Kirsty & Nick's New Zealand Adventure travel blog

As we didn't have to check out today, we lay in 'til 9! Actually we needed it in the end because we were awake quite late as most of the rest of Queentown seemed to be partying late. I don't know what time it quietened down, but it was pretty late. There seemed to be a haka-party competing with a rave. Then at the crack of dawn (literally) a couple decided to have a screaming match just along from the camp site. Fortunately Nick managed somehow to sleep through that (funny when you think Dukie wakes him up with a tiny sigh :o)

I spent the morning pottering; did some washing, the washing up, tidying the camper and so on. Nick went into town to get some (more) cash! (and buy me another book - I'm on my 4th already).

It was a lovely sunny day, not a single cloud in the sky, hardly any wind. Still spring here though, so slightly chilly. Maybe 15' ?

Perfect weather for ... hang gliding!

Had a quick snack for lunch and got picked up from the camp site at 13.30. We were the only people going, so drove straight up to Coronet Peak, just stopping to pick up one of the pilots on the way.

So then, there we were, hang-gliding. 3, 2, 1, step, step, ruuuuuuuunnnnnnnnn, and you're up. The first thing that we both noticed (separately) was how noisy it was. We'dd both had the silent impression that the experience would be dead-quiet, because of the lack of any engine, but of course you've got the wind blowing all about you, and it was actually quite noisy.

The other thing was that it was quite hard to look around. I'd had the image of flying high about the ground being able to see for miles around. Actually my glider pretty much dropped like a stone from the moment it took off (maybe it was a weight thing!) so I didn't get to see anything more than if I were standing on the mountain, which of course, I was yesterday (slightly higher up too).

Nick had a little bit more success. He was either luckier with the thermals, or had a better pilot, or most likely, both. He got a longer flight (about 12 minutes compared to mine which was 8 at best) and his pilot 'taught' him a lot more, whereas I was just a passenger. I mean, I held the controls, but I didn't really do anything.

Anyway, now it sounds like I'm dissing it, which I'm absolutely not. I think you'd have to do it several times to get a real impression of it, but it was really, really good fun.

The landing was nuts. They just bring it in to land and you roll across the grass on your belly. They took photos and videos, and you could hear me giggling as we landed. Sadly (or maybe luckily) my photos were awful. Nick's were pretty good, but we decided not to part with the kings ransom they wanted for them.

After they dropped us back of at the camp site, we had a quick snack and then went down the road to the park to play frisbee. I was crap, Nick was good. We did that for about an hour, then we went back and showered up, killed a bit of time reading, and then went into town. From his quick trip in the morning Nick had found a couple of pubs that looked worth a visit...and they were actually.

We went to Lone Star, which was a family restaurant and bar that celebrated Kiwi stars. Then we went into Buffalo, which was giving away free burgers with every beer. We declined actually – they didn't look tempting enough to ruin our dinner for. They had real peanuts that you break all over the floor, motocross stuff on the tv and pretty barmaids – one of whom admired Nick's Ducati t-shirt – and who apparently do Coyote Ugly ('Buff-Ugly') every Thursday night. Would have been 'interesting' to see that. Actually it was so quiet in town last night, it made us wonder if they actually did that sort of thing in low season. Even the free burgers didn't seem to be pulling in the numbers.

Then lastly we went into the World Bar, which was a really nice, trendy bar that was absolutely dead. There were 4 other people in there when we got there, 2 when we left. Nice in a way, but not really, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, after that we pootled back to the camper, Nick made pasta for dinner, we read for a bit and then hit the sack around 11.

Oh, quick message to self, well for Gill really. My brief from Gill (actually given when we had planned to go to Oz, but I've been looking anyway) was to find 'that' product that was missing from the UK market and she could become the UK importer and distributor for (for a fee of course) and make a fortune from. In many respects the Kiwi's seem very behind us in a lot of products (eg: washing powder/liquid only comes loose, no tablets, pouches etc.) but, I had a possibility today. Radler beer. In German, Radler is a shandy. Monteith brewery do a Radler which comes on tap or in bottles and is lager ready mixed with lemon/lime or just lime. I don't think we have that in the UK. It's very nice!

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