Bike Odyssey
New Zealand 2002

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Journal for 22-Feb-2002 : Kawerau Falls (Queenstown)
Date: 22/02/2002 (Location=Kawerau Falls (Queen, Dist=58km, Total=871km)
Early start, with a howling gusty wind indicating a change is on the way.

Cycled up the Kawarau River gorge to Queenstown. More spectacular scenery, and at least 50 tour busses passed us.

Interesting winery selling off 4h "estates", complete with management contract.

At the old Kawarau Bridge we stopped (along with 6 busloads of others) to watch those with defective adrenal glands throw themselves into the george supported by nothing more than a few rubber bands, for the entertainment of hundreds of impressed spectators. I phsyced myself up to attempt my first bungee jump, and would have gone through with it too (oh yeah) until I discovered *I* was expected to pay *them*. Believe it or not, Queenstown is endeavouring to expand it's already exploding tourism industry b
y offering bungee weddings. The couple apply for their wedding licence over the internet, and complete the process by litteraly taking the plunge.

Made it to the outskirts of Queenstown just before the rain. Got lost in the supermarket carpark.

Walked along the forshore which was quite pleasant, only briefly interupted by boatloads of other victims of adrenalin deficiency spitting past in jet boats. These thunder through the rather narrow looking spans of the single lane Kawerau Falls bridge. This bridge is also a touch on the interesting side, as quite a number of the planks on it's semi-coated decking have clearly broken of their supports, and some had snapped in two. Repairs are scheduled for next month.

We only viewed Queenstown propper from the opposite side of the lake. The town is suqeezed between lake Wakatipu and the mountains behind, and is sprawling in each direction along the lake fringes. It looked like a sucession of time-share ski lodges and shallet's, each with a water view and highway noise. Away from the countless trinket and 1 hour photo shops Queenstown is as extraordinarily beautiful as the rest of New Zealand.

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