Day 12 – Queenstown

After a pretty good nights rest, we were up early again this time to head out on our “Shotover Trio” trip. We made our way to the information centre for our pick up point. But first we picked up my gloves from the reception area at the campervan park (yay Pete!). After arriving at the i-Site (information centre) we checked in and waited for the bus to come to pick us up. The lady checking people in asked everyone if they were able to swim, there was an Asian girl in front of us who just looked blankly at the lady and when asked again, she said she had to think about it. The lady was getting quite concerned given we were going rafting in a grade 3-5 river and she didn’t know if she could swim. She obviously decided then that she could swim cause she hung around with the group. When the bus finally arrived to pick us all up, we headed out to the White Water Rafting centre to get all of our gear on.

When we arrived we were kitted up with our wet suit and socks and boots. We had to get changed and leave all of our valuables at the centre. We then got into the bus to go to the heli-pad for our lift to the rafting start point. When we arrived at the heli-pad the guy asked Kath if we wanted to be in the front of the helicopter which was really exciting. It was quite a big helicopter which took 7 people (1 pilot and 6 passengers).

As it was the first time I had been in a helicopter I was a bit unsure what to expect. It was a crazy feeling as we took off, and being in the front we had full vision of everything around us. The helicopter ride to the rafting start point was only a 5 minute flight away (30 min car trip), we were able to see the road that the van was driving along and it looked really scary. Apparently that road is one of the most dangerous roads in the world and is closed through winter because of how narrow and flimsy it is.

When we arrived at the rafting point, the 6 of us (the ones who took the helicopter option) were left waiting for the rest of the group and the rafts to arrive. We got chatting to some people who were from Melbourne and they were very friendly.

We were split up into our groups and we were with a boat full of Aussies. The instructor went through some safety things and checked our life jackets then we got into the water. Kath and I were the lucky (the only people who kind of volunteered) to go in the front of the boat. When you raft you have to sit on the side of the boat not on the actual seats, which means to stay in the boat properly you have wedge one foot in to the front of the raft and one to the seat under you to steady yourself in the boat. As we headed down stream the instructor took us through a number of different positions for how best to raft and stay in the raft. As we hit our first rapids Kath and I did well to take all the water for the team. Slowly the rapids got bigger. Noone in our boat fell out, because we were the A-Team! The rafter said that we did really well as a team paddling at the same time etc. When we came to the last rapid, it was huge, we all managed to stay in the boat but we copped a lot of water in the front. I ended up with water up my nose and in my mouth. At least it was fresh water! Would have been horrible if it was salt water.

When we finished rafting and put our raft and paddles away, we were able to go for a warm shower. When we were dry we had something to eat then went to the third activity of the “trio” we were doing, which was the Shotover Jetboat ride.

At the Shotover Jetboat we were dressed up in a waterproof jacked and life jacket. This jetboat went a lot faster than the one in Huka Falls and as it went down the very narrow Shotover River it made it a bit of a nervous ride. We did lots of 360’s and swerves and turns. It was great fun.

After that we visited the gift shop and Kath found another squishy jetboat – which she was super excited about. We then got the shuttle bus back into town. When we arrived in town we were exhausted so just went back to our campervan and rested for the afternoon/evening.

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