course ran from 10 am to 4 pm with 2 hours break in between. I got to chat with James and he told me that he’s been teaching ski for 3 years. He’s doing work abroad in NZ. He reminded me of Ian — a guy from Desperate Housewives hehehe. I also met another ski instructor when I was talking with James. He asked me where I came from. When I said “Indonesia”, he started talking Indonesian to me!!! Hahaha. He quickly gave me his business card and ran off to teach ski for the other groups. This thing reminded me of Saudi Arabia; where men would search for women (for “further” relationship, of course) by giving their business cards to these women. I always ignored these stupid men. But since I was not in a segregated place like Saudi Arabia, I accepted his business card and didn’t feel offended at all.
I’ve added more pictures @ the gallery. See all of them here.
… to be continued. Read the next post.
* LOTR picture was taken from here.