New Zealand
Big Beach

Here you’ll find travel reports about Big Beach. Discover travel destinations in New Zealand of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

10 travelers at this place:

  • Day18


    June 4, 2016 in New Zealand

    Cold and absolutely clear skies, looking forward to a beaut day. No deadlines so we had a leisurely start and headed off to Queenstown, only after visiting the local craft market (only small purchases) and the community book fair (1 book bought). That done we embarked on the 1 1/2 hour trip back thru the Southlands, plenty of traffic going south, many had fishing boats attached, ready for a long weekend of fishing. Saw someone being booked by the police for what we think was unauthorised camping on the side of the road. Went past farms with cattle, sheep & deer, no dairy down this far south. Apparently the deer are used for meat, antlers & velvet from the antlers.
    Stopped a few times for scenic photos and smoko by the lake, wind had picked up and the lake had some nice waves happening. Only saw 1 fishing boat out.
    Got into Queenstown and went directly to our van park, about 4 km north of town. After checking in and having lunch at our picnic table, we were ready for action.
    A 10 min walk down the road took us to the Shotover Jetboats, the shallow hulled jet boats that produce over 700 HP and travel in about 10cm water. Simon & I queued up with 10 other unsuspecting citizens, put on splash jackets, life vests & before we know it we are in the boat and our pilot gives us a 15 sec safety rundown then says to put on our seat belts. Everyone looking & the pilot laughs, there aren't any! He says he will do a bit of a spin and everyone wave, for the cameras. Then he gives it the full throttle and takes us on 25 mins of awe inspiring water action, getting up to 90km/hr through canyons just wider than the boat and regularly throwing some 360 degree spins, at full throttle. We went down river for about 10 mins, there was only about 1 minute when we were going in a straight line, whenever there was a bend or choice of travel, he would take the shallowist or riskiest route, closest to the banks, rocks, logs or whatever obstacle he couldn throw the boat around. No wonder this is rated as the most exciting ride in this town. 10 mins back up the river, past our starting point until about 500 m along, it was all rocks, so he turns for home and for a bit of extra fun, does another pass thru the canyon & another couple of 360s.
    It was freezing cold but no-one cared but it was just so exciting, probably the biggest adrenaline thing I have ever done.
    Michelle & Sue waited on top and got some great photos and I think secretly they wished they had come along (probably not!).
    We then caught the free shuttle bus into town, where all the people were returning from their day's fun, it was really starting to get going, being a Sat night on a long weekend, plenty of young people about ready to party.
    These more mature folk hit the supermarket, bought some supplies & caught a cab back to the van park as the temp had dropped to about 3c as the sun went down
    The van park has a superb amenities block, complete with a wood fire which we stoked right up while we went over the day's action.
    Followed dinner with a few hands of cards and finished off some wine & coffee.
    Re-met some fellow travellers that we have seen in other parks & events. Minus 1c when we turned in.

    Later that night Michelle and Simon snuggled safely in their bed when the door opens!! It is trueabout the van hopping in trailor parks, after some convincing Sue was sent back to their van next door. She now has her official trailor trash badge.

    Weather was magnificent, cold and fine, max about 12c

    * superb scenery on route to Queenstown
    * Shotover Jetboats
    * Queenstown top 10 holiday park.
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  • Day19

    Cruising Queenstown

    June 5, 2016 in New Zealand

    Just Queenstown today
    Had a leisurely breakfast while we enjoyed the fresh crisp morning, officially -1c but chill factor of -5c.
    So when the frost had lifted a little we took the van park shuttle bus into town for our 11.30 Segway tour.
    Plenty of people about doing stuff on the water while we stayed on dry land. The Segway people picked us up in a mini van and took us to a carpark, about 1km away where we were "trained" in the dark art of Segway riding. After we had read & signed a disclaimer, absolving them in case we ran over over any pedestrians. Funny how the jetboats were much more dangerous but no disclaimers there.
    Sue decided it was not for her and decided to wander the town on foot rather than on 2 wobbly wheels. The rest of us (7 of us) zoomed around until we thought we wee pretty good, only Simon & Michelle had done this before, so they were just showing off.
    Ready for real world we set off at a sedate pace, weaving thru pedestrians, shopping centres & stopping along the way for our guides to give us a few bits of info about Queenstown.
    They told us that Queenstown is based on 4 "rushes", the 1st was the Greenstone /Jade by the Maori, then the Gold Rush in the 1800s, then the White rush, the snow and ski influx and now it is the Adrenaline Rush, with all the action sports both winter & summer.
    Did 1 uphill & 1 downhill, then they upped our speed limiters a bit to 12km/hr. We went around the bay, thru some suburban streets and up into the botanical gardens where we stopped and the guides showed us how to play frisbee golf. The gardens have an 18 hole course. Looks like fun.
    Continued back through the warf area, thru the crowds, waving at Sue as we wizzed by. Then they increased our max speed to 20km/hr for the final jaunt home, returning to the gravel carpark and handing back these great little machines. Bundled back into the van and dropped off back into town where we met up with Sue.
    On recommendation we headed straight to the most famous burger joint in NZ, Fergburgers who make 20 different types of hamburger. As it was 2.30pm, we were lucky there was only a 20 min wait, apparently in summer there is a 2 hour wait. Finally lucked a table just before our order was ready, just as well as they are very hard to eat standing up, without about 6 paper towels each. I had the plain burger, the others had the same with bacon & avocado. We all agreed it was most likely the best burger we had ever eaten. Yummo!
    After that culinary extravagance we had a nice long walk around the CBD before the cold drove us into a pub for a warm seat & a cold drink. As it was getting on to dark, we went up to the gardens where there was an electric light show, using light to highlight the natural park features or create their own. Very nice, would be lovely at night but we would have frozen by then.
    Walked back to Fergburgers, the bakery side this time and bought some delicious pies & pastries for our last supper in NZ. Got some wine to wash it down with to complete the scene.
    Took the shuttle bus back to the van park, grabbed the chairs next to fire and shared our spoils while picking out our own individual highlights / memorable moments from our fantastic trip.

    Weather was sparkling cold and crystal clear, max about 10c

    * Segway tour around the bay,
    * Fergburgers burgers for lunch,
    * Fergburgers pies etc for dinner,
    * casual walk around Queenstown
    * nice warm log fire, wine, dinner & a good ol chat between friends (still) and travelling companions.
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Big Beach

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