Halfway Through the ‘Adventure Capital of the World’:
Travel Journal 2016-17 Term 3
Hello! We are more than halfway through our Queenstown stay and we’ve gotten to know this place very well – from all angles and viewpoints, I might add. From lessons in the classroom, to lakefront strolls, to viewing the tops of mountains while skydiving from 15,000 ft in the air, it’s no wonder Queenstown is named ‘Adventure Capital of the World!’
Where do I even begin? Let’s start with some land activities and work our way up to the sky:
Our first day consisted of a walking tour led by our friendly Kiwi guide, Ben. We strolled through the Queenstown Gardens, took pictures by Lake Wakatipu, and wandered into the town center. We discovered our favourite smoothie bars, historical monuments, and some nearby hiking trails!
A few days later (and ascending 1400 ft), we rode the Gondola to the Queenstown Skyline. We sat at the zen-like viewpoint deck and took in the stunning mountainous views while sipping on rich and frothy cappuccinos. This of course was after we sped down a narrow 800m track from the top of the skyline in our personal luge carts! Post luge, some of us continued near Bob’s Peak for a nature walk while others descended to ground level in hopes of mentally preparing for our Skydive adventure the next day.
Fast forward to 12 hours later when alarm clocks went off and some of us rolled out of bed…onto a bus…into a jumpsuit…onto a plane…and somehow ended up freefalling at 200km through the clouds with a tandem kiwi strapped to our backs!!!
IT. WAS. INCREDIBLE. Warning to all parents: Your children are suddenly self-proclaimed skydiving addicts and want so badly to do it again. (Not going to lie…I’d do it again too).
If dropping from the sky isn’t your cup of tea, there’s still plenty to do here in Queenstown. Saturday, Ms. Gilchrist led our students on the popular and physically demanding Queenstown Hill hike. A steep climb up and a 3-hour return, the students enjoyed incredible viewpoints and beautiful weather. Other students stayed in town and perused the stalls at the lakefront market. It was a relaxing day as musicians busked for the crowds while nature-loving backpackers jumped around on their slack lines.
However, the adventure continued this morning as seven students and our very own Head of School, Julio Sousa, jumped off a 43-meter bridge with an elastic cord strapped to their ankles! The risk takers we have in this group just blow my mind more and more each day. After bungee jumping, it ended up being a rainy day, which was the perfect way to unwind from our adrenaline-filled weekend. We napped, read, did homework, and went for family dinner at My Thai around the corner.
Coming up this week we have a private yoga class, bubble soccer (it’s hilarious), a movie night, and a day trip to Milford Sound! We then fly to Auckland on Friday, which is our last stop for Term 3 (can you believe it?)
As always, there is so much to boast about from an academic perspective. ISUs have been handed out, exams are coming up, and students spend a good portion of their day either in class or working on assignments. Their ability to balance both work and play is admirable. We have a really great group – both students and teachers – and it makes me smile to see all of the new friendships being formed. We intend on creating more unforgettable academic and extra curricular memories in our final three weeks.
If you haven’t yet seen our first edition of the “Globe and Blyth”, a magazine created by Mr. C and his English class, please click below!
Welcome to our first issue of the Globe & Blyth!
Until the next update.