Latest The Adventure Capital of the World (Part 1)

The Adventure Capital of the World (Part 1)

Tom OBrien
Tom OBrien
Tom O'Brien is an American abroad! He's having a great time getting to know New Zealand while he studies at the University of Otago in Dunedin.

Well, it sure does live up to its name!

Jet Boating in Queenstown

We all drove up to Queenstown for the weekend ready for some adventure, but no one really knew what they were in store for. As soon as we arrived on Friday, we went straight to jet boating. This was an exhilarating way to start off the weekend. The boat holds about 15 people and only needs 10cm of water to run. The driver would swerve within inches of the rocks and cliffs at around 30mph.

Routeburn Trail

The next morning, we woke up at 6:30 am and drove to the beginning of the Routeburn trail. We ended up starting the tramp (hike) at 9:30 am. As soon as we started, it began to rain. This only lasted the first ten minutes though. The trail started off with more of a jungle climate.

Then as we kept trekking on, we saw some cool rivers and waterfalls. After crossing a couple of rickety bridges, the landscape turned into this giant field with mountains completely enclosing us.

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After that, it was the tough part. Huge, steep, rocky hills that were only 3ft wide was the terrain now. The views started getting nicer and nicer as we ascended more and more. Then it turned into a scene straight from the Lord of the Rings. There were grassy hills all around us with snow covered mountains in the background. This is where the tramp started getting difficult. We were tired, sweating, and our feet were starting to blister. But as I found out, all you needed to do was to look up and see the view and everything that was bothering you completely left.

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The views went from looking up at all these gorgeous mountains, to us gazing upon the fields we just went through and rocks we climbed up. It was getting even more amazing every time we looked up from trying to watch our step. When we got to the top, I felt like I was on top of the world. Everyone went to go sit down and rest a bit, but I decided to go over to a cliff and just stand to myself for a little bit to try to take it all in.

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Standing there, I couldn’t help but think of my family and how they would have loved to be standing there right next to me, taking in the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Shedding one tear was all I would allow myself because I know they were with me in my heart. That was the first time I felt a wee bit homesick… Well, not homesick, family sick is more like it.

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