Now in Queenstown, the anal bouncer capital of New Zealand, where even people who are obviously in their mid-20’s need ID to get into some shitty pub. They also do extreme sports here apparently.

So, previous stuff to get out of the way. I went jet boating, which is an interesting experience. The jet boat consists of a small boat in which about 7 people plus driver can sit. In the back is a big 7.5 litre engine, which is connected to a water jet the direction of which the steering wheel controls. This means the following: the boat can work in really shallow water without having a propellor to damage, it is fast, and it can turn pretty damn quick. All this was demonstrated by Doc, the slightly sleazy mad kiwi driver - I think I would not be satisfied if the driver was not slightly mad. Fun stuff involved driving at full speed towards big rocks then swerving around them at the last minute. There were also spins which made the two girls on the seat next to me go flying into me - Doc said it would probably be the only time I would have two girls on top of me.

We continued down the west coast, the distances are a lot shorter than in Australia but as the south island is mostly mountain the roads wind about a bit. New Zealand is basically the opposite of Australia in that the geology is very young (in geological terms) and the mountains are still being pushed up, although they are eroding at the same rate. There are also a lot of sheep here, around 50 million or 12 for every person. Don’t let that put you off, just admire all the lovely Lord of the Rings scenery.

We stayed the night in a pub/hostel in nowhere in particular and had a fancy dress party, as one does. The theme was american, as it was thanksgiving, and we were only allowed two items of clothing. Naturally I went as Osama Bin-Laden, which probably freaked out the americans on the bus, but it is remarkably cheap to fasion a Bin Laden costume.

The next day we continued on to Franz Josef, noteable because it has a glacier which descends right into the rainforrest area. The plan was to go for a guided hike high in the glacier - to do this you have to go by helicopter, which I really wanted to do. Unfortunately all the rain and clouds obscured the landing site so the trip was cancelled. Instead we walked up the bottom of the glacier wearing boots with big spikes on, with our guide pausing occasionally to cut steps in the ice with a pick axe.

Eventually, after much more Lord of the Rings scenery, we arrive at Queenstown, and in the usual manner of the Kiwi Experience bus they tried to get us to spend loads of money on extreme sports before we all went out and got drunk an encountered the aformentioned anal bouncers.

Today I climbed up a hill on the edge of town. It was good, and the views of the lake and mountains and everything were fairly spectacular. Queenstown is in a very scenic setting, being on a lake and surrounded by mountains. It is also nice and sunny, which makes a change from the west coast. The lake provides many opportunites for putting your life in danger, including something where you put on a parachute and are dragged along behind a boat making you fly into the air. I know this is done elsewhere but the kiwi difference is that you then bungy jump off the parachute. Costs a bit, though, so I won’t be doing that one.

The end, for now.

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