Holiday Envy

Although I didn’t go on the New Zealand Ski Trip, I did have the pleasure, or displeasure, depending on how you consider sitting in an office looking through hours of fun holiday footage.

Holiday envy to say the least.

So, I thought I would share this little video compiling all the fun that the group had and get you in the mood for the upcoming holidays.

A Guide to the New Zealand Ski Trip

Hey it’s been a little while since I posted something so this post is about my recent Ski trip to New Zealand.

    
 

The Residential Colleges was offering a holiday opportunity to Queenstown in New Zealand. For those who may be unfamiliar with Queenstown is known as being a party town all season round. So, I was looking forward to it. Our ski goals were the Remarkable and Coronet Peak which was exciting being an absolute rookie to snow let alone skiing. I was looking forward to it until with a month before the trip I suffered a fractured leg, and just like the story of my life, it was too late to pull out or obtain a refund. So, this blog is 

about how I made the best of a ski trip where I didn’t really go skiing. Nevertheless there were some highlights which I will elaborate on.  

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Nevis Bungy Jump and swing:
Nevis Bungy jump was located half an hour drive from Queenstown and is known for being the highest Bungy jump in Australasia at roughly 134 meter above the ground. The Nevis Swing is also the highest swing in the world.

Now, I know for most people it’s just about jumping and saying they did it however with me in this situation it’s all about choosing the craziest option to get the most out of it. So for this Bungy jump it was jumping backwards and upside down so your pretty much seeing the ground coming right at you,  doing this made it a little more memorable and that little bit more scary. Love it.

Don’t let me fool you though, I may like to try the scarier and different option but that doesn’t take away the fear. Despite what the photo below might suggest it was pretty terrifying. However like most guys when we’re being watched by women we’re surprisingly good at keeping a straight face. Anyway, in the end jumping was a great adrenaline kicker for the day and something I recommend for everyone once in their life.

Nevis Bundy Jump-2 

Queenstown Fear Factor: 
This was a pretty cool experience. This place was a maze of dark hallways where your objection was to find the exit in a pitch black surroundings with only red lights to guide you. Of course the whole time you have scary staff dressed up in Halloween costume jumping at you grabbing your legs and arms with the intention of freaking you out. So, four friends and I decided to give it a go, the whole time wondering whether our Residential Life Manager, Katharine would get scared and take the chicken-way out.

To elaborate on the chicken-way out the place has a fail-safe method for those wishing to exit the maze immediately if they no longer wanted to continue. Apparently the staff believed this had happened for over 4500 people so seeing Katherine on the picture below I’m surprised she did’’t take this option (she the second last person from the right on the picture below)

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As you can see from our faces there were some pretty scary stuff in this place that got even me, but as freaked out as I got it was enjoyable. I think there’s something about being with friends on this that even though you’re little scared, you’re still enjoying the moment. So yes, I do look kinder pathetic in this photo but I will point out that I was at the front with all the scary staff freaking me out so again I’m not acting cool but I’m doing a lot better than my other friends ok so don’t judge me.

Ice Hockey Game at Queenstown Ice Arena (Southern Stampede):
This game was intense. I’ve seen ice hockey game before on TV, so when our College Manager said we were going, I thought I knew what to expect. Apparently not! Watching a final match against two international level teams was intense.

This match was a game against two experienced teams, the Southern Stamped and the Swans each team had players from around the world, not to mention a lot of hostility after facing each other last year in the finals. The only problem was that the my group didn’t know who to cheer for, which was soon resolved when we discovered team Southern Stampede was made up of a lot of Australian hockey players, so it was then a no-brainer to decide.

Throughout the game these players flew like the ice was their element, committing to fast dash to the goal, performing sharp turns to avoid potentially take out hits from the opposition players and some locking their feet in to the ice if the moment required them to hold a player against the wall.

For those unfamiliar with ice hockey yes it’s a high contact sport and despite player regularly taking nasty hits from their opponents, ice hockey players need to accept that it’s just a part of the game and keep emotion in check. Naturally, this is easier said than done. This particular hockey game had a player skating to the other side of the field in order to retaliate after an unnecessary comment was made. Although, for me seeing that was kind of cool, ultimately I was there for some honest hockey play. Watching these guys fly across the field with ease and possessing the termination to win made this game a highlight of the trip.  

State of Origin:
Can’t say I’m a big fan of watching state of Origin matches but watching it in a foreign bar really set the mood for me. Queenstown Sport Bar had every sport playing on television that you can think of, there must have been at least 100 televisions playing at once scattered around the bar. But for this particular night they realized due to the large number of Aussies, including our college group, it was beneficial for them to have all of these televisions on one game, the State of Origin!, because of this, everywhere you looked Origin was in your view so you never missed a moment. There it was really something about being in a foreign country watching the origin with other Australians that really got me worked up for the game.

For those who remember the second Sate of Origin game for 2013 it was an absolute annihilation and the Blues were defeated. At the end of the match the atmosphere was still there because everyone wanted to talk about the game making it so easy to talk with complete strangers about how much New South Wales sucked. 

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So that is pretty much my New Zealand Ski trip in a short summary but I hope it gives you an idea of college trips and about me. I put a few more photos at the bottom showing other parts of my trip so enjoy.

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Nevis Bundy Jump
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Res Colleges Ski Trip

As Semester 1 passes us yet again, I realize again just how quick time goes. The last 6 months had included the infamous O-Week, College dinners and semi-formals, university events, charity committee, work, and I guess you could say study. As well as all this, I was also lucky enough that I was able to go on the Residential Colleges Ski Trip of 2013.

And what a week it was!

I can say with great confidence that it was one of the best experiences of my life. I mean, there aren’t many opportunities to go overseas with 20 friends that are all your own age. With a mixture of residents from all 3 colleges, under the direction of the fearless leader Katharine Bigby, it was certainly a recipe for success.

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We all made our way to the tourist capital of Queenstown after a gruesome 3 hour plane ride, and 4 hour bus trip. There weren’t too many hiccups however, it was bloody cold I will tell you that. We stayed at Reavers Lodge for the week, which is extremely inconveniently located on top of a massive hill and has a driveway with a very steep incline. Let’s just say we were getting taxi’s home by the end of the week we were that sick of walking up it.

Some of the best parts (which I believe are the most noteworthy) of this week were…

Drum Roll please…

The Nevis Swing

Swing

See the little black thing there? THAT’S ME! Well… I lie. It’s not ACTUALLY me. But it WAS me. To be honest I don’t know who that is, but you can’t see them so I am sure they won’t mind us using the picture.

The Nevis Swing is not only the biggest Queenstown Swing my friends, it is not merely the largest New Zealand Swing. This is biggest swing in the whole world!

After being lifted out above the launch deck, suspended 160 metres above the canyon floor, you’re suddenly released and find yourself rushing towards the other side of the valley at 150kph, eyes wide open in disbelief or shut tight in fear. Me personally, I screamed the entire way. But it was so worth it!

There were a fair few of us residents that went on the swing that Thursday morning, and I hope they were all as scared as me. I purchased a video of it, however haven’t been able to download it yet. Maybe I will upload it soon. .

My favourite day of the week would have to be the Queenstown sightseeing/experience day. It started with an all-day breakfast (It’s not over then and there!), and a ride on a Gondola which had awesome views of all of Queenstown. You could see EVERYTHING. I’m not really one for taking photos, so I can’t share any with you. We then went to an all you can eat buffet, which had THE best food. After eating way too much, we went on to the best part, the luge ride. You jump on your specialized luge cart, select which track you want to go on, and then zoom down it! We got to have 2 turns, and of course it turned competitive. It became so hectic that someone rolled their cart!

I suppose there was some skiing involved lol. We went to both ‘Coronet Peak’ and ‘The Remarkables’. I wasn’t the best at skiing but feel I was competent enough to make the judgment that I liked the Remarkables better. They had better food! We had people of all skill levels, some who had never skied before, and even a few that didn’t have to use poles, they were that good (crazy!). It was good being in such a big group because if you were on a slope, or on a chairlift and you saw someone stack it, there was a high possibility it was someone that you knew.

So there you have it, my two cents about Res Colleges Ski Trip 2013. As it was the first (hopefully of many) trips, I believe it passed all the tests. I would certainly recommend it to all residents!

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