Today we left Wanaka and make our way down to Queenstown: my final stop on the Kiwi Experience. We drove for about 20 minutes to “The Puzzling World,” a tourist trap full of optical illusions and a labyrinth nth (see also giant maze) that we couldn’t manage to tackle in the course of 45 minutes. It was a good time, and reminded me of being a kid again.
We drove a few more hours to Queenstown, checked into Nomads backpackers (one of the nicest hostels we’d stayed in yet), then headed out on the town. The next few days were spent wandering around the town during the day, Fergburger (the local burger joint that The Bareback Bar and Grill in San Diego is based on), and partying at night. There isn’t a whole lot else to do at the moment (ski season hasn’t started yet), so I just sort went with it. Heidi, Jack, and I decided that we wanted to check out Milford Sound, so we chipped in and hired a car for a day. The drive took about 4 hours and brought us through some stunning scenery. Thanks to Krysha and Stu, I had a connection with Kahu (they’re friend who happens to captain one of the tour boats). He was kind enough to hook us all up with free passes for the cruise around the sound. After a few hours on the boat, some breathtaking views, and a really cool experience with a pod of dolphins, we piled back into the car and began our return to Queenstown. We ended up picking up a hitchhiker from Paraguay and driving him back to Queenstown with us. He was very greatful, and helped to provide some fun conversation on the long ride home. A few more nights trying my hardest to relax and not go out drinking (a ridiculously hard task at our hostel) and my Queenstown experience had come to an end.