Brrr, I haven’t worked the last two Mays so I wasn’t sure quite what to pack when I was heading out on the new Winter Circuit, so I packed for all seasons and I am glad I did. It was gorgeous and warm the first week then the rain, snow and frosts came! Queenstown was looking slightly confused with its bright red and gold autumn colours and a good dose of snow!
Quite a few of us off my bus went up the Skyline Gondola for a closer inspection of the snow and for some luging and bungy jumping. We got told off by Susan (Stray Guest of mine in Sept 09!!) for tossing snowballs on their freshly shoveled luge track. Luging is not something you can do with your hands in your pockets, which is an incentive to set a land speed record. After a hot chocolate to defrost the digits it was off to cheer on our Ledge Bungy Jumpers. Unfortunately Bungy Crew member, Kate from Wales, wasn’t going to let me get away with just watching and ordered me up to get checked in for the Ledge Swing! Guess who was wishing they hadn’t had Fergburger for lunch?! It was great fun though and good to have your crew cheer you on.
The new stops along the South Island West Coast were well received by my guests. Seeing as we were only going as far as Punakaiki from Abel Tasman National Park, we were able to take our time to explore the coast between Cape Foulwind and The Pancake Rocks. We stopped off at Fox River and explored some caves right on the coast, providing some new photo opportunities.
While following my crew down the rainforest paths to their lodges at our new overnight stop, Te Nikau Resort in Punakaiki, I overheard comments like “Wow, this is cool!” & “Where are we going?”. The next day, those that weren’t being enticed by the freshly made delicious muffins, went kayaking in the Paparoa National Park. Feedback was that it was ‘Super fun, amazing scenery, great for beginners with the shallow depth. For those who were brave, there were some rapids to kayak down’.
Wanaka, our next new stop, was a popular photo spot from the moment we arrived when the clouds parted, sun came out, and revealed the fresh snow, until sunset. In the morning we enjoyed either a lazy stroll around the picturesque town, more energetic climb up Mt Iron, or mind-bending rooms at Puzzling World.
Next trip I think it will be one less pair of shorts and one more pair of jeans in the bag!
This pic just in from the Rangitata Rafts Stray stop: