The day had started bleakly, the clouds were low and the rain was beating down as we started our journey. After about 30 minutes on the road the clouds slowly began to lift and the rain eased off a little. This resulted in the most amazing rainbow, it was so close we could almost touch it. This is the first time we have ever seen a rainbow in its absolute entirety.
Queenstown is billed as an adventure junkies playground and proudly boasts over 220 adventure tourism activities. Our challenge was to find the activities that were family friendly and fun for all to enjoy, so alas, Bungy jumping was off the list. Oh shame!
Our first trip out was the Thunder Jet. This is a jet boat that travels up to speeds of 85km/h across the lake, sometimes in just inches of water, whilst intermittently performing 360 degree spins. Great fun and a very good trip, it lasted one hour and our driver Neville took us 45 km up one of the adjoining rivers, pointing out wildlife and points of interest along the way.
However, further up the peak via chair lift was the luge, which we could all get on for some downhill racing. This was great fun for all, with amazing views of Queenstown below on a wonderfully sunny day. There was even time for a relaxing drink and snack before heading back down to town.
On arrival at the bike hire shop we were measured and kitted up, given a map and pointed in the right direction. Off we set along the gravel paths following the river downstream. This was all fine until we hit the first hill, to which Sophia exclaimed her seat hurt her bum and she couldn’t reach the breaks on her bike.
We battled on through the trail for about 5km as we were committed to reaching a suspension bridge that was the big attraction for this trail. Just before we reached the bridge and pretty much the furthest point from HQ, true to form, Lauren announced that she needed a pooh.
What else can one do when presented with this problem other than pants down and squat in the long grass?
Finally we got to cycle over, and then back across the suspension bridge, mission accomplished! Now all we had to do was get back.
Sophia ‘trooped’ (loosest sense of the word) through the rest of the journey by walking her bike both up and down the hills, whilst constantly whinging. After a 3 hour round trip everybody was shattered and ready for a well deserved hokey pokey ice cream and drink.
Something tells me that we won’t be doing anymore cycling again on this trip!
Then we found ‘The Best Thing EVER!’ As described by the kids at least. We were pointed in the direction a place called Clip n Climb. This is an indoor climbing centre, with a section of climbing walls specifically designed for kids. The state of the art belay system allows complete novices to climb safely and be lowered automatically when they ‘fall’ off the wall.
Whilst Dan was cleaning the cow shed, Clair, Kaitlyn and Sophia did some weeding nearer the house, which didn't take 5 hours!
Next task was for Clair. She was kitted up in overalls and gumboots and shown how to handle the milk cups for a full on milking session. Dan had a milking class the next day, and before we knew it we were both on the full milking rosta! The milking times are set as such, 11 am one day, followed by 6am and 5pm the day after, and so on.
Bear in mind, Jody and Andrew have close to 400 cows, who all need milking! Each session takes about 2-2.5 hours to complete, including the massive hose down after the cows have been milked. Being just inches from 400 cows arseholes certainly keeps you on your toes, and we can confidently both say we were way out of our comfort zone on this one!
However, after a few sessions we slowly grew in confidence and dropped into a rhythm. Each session got a little easier for us and the cows and hopefully we became an asset to have in the shed.
We got to do some offroading when Andrew gave us a full tour of the land they own, including driving through a river which was pretty cool! The kids got some personal riding lessons from Tamara and Kaitlyn was over the moon to have handled the horse completely by herself around the paddock.