Tonight was the night of the tour I was really looking forward to. Going up to Bob’s Peak on the Gondola, the Kiwi Haka Show and dinner in the Skyline restaurant were an optional tour but one which all bar one of us on the tour were doing. We could do any of the 3 or all of them. I chose to do all of them. I don’t know how else you would get up to the top. There must be a road somewhere.
The Gondola cabins are very small. Carol, Brad, Bec and I shared one and it felt a bit squashed. Carol and I sat so we were looking down the mountain as we escalated up the mountain. It takes about 8 mins to make your way up there, gently swaying (although sometimes it didn’t feel so gentle) in the wind. Carol doesn’t like heights so wasn’t comfortable at all. It’s a very steep rise too. However the view made up for any discomfort. It was still beautiful and sunny and we got a panoramic view of Queenstown and the mountains.
Once we reached the top we visited the gift shop before queuing to get in to The Kiwi Haka Show. Two of the performers came from the theatrette to introduce themselves and ask for a male to be the chief to represent us in the show. We tried to get Terry to do it but he chickened out so Bren did it instead. His wife thought that was hilarious because he’s no chief.
The Haka Show was fantastic. The men were very scary-looking but great performers and the women were also great. We weren’t allowed to take photos but a group of the women in our group were asked to go on stage to perform some steps and tricks they were shown. It was really funny to watch. I wasn’t chosen so I was able to sit back and enjoy their comical efforts.
After the show we went upstairs to the entrance to the waiting area. Two other performers came up and allowed us to have our photos taken with them. By the time we did that we were able to go into the semi-circular restaurant that overlooks Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkable mountains. I think these were the most stunning views I had ever seen while eating dinner. Dinner itself was a huge buffet. There was so much food to choose from. There were soups, meat, salads, vegies, seafood and not to mention – the dessert bar. Yum!!! It was hard not to try everything but I managed it. It was also the first meal we sat at communal tables so we had a chance to chat with different people on the tour. We chatted about the things we had all done with our free day. Some people had gone on a winery/lunch tour, others had gone horse riding and others had done some more adventurous activities such as bungy jumping.
Unfortunately we had to leave the restaurant at 8pm. I was really disappointed because I’d been looking forward to a more leisurely dinner and being able to watch the sun begin to set. We later found out that the venue had been booked for another group. For me, descending in the gondola was scarier than ascending. I was sitting with my back to the town and facing the mountain so I felt I had no control.
We got back to the hotel by 8.45pm so most of us went to the bar to have a few drinks and continue chatting. It was this day that we all started to bond, the second full day of the tour. We all agreed it would be great to have another day in Queenstown. I think everyone loved it. We were all sad to be leaving. I went back to my room and watched the sun setting over the mountains again. It’s a magical place, that’s for sure. I’ll definitely go back one day to do the things I didn’t get to do.