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It's been an education.

Time to relax.

sunny 18 °C
View Travelling with the Kiwis. on Darlene Elder's travel map.

I chose a hotel with lakeviews for our last 2 nights in Queenstown and it is lovely even though you have to keep reminding yourself the snow capped alps are real. Even though we are so close to the snow the weather has been mild. Today was sunny again and we started with a stroll around town a bit more shopping and browsing. I thought we had decided to skip breakfast and have an early lunch but then Rob spotted a sign advertising a cooked breakfast for $10 and couldn't resist. We decided we would take a 20 min drive out to the AJ Hackett bridge which is a historic bridge built in 1880 built because many miners had drowned in the fast flowing river when they tried to cross in their search for gold. It has in recent times been famous for the fact that it was the first place in the world bungee jumping began. I knew it began in NZ but I wasn't aware that AJ Hackett and his friends knew that even though they had tested their system time and time again and knew it was safe it wasn't going to be easy convincing the general public to have a go. So he decided to bungee jump from the Eiffel Tower and while he was arrested and briefly detained it literally got his business off the ground!
We headed to the bridge and no surprises it is in a stunning location. It links one side of the gorge with the other and the river that runs beneath is both beautiful and dangerous.
We walked across the bridge which is open to the public even though there are people jumping off regularly. I have seen lots of bungee jumping on screen but it is quite another to really see people do it. I lnow I could never do it but I think I could watch someone I care about do it
Strangely once you have seen it happen a couple of times it seems quite safe. They also have a zipline set up for people want something a little less scary than bungee jumping. Both options had a steady flow of people having a go.
We decided we have had enough of driving so the bridge was about as far out of towm as we wanted to go. I had messaged Heather and asked if they could visit any winery in the Queenstown area and she said Gibbston Valley Winery. Perfect it was a 3 minute drive from the bridge, it was meant to be. We started with a tasting and were very impressed. We have noticed that in NZ the taste testing involves very generous amounts of wine. After 8 samples we signed up for something, we may have shares in the company I can't be sure I was floating through the cellar door. It seemed like a wise move to havr lunch which was scrumptious. I had definately decided to give wine a miss with the meal but when I saw you know what on the drinks menu I had to give NZ ome last shot to get it right. Points were lost for serving it in a whiskey glass but the taste was good. The winery is beautifully set out with lovely gardens and scenic surrounds.
Something else I have learnt alot about is the Manuka honey industry over here. Just by chance a few days before we left Rob called me while I was at Woolies asking me to buy some Manuka honey. Okay no worries, hang on do you realise it is $20 for a small container. Why do you want it? A guy from the electrical wholesaler said it will help my cough. So once we arrived in NZ and I realized it is practically in every shop you go to I decided I needed to become more informed. I have spoken to a number of experts particularly about the different ratings and huge prices as the numbers on the jar go up. Why genuine manuka honey is only produced 8n NZ and then there is the propolis factor as well. It is such a huge industry with lots of anecdotal evidence about its health benefits. I will have to look into the long term research when I get home. It is hard to imagine that people would spend 100s of dollars per container of honey/capsules etc but I suppose people will spend almost anything if they believe a peoduct to have healing powers.
Tonight we are going to eat at the hotel as they offer something we have never experienced before. They refer to their restaurant as a marketplace with a walking/talking menu. There is a number of chefs in different locations in the restaurant and you go around and chat to them about the food they are preparing and you choose a number of courses. I think that is how it works, will let you know.

Posted by Darlene Elder 22:40 Archived in New Zealand

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Always riveting, I'm sending your cv to the travel writers another career beckons! I'm am convinced I need to take a long holiday in nz, enjoy your last days xx

by Y12isover

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