Saturday, December 30, 2006

Part 3 - Queenstown Day 2

Supposedly Bungy Jumping originated in New Zealand so what better place to take the plunge than the original jump at Kawarau Bridge - 43 meters down to the Kawarau River!

I give the thumbs up as if it's no big deal! Once my eyes left the camera and focused on the little dingy down below reality sunk in and my heart raced. After a brief pep talk from my Canadian jump instructor I took the plunge! Holy sh*t - the initial leap of faith took all the courage I could muster. I had intended to yell out Merry Christmas but all I could spit out was an ear piercing scream. Yes I'll admit I was screaming like a little girl in a cheap haunted house!

The kids gave me a big hug on completion. If you look closely, you'll see another jumper halfway through his jump! Needless to say, I had a hard time falling asleep that night!

This is as close as Charlee and Adam would get to bungy jumping!

Part 3 - Queenstown Day 1 continued

Queenstown regards itself as the adventure capital of the world and for good reason. You can do everything from Bungy Jumping and Jet Boating to Boogie Board Rafting and Paragliding. The area is also invaded by Aussies in the winter time to take in the incredible skiing in the area.

The kids chose Jetboating down the Shotover River as adventure activity #1. What a thrill! Several times we thought we were going to hit the walls of the canyon or bottom out on the rocks in the river. Just when we thought we could catch our breath the driver would spin into a 360. Unbelievable fun!

If you have time check out the virtual tour at

Part 3 - Queenstown Day 1

Wow - talk about a view! The flight from the North Island down to the South Island was spectacular. We never realized New Zealand had so many mountains.

We were pleasantly surprised with our accommodation we booked over the internet and decided to settle down and enjoy Christmas here.

Part 2 - Cambridge

On our return to Auckland we stopped in Cambridge to visit Mark, another of Heidi's ORC fitness friends. Mark, a Kiwi who has lived in Canada for the last 25 years, just happened to be visiting his father for Christmas so we popped in for a visit.

We got a chance to have lunch with a few of Mark's family.

Mark's dad enjoyed giving us a ride in his 1923 Austin. The kids loved it!

The southern hemisphere appears to be in love with Colorbond!

New Zealand - Part 1 - Rotorua

We headed off to New Zealand the morning after Heidi's party. After one quick night in Auckland, we headed off to Rotorua to check out the hot springs and Maori culture.

Beautiful buildings and Maori art work.

Steam pops up all over town.

A mud bath a la Shrek!

Geyser erupting at Te Puia

Cultural show at Te Puia

Adam and Dave actually got to go on stage and do the famous Maori haka!

Even our hotel had thermally heated pools.

Happy 40th Birthday Heidi!!!

We found time to squeeze in a birthday party for Heidi between her return from Canada and our departure for New Zealand. Many of our friends from Picnic Point joined us at the East Hills Pub patio for the celebration!

The Rileys with Alyssa and Jessica on the left!

Donna White and Merena Riley

Glen Hidson (Charlee's teacher) chatting with the Whites.

Andrew Macky, David Fuelling, Dave and Julie Ralph

The Fomins (minus Alyssa)

Heidi modeling her birthday present from everyone - a beautiful opal necklace. Natalie had her jeweler brother design it! Thanks Nat!

Awesome birthday cake made by Anne Weeks. Look closely - it has a beach theme!

Adam can't wait for Heidi to cut the cake!

What an ugly bunch of mugs!

Now that's better!

Thanks to the Mackys, Whites, Rileys, Fomins, Weeks, Ralphs, and Dilinardos for helping Heidi celebrate 40 years! Hope you had fun Heidi!