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Journals from Univ. of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

2013-08-12 Road Trip to Queenstown!

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Lake Tekapo

About a week ago, Katie, Bethany and I headed to Queenstown with two other study abroad students. Queenstown is about a five and a half hour drive from Christchurch, so we loaded the rental car up early on Saturday and headed out for the day! We decided to take the scenic route so we could take in as much of New Zealand as we could on our short road trip. For a while all we saw were plains, farms, and lots of sheep, but after about 2 hours we came upon beautiful Lake Tekapo. It was one of the most serene and beautiful places I have ever seen. The lake was a crystal clear color of blue, and seemingly untouched; it looked like glass. Even more stunning was the fact that pristine snow covered mountains bordered the lake; it was really a sight to see. We stopped and explored the area a bit, but decided it was best to continue on the road because we still had quite a few hours left to go. We got to Queenstown at about 4, and walked around downtown to explore the shops. It is such a beautiful ski town, and we saw so many people walking around in their ski boots. We talked to quite a few people, and found that almost everyone was there for a weekend of skiing. We were all a little jealous, but we had another reason for coming to Queenstown: Bungee Jumping! We headed to bed early that night because we had to be up early in the morning to head to Kawarau Bridge to jump off it. The bridge is 43 meters high, which is about 141 feet! I was so scared to do it but when you’re in New Zealand, you’ve got to do as the Kiwis do! It was a quick process: they sent us out onto the bridge, put a harness on us, we stepped out onto the platform, and in a short three seconds we were flying towards the river below at full speed! I’m not much of a daredevil, so I can honestly say it was one of the scariest things I have ever done, but it was well worth it! I will never forget the awesome experience I had! After we bungee jumped, we headed back into town to catch a bite to eat, and then headed back on the road toward Christchurch. We left at the perfect time of day because the drive home was absolutely beautiful… We drove during sunset and when we stopped to take pictures the sky was a beautiful purple-blue color. It was unlike anything I’ve seen before. I’m definitely going to remember that trip for the rest of my life! Halee Helgerson

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