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Jumping into the unknown

I’m full of admiration for those brave enough to throw themselves off a perfectly good bridge with just a high-tec elastic band tied to their ankle.


I speak, of course, about bungy jumping and on the mega-famil organised by Tourism New Zealand in conjunction with Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia, several travel agents in my group did just this at the world-famous AJ Hackett facility in Queenstown.


There was plenty of mutual encouragement before the event, followed quickly by screams of terror during the actual act, but everyone who participated returned with all their applicable functions in perfect working order. Of course, being the editor of Traveltalk, I had to stay on the sidelines and capture all the action for the magazine...


The quest for adventure wasn’t completely sated, however, and a jet boat ride was a great way to get into town for our dinner aboard the TSS Earnslaw. This beautiful old steam ship transports guests down Lake Wakatipu and deposits them at Walter Peak for a buffet dinner, before the return trip back into town.


A 5am start the following morning was a big ask but the early call and subsequent bus ride was quickly forgotten when we walked out to see the Franz Josef glacier. Or I should say, what’s left of it as it has been steadily eroding and is now some three kilometres further back up the valley from where guides first started taking visitors in the early 1900s. Still, it was a spectacular sight and one of nature’s wonders, a bit like the hot glacier pools where we eased our aching muscles with a quick soak in the rich mineral waters.


Touring in the south island of New Zealand offers such a rich variety of adventure activities combined with more traditional pastimes. If you can’t find something to do down here, you’re really not trying.


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Written by: Jon Underwood
Published: 20 October 2014

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