The Irwin’s are on an awesome adventure in NZ’s South Island, and we are having a great time!
We left a week before term one ended so that we could still have a week of school break when we returned, and also Chloe’s friend, Mae, is coming to visit when we get back.
The flights over to Queenstown were fairly easy, and when we got there we found awesome Fall weather. We quickly settled into our AirB&B and then went to go walk around town. There were heaps of stores and activities to do, and the whole town is built around a river. There are also mountains surrounding Queenstown, which remind me of Park City.
One thing we wanted to do in Queenstown was try a place called Fergburger, which according to a Google search and a couple of Kiwi resources, was said to sell one of the best burgers in the world! We waited in line for 30 minutes and decided that while it may not be the best burger in the world, it is definitely up there!
Another thing that I’d been thinking about since we had first came to New Zealand was doing a bungee jump. So while in Queenstown, we decided I would jump off the 43m (140ft) Kawarau Bridge Bungee Jump! And I’ll admit, I was super scared; who wouldn’t be?
But before the bungee, we did a few other adrenalin pumping activities. We started our day by doing something called the Shotover Jet, which was like the K-Jet that I had ridden with Grandma and Grandpa. It’s a boat with a very high powered engine that speeds through a river/gorge. Sometimes you get within 1 meter of the rock walls! Once that was over, I was starting to totally freak out because the “jump of doom” (as I was thinking of it) was only a couple of hours away. So for some reason, my parents thought it would be a wise idea to go through a horrifying haunted house called the Fear Factory, right before the bungee. Looking back on it, I think it actually did help because it in a way loosened me up, but I sure wasn’t happy about it then. Just to clarify things, this was not just some ordinary haunted house with some “spooky” noises. This was a legitimate business that hired real people to scare you. The place was a pitch-dark maze with narrow walls, and people were in there with costumes waiting to scare the heck out of you. And they definitely scared us; here’s a picture of us in it:
Once we got out I was pretty shaken up, but we had to go directly to the bungee jump place if we wanted to get there in time. Dad had done this when he was in his year abroad in college, so he was giving me some tips.
When we got there, I started to get butterflies in my stomach. It was extremely big; bigger than I had imagined it to be. As Mom and Dad bought the tickets, I went to go look at people who were jumping. This is how it works: you walk onto the bridge and get your harness on, and then you wait in line for as long as it takes until your turn. And in that period of time, you really have to just think about how you’re going to jump off and just play that over and over in your head.
Lucky for me, there were only a couple of people in line in front of me; had there been heaps of people in front of me (like the people who came later), it might have gotten to my head and there’s a chance that I might have chickened out. There was this lady who jumped before me who reassured me because she said that besides the first few seconds where you’re free falling, it’s really fun and not that scary. What was not so reassuring but kind of funny was that an Asian man in front of me (who was really nice during the line) couldn’t speak English very well, so when the guy told him to jump off instead of walk off, he didn’t understand. So he basically crouched off the bridge and yelled like a madman the whole way down. It was pretty hilarious, but Dad and I also felt a bit bad for him.
When it was finally my turn, I was much less nervous because for the past 20 minutes, I had been watching people jump and get caught by the rope, so I wasn’t too scared that it wouldn’t work. Really, the only scary part is jumping, and the three seconds that follow before you get bungeed.
When I got up to the plank, all I was thinking was “ just jump”, especially since the guy was counting down from five and I did NOT want to get pushed off at zero. I had seen the people ahead of me jump with their arms like a scarecrow, so that’s what I did. And it was amazing! During the three seconds that I was free falling my brain couldn’t think of anything and my mind went blank; but when I got bungeed and it was over, I felt so good!
Here are some of the pictures, and if you’re interested, there’s even a video here.
We are now spending the second week in a camper van driving around to see cool sites that are super beautiful (like Milford Sound and walking on Fox Glacier) and soon we’re heading back home to Gizzy.
This has been another wonderful trip in the beautiful land of New Zealand.