The Canyon Swing and a scenic dinner!

When we first arrived in Queenstown, Ashley and I were dead set on going bungy jumping.  It as one of those bucket list items we both wanted to do.   Upon arriving in Queenstown we saw a lot of advertisements for a “Canyon Swing” that you could do as well.  We didn’t want to leave any boxes unchecked so we signed up for that one too.   When we went on our Lord of the Rings tour, our guide was really surprised we had all signed up for the Canyon Swing.  He remarked a couple of times that the canyon swing was even worse than bungy jumping.  We were both skeptical as it’s common to see guides hassle tourists of a bit on activities trying to get your blood pumping.

My sister and mom had also some how been convinced to go on this little excursion.  It was our last full day in Queenstown with the family so it seemed like a good time to go all out!  We loaded up in the van and they drove us out to the location where they do the swing.  The guides were awesome and walked us down to the staging area which was just above “the plank” part where you walk out and then eventually jump.

As we looked down at the plank extending over the edge of the cliff, and then looked down to the water below, we all started to get a little more anxious.  Maybe the guide wasn’t really giving us a hard time after all.  There were 4 other people with our group but my mom and sister were in front, Ashley was second, and I was 3rd to go.   We lined up down on the plank and the guides gave us the normal safety talks.   They had a healthy amount of jokes that made you question whether this was all safe as well.

I have to admit that for me personally, I started to get really scared just before we had to jump.  I could feel my heart pounding like I was running a marathon when I was standing there doing absolutely nothing.  My hands were tingling and I was not excited about having to make the jump.

My sister and mom were up first.  They had elected to go together and do the “cut away” which is the easiest option.  It doesn’t require you to do anything.  They put you on a swinging arm the takes you off the plank.  They then do a “countdown” and pull a cord and off you go.  At least with that option you aren’t forced to jump but it’s still terrifying just looking down from that high up.   Ashley was up next and she cautiously made her way out to the edge.  The two guys had to coax her into jumping for a little bit but she finally made the jump screaming the entire way down.

When I was finally my turn I decided I was going to jump just as soon as they said it was clear for me to do so.  From watching Ashley I didn’t want to be given the all clear and then have to start thinking about it.   When they got me up to the edge they did all the safety checks and then gave me the all clear.  As soon as they said I was clear, I instantly took a flying leap off the platform and started the free fall.  At least….that’s what happened in my head.  Upon video review of the incident, it turns out that when I was given the all clear my legs basically crumbled beneath me and I barely fell off the side of the edge without hitting it.  It was weird because in my mind I had truly jumped but the video showed the reality of what actually happened.  I have to admit the whole thing was way more terrifying than I was expecting!!!  For me, it was the scariest thing I have ever done.

Videos of our Jumps:

Pictures from Shotover Canyon Swing:

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A view of Queentown

After our exciting, and terrifying, morning at the Canyon swing we had just hours left in our final full day in Queenstown.  Mike had picked out a dinner + star gazing tour for us at the top of a mountain that overlooks Queenstown.   You take a gondola from Queenstown up to the mountain and it was one of the steepest gondola’s I’ve ever been on.    Once we were at the top the views were absolutely amazing.  You could see all of Queenstown and the surrounding area.   I was really glad we got a chance to go up to the top and we didn’t miss out.

Once at the top there was also a luge ride that you could do.  Ashley, my sister, and I all made our way down to get tickets.  We opted to go for 2 runs.  The first was sort of a practice run and the track was a little slower.  On the second were able to tear down the hill quickly and it was a lot of fun!  Everyone was smiling the whole way down the hill and we really enjoyed the luge!

After the Luge we had a buffet dinner at the restaurant at the top of the Gondola.  The views from the restaurant at the top were stunning!  The pictures don’t even do it justice.  They had a huge room with windows all over so you could see the great view from everywhere.  After dinner we were waiting for our star gazing tour to get started.  There were about 50 people waiting around so it was a popular one!  Unfortunately it turned out that there were too many clouds that night so we weren’t able to do it 🙁  We were all really disappointed as it was going to be a really interesting and unique thing to try.

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