Wednesday, February 19th
Today we leave Queenstown and board our motorcoach. Our first stop was along the road that goes up to the turn for the Skipper Road Lookout. From here we could see the Coronet Peak and ski resort, the Remarkables, Cecil Peak, Walter Peak and Queenstown.
We stopped at the historic Kawarau Bridge which is the site of the first commercial bungee jump. We watched several people bungee jump over the river. That is not a thrill either one of us has any desire to try.
Our next stop was Arrowtown which was a former gold mining settlement. We walked through the Chinese settlement. In the 1880s the Chinese goldminers lived very modestly. Watch the slideshow below to see some pictures of the settlement.
Later we walked around the main street in town where the Europeans had settled and enjoyed lunch at a local restaurant.
After lunch our motorcoach dropped us off at the Queenstown airport and we flew to Wellington which is located in the southernmost part of the North Island.
Wellington is the seat of NZ government. Tomorrow we will be learning all about their government.
When we arrived in Wellington our site coordinator gave us a quick orientation to the city as we drove to our hotel. Once we were settled at our hotel, we had a lecture about local life and politics! Our group was very interested in how well the New Zealand political system works and how the U.S. should take a good look at their system!