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Jetboating in Queenstown
Definitely one of my most memorable experiences, The Shotover Jet in Queenstown races up and down the river at a mere 60mph. Hurtling along inches away from the jagged rock face was amazing. I may have screeched like a girl, I'm not sure, but behind me Carl was laughing hard. I asked Wayne, our pilot, how many tourists he had lost overboard, his reply was: "Not many", that'll be the Kiwi sense of humour won't it Wayne?
Onwards and upwards with the Over The Top helicopter ride where I played golf on a remote snow covered mountain ledge! I say played golf, I actually only swung the club once, but I connected with the ball, just.
Once we had safely landed on a plateau close to the summit, our pilot pulled out a patch of artificial grass, a golf tee and a bag of balls and strode to the edge of the cliff, placing the astro turf on a sufficiently flat piece of rock. The view was breathtaking and it was one of those rare moments when you stop to think 'I never thought I would do this'.
From the top of the mountain to the depth of the earth, I went in search of 'black gold' (and 100 years back in time) at The Denniston Mining Experience.
Inside the pitch black chasm, my 'underviewer ' John handed me a drill to carve out a hole for a detonator charge. There was an eerie creaking noise like wood bending before it snaps. I imagined the miners praying the blast was sufficient enough to dislodge a yield of lucrative coal without also burying them alive.
At the coal face I set to work with my shovel to dig, collect and separate the coal from other debris. Feeling rather proud of the fruits of my labour, I declared it ready for inspection. John's verdict left me concluding mining is probably not for me. But I’ll never grumble about my working conditions again.
Marlborough Sounds by sea
And last but not least, the journey through the beautiful Marlborough Sounds on the Picton to Wellington Interislander ferry was stunning. As well as being a practical way to travel between New Zealand’s two islands it deserves recognition as a great experience in its own right.
Read more about our New Zealand adventures in the Metro
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