Anyway, one of the places we visited this week was Queenstown. They have tons of adventurous activities there. We went on a thing called a luge. A luge is a cart/sled that you sit on with a bicycle handle in the front that you steer with. We got to ride on a track that went down a big hill. We steered our way down, going through tunnels and big slopes. It was so much fun! Stefan and I could have done it all day.
The other really cool thing we did in Queenstown was go to the Kiwi Conservation Center. We got to see the rare kiwi bird, which is one of the many flightless birds that live in New Zealand. The reason they're flightless is because New Zealand didn't have any mammals on it before settlers brought them over, so the birds didn't have any need for wings. Over time, the kiwi lost its wings and now all they have are tiny little things that are buried under their hair-like feathers. The kiwi is also famous for its long beak, which they use for getting things, like worms, under the soil. Unlike most birds, kiwis have nostrils on the tip of their beak instead of at the top by the head. Its eggs are also really huge, almost one-third the size of its body!
While we were in Franz Josef, we hiked the glacier (they call hiking 'tramping' here), but we didn't go through snowfields like you would expect - we went through a rainforest! Once we got out of the rainforest and onto the glacier, we put on these things called crampons, which are spikes that you attach to the bottom of your shoes. We needed these so we could climb up the ice without slipping. Hiking on the glacier was really cool because there are crevices all over the place. In some spots, the ice looked blue. There was even a crack that had grown just within the hour we were there.
After a Thanksgiving to remember we hit the road for Christchurch. When we got to the rental office to return 'Tourtelvis,' we all felt like we were saying 'goodbye' to our home and we were very sad to se it go. Once we got back in a regular car for the first time in two weeks, we felt like we were driving in a matchbox!
That's all for this blog. Goodbye for now!